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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
A scary 1974 movie with shocking horror scenes that might offend most Christians. These horrific scenes helped to serve the movie.There is exploitation of women as in most Italian Horror movies.It Should Be Rated NC-17 for some explicit content and unseen rare violence. In 1974, it was really rare to see such shocking scenes.For this reason, it was previously banned in many countries.The ban made people more zealous to see and buy this movie out of curiosity. Honestly,it is more horrible and shocking than the Exorcist, but quite as good as the Exorcist.Recommended for those who are 17 years old or above this age. I advise people to buy the DVD and enjoy this great horror movie,especially horror fans who will not regret purchasing this movie. As for religious Christian people,some scenes might shock you,so you got to beware!. For people who can not watch this movie,all you have to do is search for this movie free on line,this is a substitute.You could download it too. Good luck!
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.
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'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
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Antichrist is set in Rome where businessman Massimo Oderisi (Mel
Ferrer) lives with his lover Irene (Alida Valli), his son Filippo (Remo
Girone) & paralyzed daughter Ippolita (Carla Gravina) who has been
unable to walk properly since childhood when she witnessed her mother
killed in a car accident. Her father Massimo has tried everything, from
faith healers to psychiatrist's to no avail, Massimo will not give up
however & ask's psychiatrist Dr. Marcello Sinibaldi (Umberto Orsini) to
see if he can do anything for Ippolita. Dr. Sinibaldi is convinced that
Ippolita's condition is mental & if she can overcome the mental issue
then she would regain the use of legs, in an attempt to discover what
is affecting Ippolita psychology Dr. Sinibaldi hypnotises her which
releases regressed memories of one of her distant ancestor's who was a
Nun but turned to Satan & was executed soon after for Witchcraft.
Ippolita soon changes as she becomes possessed by the Devil who wants
to be reborn through her, it's decided an exorcism is the only
Originally released in the US theatrically under the title The Tempter this Italian production was co-written & directed by Alberto De Martino & is your basic rip-off that the Italians were so famous for during the 70's & 80's, to be fair to them they were pretty good at them & some terrific horror, gore, sci-fi, sleaze & trashy films exist because of this entire sub-genre. No-one made rip-offs like the Italians, I am not sure if that is a good thing or not but they sure made lots of entertaining films during this period. There's absolutely no prizes for guess that The Antichrist is a straight rip-off of The Exorcist (1973) which is rightly regarded as a classic, while it's fairly entertaining in a sleazy & silly way The Antichrist is a million miles away from being described as a classic. At just over 110 minutes the script takes a while to get going & it's 40 odd minutes into the film before Ippolita is astrally raped & becomes possessed complete with a hilarious flashback to some guy in a Goat mask having sex with her ancestor after he makes her lick a Goat's ass, no I am not making that up either. There's the green vomit, some head twisting (although in a twist not the possessed Ippolita) & lots of foul language directed to polite members of society including her father & lover whom she ask's if she likes his cock in her. While watching The Antichrist I got the impression that the makers were playing it deadly straight & some of these scenes come across as silly & a little funny at times (the floating hand scene has be be seen to be believed) which does lessen the impact a bit but if taken in the right spirit there's some fun to be had here. The script doesn't make any great statement about religion or faith or psychological conditions like it might have but that would have slowed things down even further so it's no great loss.
If you like your 70's & 80's Italian exploitation then The Antichrist will be right up your street but don't expect lots of gore, only one person is killed during the entire film although several Toad's are killed. There's a bit of nudity & sex including some incest which is then seemingly forgotten about after the cheap shock value is over. One thing that did impress me was the visuals, not so much the photography or direction but the locations & sets which are sumptuous, varied & striking. The blood red corridor lined with bust's that stare in all directions is ultra cool, the deserted streets of Rome & it's architecture is amazing, grand Churches & Cathedral's along with the Italian countryside, huge halls with walls covered by massive oil paintings & the climax set in one of those Gladitorial coliseum things The Antichrist surprisingly is a visually superb film.
Not that scary thanks to all the bright colours & slightly silly set-pieces The Antichrist is well made although the English dubbing is sometimes pretty bad, the cast is a mixture of English & Italian speakers so who know's how it was actually film? The five times Oscar nominated Arthur Kennedy & the highly respected Mel Ferrer probably need the money, why else would they be in this? I must admit I really disliked the lead actress here, I thought Gravina was unappealing & unlikable.
The Antichrist is a great film to look at with some brilliant sets & locations & it has some entertaining sleaze & exploitation but it's slow & predictable & it is just an inferior rip-off of The Exorcist although it entertains in it's own right I suppose. It could have been much worse that's for sure, fans of Italian exploitation should definitely give it a go.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
William Friedkin's Cult-milestone THE EXORCIST (1973) spawned quite a
number of European rip-offs, or at least of European films that treated
the subject of daemonic possessions. As far as European
Exorcist-rip-offs go, Alberto De Martino's L'ANTICRISTO aka. THE
ANTICHRIST of 1974 is doubtlessly the creepiest and best I've seen.
(There is one Italian movie with a similar possession topic, which, in
my opinion, is better than this one, Massimo Dallamano's great IL
MEDAGLIONE INSANGUINATO aka. THE NIGHT CHILD of 1975. That movie is far
too different to label it an Exorcist-rip-off, however.)
The possessed here is not a little girl but a young woman, Ippolita (Carla Gravina) who has been paralyzed since the car accident that killed her mother. Since her paralysis has no medical foundation, her father (Mel Ferrer) assigns a psychiatrist to help his daughter. The hypnosis therapy, however, has unwanted results...
The storyline is not merely based on THE EXORCIST, but has similarities to a classic Italian Horror formula: An innocent young woman being possessed by an evil ancestor who is her spitting image (and, in this case, even has the same name). The innocent/evil female double role was started in Italian Horror film in Mario Bava's 1960 masterpiece LA MASCHERA DEL DEMONIO (BLACK Sunday/THE MASK OF Satan), which first brought Italian Horror film to international attention. Barbara Steele became famous for such a double role in that film, and continued to play comparable roles in several other Italian Gothic Horror movies. In L'ANTICRISTO, it is Satan who, centuries after possessing an ancestor who was subsequently burned at the stake, takes possession of a wheel-chair-bound young woman.
The film is a good example for the stylistic and visual elegance of Italian Horror cinema. The settings are beautiful and eerie alike, the camera-work (done by the one and only sleaze-filmmaker Joe D'Amato) is great. The score is a collaboration of masters Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai, needless to say that its brilliant and increases the thick atmosphere. The film has a good ensemble cast including Mel Ferrer, Arthur Kennedy, the great and beautiful Cult-regular Anita Strindberg, Alida Valli, who would appear in the probably most famous Italian Horror film, Dario Argento's masterpiece SUSPIRIA (1977) three years later. Carla Gravina is believable in the lead and the eerie-looking George Couloris fits well in the role of the Exorcist.
Some people seem to dislike the somewhat bizarre first 5 minutes of the movie, but I actually found them to be highly atmospheric. In my opinion, the film got slightly less interesting in the second half, when some of the EXORCIST references became too obvious. The only real complaint one could have are the clumsy effects when objects and people are floating in the air; from today's point of view, they should probably just have left these sequences out, but then, any cult-cinema lover will be willing to look past that in the light of the great style, atmosphere and creepiness of the rest of the film. Overall, this is a very stylish slice of Satanic Horror and highly recommended by yours truly, especially to my fellow fans of Italian Horror.
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