The Antichrist (1974)
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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
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 exploitation picture displays eerie horror , witchcraft , grisly killings , bestiality , satanism and lots of blood and gore . Most often films made to cash in on another hugely box-office ¨The Exorcist¨ tend to be inferior to the template but I have to say, as far as rip-offs of the Freidkin's classic go, ¨The Antichrist¨ is on the better end of the spectrum . Large cast with American actors working in Italy , such as Arthur Kennedy , Mel Ferrer , and George Colouris . Revolting , scary scenes and nasty images take place on orgy scenes with goat included . Packs luxurious scenarios with a lush corridor plenty of sculptures and careful cinematography showing glamorous sets by known Joe DÁmato , though cheesy special effects on the levitation scenes . Creepy and adequate to terror musical score composed by Ennio Morricone and conducted by Bruno Nicolai . The motion picture was regularly directed by Alberto De Martino . He's an Italian craftsman , working from the 60s in all kind of genres and B movies . As he directed Peplum (Secret seven , Spartan gladiators , Invincible gladiator , Valley of stone men) , Spaghetti Western (Django shoots first , Providence , Charge of seven cavalry) , Warlike (Dirty heroes) , European spy genre (OK Connery , Operation Lady Chaplin) , and Terror (Miami Golem , Horror , Holocaust 2000) , among others. Rating : acceptable and passable , though sometimes embarrassing .
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.
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