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I remember seeing this movie when I worked at one of my local video
stores back in 1998. The description of the movie on the box was rather
hilarious as it is obviously bashing itself by saying "Move over Linda
Blair". Yes, this is one of the many rip-offs of the famous Friedkin
directed film "The Excorcist". Now, just because it was a blatant
rip-off does not mean that it wasn't a decent film.
First of all, this movie has a very good and creepy soundtrack done by Ennio Morricone. If it weren't for the soundtrack this movie would not have been very good. Second, one of the leading stars in the movie is the infamous Mel Ferrer who has been in many Italian horror flicks in the later part of his acting career. Third, the atmosphere of this movie is actually very well done. It was done well enough to keep your interest high.
Unfortuanitly, the down parts of the movie are when the lead actress who gets possessed starts talking just like Linda Blair in "The Excorcist" and she also starts vomiting green crap all over the place just like in "The Excorcist". But if you are a fan of this genre of film making than you can overlook these blatant rip-offs. All in all, I liked this movie. It is nothing great but still enjoyable and worth watching. 7\10 stars
Alberto De Martino's "L'Anticristo" is definitely one of the better Italian possession flicks.Carla Gravina is excellent as a wheel-chair bound,sexually frustrated Ippolita.The photography is stylish and the score by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai is outstanding.The special effects are quite mediocre,but there is a nice amount of sleaze to satisfy fans of Italian horror.The infamous goat orgy scene is rather unpleasant and hard to forget.So if you like Italian horror movies give this one a look.7 out of 10.Recommended.
I have no idea why so many rate this so poorly, I enjoyed it on video when it lacked the satanic orgy, and love it even more now. The support acting may be lacklustre but Carla Gravina more than compensates in a towering performance as the wheelchair bound possessed one. And what possession, no half hearted measures here - full tilt, in your face, on your chin, verbal and physical, screaming and spewing, hard hitting stuff. It is true the film is a bit slow at first but there is the magnificent and horrifying opening scenes that take some recovering from. It has of course to be acknowledged that this would never have been made were it not for The Exorcist but let that take nothing from this super exploitation gem.
There are exactly two elements in this movie that work. The first is a
well-done special effect of an imploding screen. The second is the choice
to have the saliva of the possessed woman bear an unmistakable resemblance
to... another substance. This becomes the only element of the sexual
subtext that is genuinely unsettling, rather than just unpleasant and
Other than that, this is a poorly-made attempt to rip off "The Exorcist". And by "rip off", I don't mean just that this was a possession movie made to cash in on the popularity of "The Exorcist"; I mean that elements from the Blatty/Friedkin production are copied so shamelessly that it evokes disbelieving laughter at the effrontery.
Sadly, "The Tempter" fails to do what "The Exorcist" did, and give those elements a context that makes sense. The Blatty/Friedkin film remains compelling because it is a mystery; it is not about the shocking visual effects but rather of a truth that no one wants to believe. Every scene contains a clue to the mystery; every clue chips away at civilized denial that such a thing could happen. This movie could actually have gone "The Exorcist" one better, by constructing the same sort of mystery and treating the strong subtext of sexual temptation as a piece of the puzzle and not just a chance for cheap thrills. Instead, this movie is made with the vague notion that projectile vomiting at a priest is boffo box office, baby. "The Exorcist" is clockwork inside and "The Tempter" is just Jell-O.
Alberto de Martino is an Italian director who likes to rip-off big box
office hits from America and England. He borrowed from the Bond movies for
his spy flick Operation Kid Brother; he borrowed from The Omen for his
dreadful Holocaust 2000. The Tempter (a.k.a The Antichrist or L'Anticristo)
was made in between the other two movies I've just mentioned, and is
Martino's inevitable plagiarism of The Exorcist. What's extraordinary is
that good professional actors like Carla Gravani, Mel Ferrer, George
Coulouris and Arthur Kennedy (yes, the Yankee reporter from Lawrence Of
Arabia!) were persuaded to slum it in a shambolic production like
Gravani plays Ipolatta, a young wheelchair-bound woman who demonstrates psychic abilities. A psychiatrist persuades her to try out regressive hypnotism to cure her disability; she agrees to give it a try, but inadvertently unlocks memories from a previous life in which she was burnt at the stake for satanism. To make matters worse, she is also possessed by the devil and becomes a foul-mouthed, vomit spouting, sexually hungry bitch! An exorcist (Coulouris) is brought in to rid her of the demon within.
The Exorcist was one of the scariest films ever made, but this dismal clone is just tasteless and boring. The bouts of sex are purely there to give the film a degree of appeal to adolescents who get aroused by the possibility of a glimpse of tit. They certainly don't add to the atmosphere of the film. The so-called horror sequences are rendered hopelessly laughable by pitiful special effects. Still, the image of a toad having its head torn off and a woman performing oral sex on a goat's anus is enough to put you off your lunch for a day or two, and Gravani frequently lapses into revolting drooling which looks (intentionally?) like semen. If that's the kind of imagery which floats your boat, you might enjoy this. However, most viewers (myself among them) will be rightly repelled by this stupid potboiler and will find it a real challenge to sit through.
This movie gave me chills. Whereas the excorcist didn't scare me in the least, this movie is more detailed, and more focussed on life outside of the girl's room! It's an old movie, but truly scary!! absolutely recommended.
I've only seen a handful of Italian Exorcist rip-offs; but I've seen
enough to know that this type of film generally isn't very high
quality. The same can't be said for Alberto De Martino's The
Antichrist, however, which is so far in front of all the other Exorcist
rip-offs that I've seen that you could just about throw all the rest of
the Italian devil/demons films into the mix; and this one would still
rise above the majority of them. Of course, the film has something of a
bad reputation for a reason - and how much you enjoy this film may well
hinge on just how important a coherent plot line is to you; but if you
can ignore that, what we have here is a very good horror film. The plot
is not far removed from William Friedkin's 1973 film and focuses on a
wheelchair bound woman. Her psychiatrist believes that her problem may
be mental rather than physical and sets out to cure her. However, in
doing so he brings back memories of her past life; which involved her
worshipping Satan, and the woman is soon possessed by the Devil...
This film really is very similar to The Exorcist both in style and execution. The victim here spouts vomit and atrocities just as Regan did in the earlier film and of course we get an exorcism scene to go with it; but the film still rises head and shoulders above most films like it thanks to the visuals. Alberto de Martino really put care into how the film looks and many frames are extraordinarily beautiful. The house in which most of the action takes place is a lavish construction that is a pleasure on the eyes - while sequences such as a devil worship orgy as well as the numerous scenes that depict the result of the possession will stick in the memory long after the film has finished. It's clear that the scriptwriter wanted to shock his audience and some of the things that the leading lady spouts really are quite vulgar and blasphemous, which is a highlight. It all boils down to the big exorcism scenes; and De Martino certainly doesn't disappoint here either as its loud, brash and entertaining throughout. In fact, if it wasn't for the turgid opening scenes - this could easily be considered a masterpiece! Don't miss this one!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Antichrist" is a groovy European import that rode the crest of the
"possession-devil" films that proliferated in the wake of "The
Exorcist". It bears an undeniable resemblance to the plot of the
original film, including a rotating head and plenty of green vomit,
except they took various elements of Freidkin's film and rearranged it
in a crazy way. What makes it worth seeing is the delirious lengths to
which the film will go to shock the viewer, since the people who made
this film already assume you've seen "The Exorcist".
Yes, the bile flies and someone's head spins (although you might be surprised whose head does the spinning), but we also have some other visual atrocities, including perpetual drool that closely resembles a certain bodily fluid produced by the human male, an explicit sex scene that involves the most unpleasant part of a live goat's body, some toad decapitations, and of course some colorful tongue lashing courtesy of the demon. The film played the US in its original run under the title "Blasphemy", and they weren't kidding. The film involves a young woman who has been paralyzed ever since the death of her mother, and the script works in some uncomfortable elements of incest where her father and brother are concerned. It also goes out of its way to show us desecrated religious images, as if the director thought he could make a name for the movie by making it as offensive as possible.
What might surprise you is how beautifully photographed the film is, and anyone who really wants to see it should definitely get the widescreen DVD version and avoid the outdated cut US video version. Startling color schemes recall the work of Bava (and pre-date Argento's "Suspiria"). The special effects are often badly dated, including some blue-screen effects that don't work well and a disembodied hand that gets some real yuks, but the movie does have the odd chill or two. Carla Gravina really gets into the role, hamming it up most of the time, and she looks kinda spooky in her white contact lenses and close-cropped "Rosemary's Baby" haircut.
Ultimately, this movie will be of interest to fans of 70s exploitation films. Anybody else will be alternately bored, offended, and insulted.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Antichrist" is a rather interesting possession film, if not all
As Italy is engulfed in religious hysteria, Ippolita Oderisi, (Carla Gravina) paralyzed from an accident at a young accident, is caught up in the chaos and begins to think that it can help her heal. When her father Massimo Oderisi, (Mel Ferrer) begins seeing Greta, (Anita Strindberg) she takes it as a sign that God has abandoned her and takes up her troubles with uncle, Bishop Ascanio Oderisi, (Arthur Kennedy) and, as a precaution, thinks that Massimo might want to keep an eye on her due to her weak will and the rising hysteria around. At a lavish party, in an attempt to rid herself of her paralyzes, she undergoes experimental therapy and begins to suffer weird visions from her past. Eventually, she changes her complete behavior, becoming a seductress with no qualms or quarrels. Turning to their history in the church, they learn that she has become possessed by the Devil and perform an exorcism to rid her of the influence within her.
The Good News: This was actually a pretty surprising film. In the case of the subject matter, it's not that hard to draw parallels the other popular possession film, even though they are covering all the same stations of the inverted cross, such as speaking in tongues, head spinning, pea-soup vomiting, and levitation, but this one is a different one. It's not that similar a story, and in some ways the plot is stronger. Instead of a little girl getting possessed for no good reason, here we have a definite chain of events that all follow in a reasonable way, lending the film a much more cohesive feel that works for this one more so than might be suspected. The most-remembered sequence, which is the film's most out-there moment, features the character seeing herself as the ancestor who mated with Satan during a disturbing ritual, which includes a communion of toad heads, cunnilingus on an actual goat's rear end, and sex with a man in a goat mask. It is wildly original, and becomes the most memorable scene in the film. To go from having her lying on an altar and having sex with a mask-clad man who forces her to eat a toad's head to cut away from a shot of a goat to her tonguing away furiously lends it untold sleaze and, because it is crossed with both the Hell setting, and scenes of her in bed with some very strange backgrounds that change according to the experience, leave it with a very impressive experience and easily renders this the film's best moment. Another strength of the film is the use of the Italian setting and scenery, which is steeped in Catholicism. We get to see many churches and icons, including a rather rare look at how the Church views this sort of happening with their fellow members, as well as several priests and bishops in full ceremonial dress throughout the film. This is helped by the very attractive widescreen cinematography which is so frequent here. From the startling reds to the impressive blues, this is a gorgeous film to look at, and seen through the widescreen makes them all the more vibrant. The locations and sets are particularly decadent, including a weird hallway with marble busts who lean out and peer at passers-by, which lead even more from the photography of the film. Also included is a portrait of Jesus that's the single greatest visual gag in the film, leading a single glimpse that is a well-remembered and deservedly so for it is quite brilliant as well. This one here was a really well surprise.
The Bad News: There isn't a whole lot to say against this one. The biggest problem with the flick is the stop-go-stop feeling all the way through it. Every time something's happening that amps up interest in the film, the next scene ends up being slow and unexciting. This isn't a bad thing, but that hurts the flow of the film more than anything else. There's also a little problem with the film's pacing. It takes way too long for the possession to actually take hold, occurring around the hour mark, meaning the first half of the film is a little tough to get through as it deals with all the different trials and punishments she undergoes to prove to everyone that she is indeed haunted by the past rather than the devil. While it does set up why the devil takes hold, it doesn't do much of anything to prove why it couldn't have come sooner. Scenes could've been trimmed and still gotten the same effect, so the long buildup is a little strange. The similarities to the other film are quite natural, and in some cases, could be calls for complete dismissal, which could be a strike against it. Taken as a whole, though, it really shouldn't matter.
The Final Verdict: This is a rather fun film with a lot going for it and a couple of problems that it can't help avoiding. While never once claiming to be the most original film out there, it has it's moments to make this at least an interest purchase for those who are intrigued by it or fans of European horror in general.
Rated UR/R: Graphic Language, Nudity, strong religious themes, several sex scenes and violence against animals
After the Christmas release of "The Exorcist" in 1973 there were a slew of "rip offs" churned out in the US and many other countries. Mario Bava's "Lisa And The Devil" was re-shot with new footage and a new story line and released here in the states as "House Of Exorcism". Now we have this interesting gem released on dvd by those great chaps at Anchorbay. I remember seeing this on vhs as "The Tempter" about ten years ago. It stuck with me as it were. However, where William Friedkin emphasized on the horrors of demonic possession, Alberto De Martino shocks us with the vulgarity. Watch the uncut dvd and look at the Tarot card. I mean I think it is because of the film and The Exorcist that pea soup sales have plummeted. I mean it. No joke. No Tom Foolery. I don't really need to explain the plot as it is a carbon copy of The Exorcist. Nevertheless, it is very interesting and once again we are treated to a haunting score by Ennio Morricone. This movie gets two inverted crosses up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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