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Nero veneziano (1978)

A blind boy, who lives alone with his mean sister in a rundown hotel in Venice, receives a vision that warns him of the upcoming birth of the Antichrist. Soon, his sister mysteriously becomes pregnant.



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Stars: Michele Placido, Rena Niehaus, Flavio Bucci


Cast overview, first billed only:
Renato Cestiè ...
Rena Niehaus ...
Fabio Gamma ...
José Quaglio ...
Father Stefani
Ely Galleani ...
Christine's Friend
Angela Covello ...
Christine's Friend
Lorraine De Selle ...
Christine's Friend
Florence Barnes ...
Christine's Friend
Olga Karlatos ...
Madeleine Winters / Vicky's Mother / The Midwife on the ferry
Bettine Milne ...
Tom Felleghy ...
Martin Winters
Linda Larsen
Jacqueline Kluger
Francesca Bosco


Mark is a nice, young, blond teenage boy, who's blind and, as of recently, is suffering from disturbing visions. He lives with his cold, beautiful, older, blonde sister Christine and their strict, religious grandmother. When the grandmother dies in a freak accident caused accidentally by Mark, he and Christine go to live in a rundown hotel in Venice owned by their sickly aunt and depressed uncle. When the aunt dies, the uncle kills himself and the kids are left to their own devices. Christine takes charge and turns the place into a successful brothel. Then she suddenly becomes pregnant even though she's supposedly still a virgin. She also becomes meaner and meaner to the point of sadism towards Mark. Mark fears that all this has something to do with a disturbing vision he had about the birth of the Antichrist. Mark finds an ally in Giorgio, an artist and Christine's ex-boyfriend. They try to find out more about the mysterious hotel guest who calls himself Dan and who might be the ...

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Plot Keywords:

hotel | vision | uncle | boy | antichrist | See All (87) »


Horror | Mystery


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Release Date:

18 February 1978 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Blint offer i Venedig  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Venice - So Beautiful Even Satan Seems To Love It
29 March 2010 | by See all my reviews

Directed by Ugo Liberatore (who co-scripted Giorgio Ferroni's fantastic 1960 Gothic Horror film "Il Mulino Delle Donne Di Pietro" aka "The Mill of the Stone Women"), "Nero Veneziano" of 1978 is an elegant, creepy and bizarre occult flick which is sometimes unfairly called a 'rip off' of American films like "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Omen". This only makes sense if any film that has to do with the Antichrist released after the aforementioned films is automatically a rip-off (in which case one would also have to argue that all American Slashers are rip-offs of Italian Gialli like Bava's "Bay of Blood"). "Nero Veneziano", in my opinion, is not a rip-off. Also, some people seem to regard this film as a Giallo, which astonishes me since it simply isn't at all: There is no murder series or murder mystery here, but occult and supernatural Horror - Which makes it anything but a Giallo. While it is a worthwhile and elegant film it isn't a masterpiece either, as whereas the visual style is wonderful and the film's bizarre nature is fascinating, the flick also isn't too coherent, and it occasionally becomes a little lengthy in-between. Still, it is a compelling experience which my fellow fans of Italian Horror should not miss.

"Nero Veneziano" is terrifically set in Venice, which contributes a lot to the film's visual beauty. Mark (Renato Cestiè), a boy who has been blind for the last three years, is tormented by occasional gruesome and infernal visions. When the orphaned boy and his older sister Christine (Rena Niehaus) also loose their grandmother in a tragic event, Mark's disturbing visions turn out to be more than bizarre nightmares...

The film is visually beautiful and impressive, though the whole thing is bleak and the colors are kept very cold. Actually, the visual style somewhat reminded me of Pupi Avati's brilliant "La Casa Delle Finesetre Che Ridono" ("The House with the Laughing Windows"), though Avati's film is set in the countryside, and furthermore a masterpiece, which this film isn't in my opinion. Still the story is fascinating, though it has its holes. The film is rather slow-going, but includes a bunch of truly disturbing outbursts, such as Mark's violent visions. Leading actor Renato Cestiè, who was 15 when this film was made, is best known for playing child roles in older genre gems, such as Mario Bava's "Reazione a Catena" ("A Bay of Blood", 1971) and Sergio Martino's "I Corpi Presentano Tracce Di Violenzia Carnale" ("Torso", 1973). Rena Niehaus, who plays the female lead, might also be known to fans of Italian Exploitation/Cult cinema for starring in Epinardo Visconti's "La Orca" (1976) and the sequel "Oedipus Orca" (1977). Overall, this is a creepy and atmospheric occult horror film that is especially recommendable due to its elegant visual style and bizarre mood. Recommended.

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