An old witch seeks vengence through the daughter of the politician who had her thrown in jail. Soon the little girl's head is spinning around, and an old priest is called in to perform an ... See full summary »
An old witch seeks vengence through the daughter of the politician who had her thrown in jail. Soon the little girl's head is spinning around, and an old priest is called in to perform an exorcism. Written by
These kind of movies are usually dismissed as "Exorcist" rip-offs, which is not entirely accurate as they often lacked the budget and talent to "rip-off" a mega-budgeted Hollywood spectacle like "The Exorcist" even if they wanted to. What they really did was take advantage of all the notoriety and publicity surrounding the American film to make something that usually wasn't any good, but was often a lot more original than they have been given credit for. An old gypsy witch is accused of kidnapping a baby. After she dies in custody, her daughter arranges for her soul to possess the neglected young daughter of the local magistrate. Like Ravin in "The Exorcist" the possessed young girl floats in the air and starts speaking in foul-mouthed, adult voices, but she is also far more active, leading the sacrifice of the kidnapped baby to Satan, and luring the male lover of her governess to a park where she kills him,castrates him, and gives his genitalia to his poor girlfriend as a present! Her eventual exorcist meanwhile, like Father Damien Karras, is a local priest facing a crisis of conscience, but a far more ridiculous one--a woman he earlier jilted for the priesthood has become a prostitute.
I, in no way, want to imply that this is a good movie. Amando Ossorio has become somewhat of a cult director, but while he may handle atmospheric horror well in his "Blind Dead" series (or even the much-maligned "Night of the Sorcerers"), he is well out of his element here with this kind of more visceral horror. The script is (obviously)very stupid, the special effects are generally inept, and the atrocious English dubbing makes the whole thing completely risible. The movie should be commended though for its originality (relatively speaking)and its sheer audacity (the infanticide, the castration etc.). Most of the objectionable material, it should be said, is done off-screen (probably more due to budget limitations and censorship than good taste), but it unusual to broach such disturbing subject matter at all in a commercial film. The make-up on the little girl is also pretty good, and is aided greatly by the fact that the young actress looked pretty creepy (and a lot like the old witch) to begin with.
So does all this add up to a recommendation? Well . . . I guess if you like these "Exorcist" rip-offs like I do, you could do worse.
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