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Feodor Chaliapin Jr.
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Dr. Wendell Simpson is troubled surgeon with a nagging wife, named Carol, and stressful hospital job, who botches a surgery on an injured young man, named Johnny, who then dies under his care. The man's dangerously disturbed girlfriend, Jessica, abducts the doctor and holds him captive at her apartment and subjects him to mind games and sexual torture because she holds the doctor responsible for the death of her boyfriend which triggers hidden repressed memories about Jessica and Johnny's times together, while Dr. Simpson finds himself pervasively drawn to this strange young woman holding him captive. Written by
Lucio Fulci's name has become synonymous with gore; and that is unfortunate, as there's so much more to the great Italian director than just splatter flicks. The four pre-Zombi 2 Giallo films that Fulci made prove this, and there's enough other gems dotted throughout the man's filmography that go a long way towards proving it further; The Devil's Honey being one of them. This is a surprisingly restrained film considering the more famous Fulci flicks, although the lack of gore is somewhat made up for in nudity; as this film is certainly not short on that front. The first twenty minutes aren't a far cry away from being a porn film, and it's not until the first plot point that we realise Fulci does have actually have a story to tell. The plot follows a young man who has an accident (which is completely his own fault) and ends up on the operating table of Doctor Simpson, a man tormented by his nagging wife and questionable manhood. After the young man dies, poor old Doctor Simpson begins receiving irritating phone calls from a woman repeatedly asking why he let the man die. Before long, he finds himself the captive of the vindictive female.
It has to be said that the story plays out well, and while it's not exactly plot heavy; Fulci does a good job of keeping the sexual tension high, and that is highly beneficial since it's the main point of the movie. The film is bound to appeal to sadists and feminists alike, as much of the movie features the young women exacting her revenge on the man she blames for the death of her lover. The main intrigue comes from the relationship between the two leads, as although their acquaintance is based on hatred; they soon develop a perverse love for one another. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this film is the fact that the love doesn't come across as contrived! Fulci sets up the characters so well that it's easy to see how and why this relationship transpires as it does. The only real problem with the film is that Fulci spends a little too much time with flashbacks between the girl and her dead lover, and this takes the focus away from the girl and the doctor, which should always be kept at the forefront of the film. However, The Devil's Honey works well in spite of that and overall this little thriller is well worth seeking out! I'd also like to give a quick mention to the poem that the movie takes its title from, as like the rest of the film - it's rather good!
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