The Visitor (1979) Poster

(1979)

User Reviews

Review this title
56 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
There's Nothing Like It
vorazqux23 January 2011
I understand how some (perhaps most) viewers found The Visitor an incoherent mess, but it may be due to poor editing since its U.S. release in 1979 which, evidently, was also released theatrically to international audiences. However, I am only speculating, but I do know the original Italian version is longer. That version may help to fill in the gaps and possibly extends some of the more emotional scenes in the film which have been severely cut. As I was watching The Visitor, I was disappointed at how abruptly some of these scenes concluded. I wanted and expected a deeper connection to the material and the characters. Regardless of these setbacks, the movie is unquestionably unique on many levels, and I didn't find it difficult to follow. Perhaps because it IS so outlandish, I enjoyed fitting the pieces together. There was never a dull moment with so many things happening throughout the course of the story line. The atmosphere was classic 70s style, and the acting was not bad at all despite (again) the poor editing.

The Visitor is an Omen copy to a degree, but instead of demonic forces at work, the film centers on an evil alien force. This alien force is actually an escaped prisoner named Zatteen, who finds refuge on Earth many years in the past after fleeing from a deadly battle in space. Before his eventual death, he impregnates a number of women, passing along his mutated genes and allowing his future offspring to possess telekinetic powers. Since Zatteen had evil intentions and only wanted to kill and destroy others, his children are of the same breed. In order to carry out his catastrophic deeds, a cohort of wealthy men led by Dr. Walker (Mel Ferrer) is assembled to ensure his plan of world domination succeeds. This mission is challenged when only one woman on the planet in the present day bears the ability to fertilize Zatteen's seed, and her name is Barbara Collins (Joanne Nail). Barbara has already given birth to Katie (Paige Conner), a now eight year–old daughter who shows us she is no angel with some of the wicked things she says and does. The cohort wants Barbara to give birth to a son so he can become the new Zatteen of his generation. This task of impregnating Barbara is given to Raymond Armstead (Lance Henriksen), who must convince her to marry him despite the fact she is unwilling to commit to marriage. Barbara, of course, does not realize she has the special gift of carrying Zatteen's seed in her womb, but she knows intuitively that something is wrong with Katie. That sets up the premise of The Visitor. Of course, there are birds that attack on command, a watchful babysitter (Shelley Winters), a police detective on Katie's trail (Glenn Ford), a mysterious butler, a Jesus–like character who tells tales of the evil Zatteen to a group of young bald–headed children, and the good–guy visitor himself (John Huston), who congregates his disciples on the roof of a large skyscraper. The first fifteen minutes of the film unravels the basis of the plot, but as the viewer, it's important to listen to the dialogue. A lot happens quickly.

Whether you like the film or find it a mess, to say it's not an entertaining effort would seem unfair. The only thing that really was annoying to me was part of the soundtrack dealing with the discotheque music. It was way over the top and out of place for this type of picture. I'm sure it fit the times and some people enjoyed it, but if the movie is to be taken seriously on any level, then that music has to go. If the movie was intended as hype – which doesn't appear to be the case – then the histrionic melody is warranted. On the other hand, the moody, ambient music was excellent, and the ending was solid. Give this cult classic a shot and be prepared to go on a strange journey of plot twists and turns. Watch it on a rainy day when you have the time or are feeling ambiguous and/or disconnected from the world. We all have those days sometimes. That's when The Visitor will leave you a little numb, confused, and scratching your head... but in a good way.
44 out of 47 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Utterly bizarre midnight movie with some charms
outdoorcats10 November 2013
This oddball midnight movie is getting a re-release and eventual DVD courtesy of the Alamo Drafthouse.

It's about an evil little girl, who is so evil that John Huston and his pacifist army of intergalactic bald yoga practitioners arrive from space to stop her. Meanwhile Lance Henriksen is the evil boyfriend of her clueless, innocent mother, who sold his soul to the satanic forces nurturing her in a Faustian bargain for...a basketball coach position.

Which leads to the early and highly memorable slo-mo basketball set-piece, easily one of the most unique choices of setting for a horror film sequence I've ever seen!

The atmosphere of this weird, weird film alternates between genuinely and oddly poetic (mostly thanks to the music), pure B-movie cheese, and unintentional hilarity. It's one of the strangest films I've ever seen, but that's not a bad thing in this case. If you give yourself over to its strange charms, this is some kind of consciousness-expanding experience.

Will you like it? There are folks who seek out these sorts of bizarre, unique B-movies. You know who you are. At the very least, you should this film an object of curiosity.

Somehow, and for some reason, John Huston, Glenn Ford, Franco Nero (as Jesus Christ), Shelley Winters, Lance Henriksen, Sam Peckinpah, Mel Ferrer and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are all in this movie.
27 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
I LUV this film!
franz6628 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I found this film in the bargain bin and sensed that it was a lost treasure and right i was! I understand why some people dislike it so, but I see it as a classic of its time. Its low-budget, gritty location-driven shooting is hardcore 70's style cinema, with a twist of manic Giallo style editing thrown in. It is the story of a visitor from a planet that was overtaken by storms so that their children had to become pure force, as shown in some fantastically composed sci-fi images of a lone planetscape and a chaotic sky that reminded me of "The Man Who Fell to Earth".

On earth a fiercely independent widowed mother does not want to marry the wealthy man who she's dating, which is a good thing because he's really working for a mysterious group of wealthy men who want her to have a son so that they may harness his powers for their own greed and corruption. Her pre-teen daughter Katie has these powers, is crazily talented at ice-skating and gymnastics, and also wants her mother to marry so she can have a brother. She cripples her mother during a bizarre birthday party scene so that her independence is at risk and she is forced to marry, but still the mother is determined to remain single. The Visitor (played by John Houston) intervenes in order to strip Katie of her evil urges and reclaim her as a force of good.

It does indeed sound confusing, but I had no problems in 2008 keeping up with its twisting plot, and appreciate the (by now) retro big screen TV and pong game that Katie's always playing, as well as the use of 1970's architecture, mod sci-fi imagery, and the use of birds as a recurring violent motif manifesting the alien powers. My only complaint is the music they chose... way too heavy.

Shelly Winters is awesome as the housekeeper keeping tabs on Katie and her emerging evil ways.
23 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
appealingly weird mish-mosh of aliens, evil businessmen, demonic children, and birds
FieCrier16 December 2004
Weird movie, but it appealed to me. It does have plot elements and maybe even scenes that are derivative of other movies, but it puts them in such a strange blend that it comes out pretty original.

The movie opens with an old man on a barren otherworldly surface. It goes from him to a man with his girlfriend and her daughter at a basketball game. He's the team's owner. The editing and music in the scene are odd. The music throughout the movie tends to be incongruously more energetic and dramatic that the scene itself or its context. The young girl lowers her glasses to look one of the players right in the eye. He manages a dunk in the last second, and the ball evidently explodes in fire or light as he does so.

The old man from the opening (I believe he is The Visitor) shows up in an airport carrying a passport where he is met by a man with a shaved head. He's taken to the roof of a skyscraper where there are lots of people wearing identical outfits all with shaved heads carrying up large gray boxes. Later, there are white screens on the roof, behind which people's shadows move.

The basketball team owner has boardroom meetings with mysterious men who are unhappy with him. He is to get married to his girlfriend and have a son, but he is not having much luck with that.

The little girl has a birthday party. She sees the old man there, but maybe he isn't really there. When she opens a box that should contain a toy peacock that talks in a creepy voice (we saw it being bought earlier), it instead has a handgun. She takes it out happily, and throws it on a table, where it goes off, shooting her mother. Her mother is rehabilitated as much as she can be, which is inter-cut with the girl doing gymnastics routines.

The girl's eyes sometimes seem to have a white light in the irises, and she seems to have power over birds. There is a memorable scene with a policeman (who she swears at like a sailor) on a highway when he encounters a bird.

Many more weird scenes follow! The end leaves things a bit of a mystery, to say the least. If your usual horror fare is a remake or the latest installment in a seemingly endless series, best to avoid this one.
28 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Why is Jesus visiting aliens?
lovecraft2312 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Italian exploitation and horror is known for a lot of things: strong atmosphere, striking visuals, nauseating gore, excellent music, exquisite cinematography-you know, the good stuff. Oh, and ripping off whatever was really big at the time. Two names come to mind in these cycles-one is Bruno Mattei, and the other is Ovidio G. Assonitis. Sure, he did produce the giallo classic "Who Saw Her Die?", but he's mostly known for producing, writing and directing films that ripped off "The Exorcist" ("Beyond the Door")." "Jaws" ("Tentacles", "Piranha II: The Spawning"), "Conan the Barbarian" ("Iron Warrior"), and other titles that were popular at the time. Well, in 1979, he put a whole lot of eggs in a basket to give the world "The Visitor", and the result is one of the most certifiably insane genre pictures I've ever seen.

The plot deals with an alien being (John Huston-yes, that John Huston), who must save an eight year old girl Katy Collins (Paige Conner), who has evil powers. Her mother Barbara (Joanna Nail) is dating basketball player Raymond Armstead (Lance Henriksen, proving he had been in bad movies for years), and wants to marry her. Also, evil businessman Dr. Walker (Mel Ferrer) has a specific interest in Katy, and wants Babara to produce another child, which Babs has no desire to do. Well, she ends up getting pregnant anyway, and Jerzy Colsowicz (the name the alien ends up taking) lets her know that the kid can't be born. Plus, he now finds himself fighting Katy and her falcon for the fate of the universe, and Django himself, Franco Nero shows up as Jesus Christ, though the wig he's wearing makes him look like a member of a Glam Rock band than the Lord. Also, why Christ is visiting aliens is beyond me, but then again, Jesus does love everyone.

I swear to God, I did not make any of this up. This all happens in the movie.

Directed by Giulio Paradisi (who served as a second unit director for Fellini's "8½"), "The Visitor" is completely out of it's gourd. Let's say somebody spent a few days watching an old Biblical Epic, "The Omen", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "Rosemary's Baby", "The Fury", "The Birds", "Star Wars" and "The Exorcist." After this movie binge, they thought "You know what would be awesome? If someone combined all of those movies!" This movie is the end result.

To be fair, the acting, cinematography and direction are all mostly good, but the movie in itself is a train wreck that you find yourself recommending to others even though it's bad. Even by the standards of Italian genre fare the plot makes no sense, it contains a largely inappropriate score, and is so unapologetic about the movies it's stealing from. Then there's the other appearances, with Sam Peckinpah, Glenn Ford and Shelly Winters all showing up, seeming to be confused as to why they are in this movie.

At the same time, there's nothing at all to hate about the movie. I mean, it's a bad movie, but it's also the kind of once in a lifetime viewing experience that anyone who says they love horror should see. There really is nothing else quite like this movie, and to pardon the cliché, it must be seen to be believed, even though you won't be able to make sense of anything that's happening on screen.
14 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
"Sateen was a mew-tant."
utgard1429 July 2014
The plot, as I hopefully understand it, is that Satan (or Sateen, as this film calls him) fathers children with supernatural powers. One of these children is 8 year-old Katy, who has telekinetic powers and a heavy Southern drawl. An intergalactic traveler called The Visitor must battle the child for the fate of the universe....or something like that. There's also some stuff about an evil hawk, some bald aliens, and a crazy-eyed Jesus with a bad blonde wig.

Nonsensical Italian-made claptrap that combines '70s fascinations with the occult and aliens. It's an awful movie that rips off many better movies, made watchable by some striking imagery and interesting casting. John Huston, Lance Henriksen, Sam Peckinpah, Mel Ferrer, Shelly Winters, and Glenn Ford are all in this. That says more about the state of their respective careers at the time than it does about the quality of this production. Incoherent but good for some laughs. Dig that terribly out of place soundtrack, too.
22 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Weird and Confusing
carflo13 May 2004
I am relieved to know that other people found The Visitor as confusing as we did. Over the years, whenever my husband and I have had some reason to mention this movie, we always call it "That weird movie with Jesus in a turtleneck." We spent hours afterwards trying to understand the plot; we never got as far as even trying to understand the meaning.

We went to see because it had such a good cast. The previews suggested it had a supernatural theme, which appealed to us. It was a mistake. We should have stayed home and rotated the mattresses.

I can watch really bad movies without a shudder. I even rather like very bad movies. But The Visitor is in a class by itself. It made absolutely no sense - none. I have read that part of the problem is bad editing. I would hope so. I hate to think that so many fine actors would waste their time on this mess as it is.
36 out of 53 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
I challenge anyone to make sense of this movie!
Wizard-813 July 2003
I find it hard to believe any U.S. distributor would actually take the time to release this to theaters, though the IMDb says that more than one handled this movie in theatrical release! True, the movie boasts an all-star cast, though looking at their brief screen time, it seems just about all these stars knocked off their scenes in not more than a couple of days.

It must be noted that the U.S. print is cut; I've heard from one source that the Italian print does make somewhat more sense. All I can do is judge this particular cut - which makes NO sense at all! People make schemes that are never explained, weird things happen for seemingly no purpose at all... it's a BIG mess! One example is with Italian superstar Franco Nero, who (because of the editing) only gets to appear for about 30 seconds at the end of the movie!

I will admit that at the very least you can salvage a decent number of unintended laughs. Not only is the movie so insane and incoherent that you can't help but laugh out loud, there are some individual delirious scenes that are wacked-out as well. The skating rink scene... John Huston impersonating a babysitter... John Huston playing pong with the mysterious girl (though it's clear that it's a one player pong game on the TV screen)... Shelley Winters overacting... and more. It's not a constantly hilarious experience, and you're bound to get frustrated to a degree with the garbled storyline, but the experience can't be seen as a total loss as well.
31 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A gloriously ludicrous mess
Woodyanders16 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Gleefully eschewing standard notions of narrative coherence and overall quality in favor of a thoroughly preposterous, but still oddly fascinating and sometimes downright hilarious sci-fi/horror combo of disparate elements from such notable famous cinematic landmarks as "The Omen," "Rosemary's Baby," and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," this entertainingly absurd howler tells the outré tale of creepy eight-year-old kid Katy Collins (an effectively wicked portrayal by Paige Conner), a nasty little brat who's really some kind of malevolent alien with dangerous and destructive psychic powers. Katy wants to get her fiercely resilient and resourceful crippled mother Barbara (a sound and sympathetic performance by the lovely Joanne Nail) pregnant so she can have a brother to eventually mate with (yes, you read that correctly). It's up to mysterious saintly extraterrestrial visitor Jerzy Colsowicz (none other than John Huston, who somehow manages to retain his dignity amid the rampant silliness) to stop Katy by bringing her back to her home planet. Director Giulio Paradisi and screenwriters Luciano Cornici and Robert Mundi treat the hopelessly inane premise with jaw-dropping misguided seriousness, thereby ensuring a wealth of precious unintentionally gut-busting moments (sidesplitting campy highlights include Katy using her special abilities to thwart a basketball game, an attack by killer falcon, Katy clobbering several teen boy bullies on an ice rink in a shopping mall, and a totally off-the-wall psychedelic light show climax involving a flock of pigeons). The amazing all-star international cast play the ridiculous material completely straight: Glenn Ford as the meddlesome Detective Jake Durham (the scenes with Katy cursing Durham out are simply priceless!), Lance Henriksen as ruthless basketball coach Raymond Armstead, Shelley Winters as batty housekeeper Jane Phillips, Mel Ferror as sinister physician Dr. Walker, Sam Peckinpah as friendly abortionist Dr. Sam Collins, and an unbilled Franco Nero as a blond-haired Christ figure. Franco Micalizzi's funky-throbbin' disco score and the tacky (not so) special effects further add to this messed-up movie's considerable cruddy charm. Ennio Guarnieri's glossy cinematography gives the picture an attractive sparkling look and makes neat occasional use of strenuous slow motion. A complete loopy riot.
11 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Below average fantasy movie with bizarre events and a good but wasted cast
ma-cortes25 November 2018
Affluent handsome doctor Raymond : Lance Henriksen and a powerful businessmen : Mel Ferrer, among others , conspire with grisly devil worshippers to conceive a devil child from a gorgeous divorced woman called Barbara : Joanne Nail . As the soul of a pre-teen : Paige Connor who has dangerous telekinetic powers becomes the prize in a violent fighting between two great forces , on a hand : God : Franco Nero assisted by Jerzy : John Huston and on the other hand , a nasty devil : Lance Henriksen along with hoodlums.

This is a strange film with suspense, thrills, chills, intrigue, demonic children and fantastic happenings. The picture takes parts here and there of famous films , as it catches scraps from The Exorcist by William Friedkin, The Omen by Richard Donner, The fury by Brian De Palma, Encounters of the third phase by Steven Spielberg and even The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. The main amusement and excitement result to be the discovery about the images in which the movie is ripped off. The flick has a lot of absurd and embarrassing scenes and several thrilling set-pieces don't make sense. Support cast is frankly excellent with brief appearances of known actors and directors as Franco Nero, John Huston, Shelley Winters, and Glenn Ford as a detective who is attacked by birds at a thrilling scene. And filmmaker Sam Peckinpah who had problem remembering his lines and only worked a day.

Rare and anticlimatic musical score by Franco Micalizzi. Atmospheric but mediocre cinematography by Ennio Guarneri. The movie was produced by Samuel Z Arkoff from American International, though uncredited, and by Ovidio G Assonitis . Ovidio wrote, produced and directed a lot of B films, some of them were successful, such as Tentacles, Piranha 2, Choke Canyon, Lambada, Sonny boy, Out of control and Beyond the door.

The motion picture was lousily directed by Giulio Paradisi who uses the pseudonym Michael J Paradise. He has directed a few films such as Spaghetti story, Adventure in Montecarlo, Tesoro mio, and Ragazzi di Borgate. And he was a director assistant to Federico Fellini in classy titles as Fellini 8 1/2 and La dolce vita. Rating 4 /1o, inferior fantasy, Science fiction movie.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
THE VISITOR (Giulio Paradisi and, uncredited, Ovidio G. Assonitis, 1979) {Edited Version} ***
Bunuel197623 January 2010
Whatever one thinks of the movie itself, it cannot be denied that BEYOND THE DOOR (1974) was a highly successful property and when THE OMEN (1976; my own personal favorite of the three major diabolism films of that era) came along, it was almost a given that Ovidio G. Assonitis (aka Oliver Hellman) would contemplate something similar for the Italian market. However, he was anticipated in this by director Alberto De Martino's HOLOCAUST 2000 aka THE CHOSEN (as it was originally released in the U.S.) and RAIN OF FIRE (under which title it has recently been released on R1 DVD) – whereas Assonitis had, with his own BEYOND THE DOOR (1974), preceded De Martino's THE ANTICHRIST (1974) virtually by a couple of weeks! Even so, Assonitis went ahead with his project and, not to be outdone, he concocted a truly bizarre but fascinating mélange of horror and sci-fi that also throws in for good measure elements from THE BIRDS (1963), ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968), THE EXORCIST (1973), GOD TOLD ME TO (1976), CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) and even DAMIEN: OMEN II (1978)! The cherry on the cake, however, was the fact that he somehow managed to rope in a stellar cast of Hollywood notables to give life to his ungodly premise: John Huston (in the enigmatic title role), Glenn Ford (as an ill-fated police detective), Mel Ferrer (as a sinister surgeon and chairman of a mysterious conglomerate), Shelley Winters (thankfully less obnoxious than usual as a maid-protector), Lance Henriksen (as the Faustian father who apparently sells his soul – and wife – merely to become a successful basketball coach!), Sam Peckinpah (remarkably restrained, glimpsed only in profile and in semi-darkness to boot, as an abortionist – but, apparently, he was drunk and cocaine-addled on the set!) and even an uncredited Franco Nero (as, ostensibly, Jesus Christ and a blond one at that)!! Despite his surprisingly brief time on screen, Ford comes off best from among his colleagues and I particularly enjoyed his altercations with the demonic and foul-mouthed child (the excellent Paige Conner – with gleaming eyes and, obviously doubled, turning occasionally into a faceless 'monster' – who, going effortlessly from sweet to sinister, undoubtedly delivers one of the best child performances in this type of film); another good turn is given by Joanne Nail as her long-suffering mother who, among other things, is left half-paralyzed and wheelchair-bound after a gunshot wound accidentally fired by her own daughter; is abducted and artificially impregnated by an 'alien' bunch inside a truck parked down a darkened tunnel; eventually, her offspring contrives to push the woman straight into a large aquarium in slo-mo (just as Winters has finished assuring her that no harm will come to her while she is around)! It would be virtually impossible to describe the decidedly mystifying plot in a few words, so I will just concentrate on a series of images that remained with me since my viewing of the film: the pre-credits sequence in which a cassock-wearing Huston, seemingly in Heaven or at least another planet, prepares to face up to his enemy; the opening scene set in a basketball court in which the leading player of Henriksen's opponents (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) is literally 'exploded' by Conner's gaze prior to his netting the winning ball!; Conners showing her deadly ice-skating abilities by sending several leering male kids to their doom; the setting-up of Huston's rooftop base by an army of bald-headed acolytes; the surreal chasing of Conner by the latter in Peckinpah's dilapidated clinic; Ford's eye-gouging by Conner's pet falcon and subsequent fiery demise; babysitter Huston dueling with his charge-quarry Conner via a now-primitive video-game; later still, her attempt to do the old man in by literally dropping a stairway on top of him (flattening a shop in the process) a' la THE OMEN's unforgettable falling glass-plate; followed shortly by their showdown inside a hall of mirrors (borrowed, no doubt, from Orson Welles THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI {1948}); the landing of the spaceship in downtown Atlanta; the climactic – and apparently elliptical –'cleansing' attack of a flock of pigeons (standing in for the proverbial doves); the epilogue in which the monk-like Huston brings a seemingly reformed bald-headed Conner in Nero's celestial abode of equally head-shaven children. Strangely enough, it is never explained why the villainous sect need a boy 'heir' when Conner is clearly being such a good {sic} ambassador of Evil on Earth (incidentally, obscure director Paradisi walked off the film which was subsequently completed by producer Assonitis) but, luckily, Franco Micalizzi's alternately funky and eerie score and the occasionally striking visuals smooth over such inconsistencies. In fact, it would be very easy to bash STRIDULUM (whatever that means, it is how THE VISITOR is known – if at all – on its home-ground given that it has never been shown on TV in my neck of the woods) as a desperately derivative and incoherent mess but, frankly, I found it far too enjoyable and weird to be dismissed. For the record, I watched an acceptable (albeit full-frame) VHS-sourced copy of the 90-minute English-language U.S. theatrical version but, since most of the cast is American anyway, this is the right way to watch it; still, apparently, the Italian edition is slightly longer and features an alternate version of the scenes featuring Peckinpah! Although an Italian DVD edition is currently available, as a result of this surprisingly satisfactory first viewing – emulating a similar experience I had in a previous Halloween Challenge with the equally maligned William Castle production, BUG (1975) – I am now looking forward to that long-rumored, fully-loaded R1 DVD from Code Red that promises to offer the longest ever available version (108 minutes) of this unique gem!
11 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
How to Waste a Promising Story With Horrible and Confused Screenplay and Direction
claudio_carvalho4 May 2005
An evil force called Zatteen fertilizes many women from Earth with his seed before being eliminated, and their children inherit and perpetuate his power. Barbara Collins (Joanne Nail) is the last woman on Earth with this gift, and her daughter Katy Collins (Paige Connor) has an evil telekinetic power. A battle between good and evil forces settles on Earth. "The Visitor" has a very promising story and a great cast, with names such as John Huston, Glenn Ford, Shelley Winters, Sam Peckinpah and Lance Henriksen. I bought this unknown VHS expecting a great movie. However, the screenplay and the direction are horrible and completely confused, and it is impossible to understand many parts of the story. The characters are also horribly developed, and in the end, this movie is a complete mess. My vote is three.

Title (Brazil): "Herdeiros da Morte" ("Inheritors of the Death")
15 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Unwelcome visitors and lost acting talents.
Coventry22 October 2007
What do Jesus Christ, a foul-mouthed 8-year-old girl with malicious powers, a flock of evil birds and the owner of the Atlanta basketball team have in common? This riddle sounds like the set-up for a lame joke, and that happens to be also the best way to describe "The Visitor": a lame, bad, drawn-out and overlong joke! The biggest mystery to unravel here is WHY so many terrific and experienced actors got lured into signing up to star in this cinematic mess! The cast includes John Huston, Sam Peckinpah (both prominent directors themselves), Lance Henriksen, Glenn Ford, Mel Ferrer, Franco Nero and Shelley Winters. The plot is impossible to summarize, mainly because there are too many story lines and it really doesn't make the slightest bit of sense as a wholesome. The whole thing reverts back to the ancient battle between good and evil, fought out on earth. No less than Jesus Christ is giving us insight (if you can call it that) in the situation, and then he sends out an elderly angel to Atlanta, because that's where the final earthly descendant of the evil sorcerer Zathaar lives. The visiting angel's mission (I think) is to prevent that the woman, named Barbara, bares another child and he drastically succeeds. Then he still has to bring back her other daughter, the sinister Katy, back to the heavens. And there are birds. Lots and lots of birds. "The Visitor" is truly bizarre, but not in a positive way. Many of the action sequences and murderous accidents are clearly inspired by "The Omen" and perhaps the whole concept is even derived from that classic, as well as from "Rosemary's Baby". That would make this film the most ambitiously complex and admirably disguised rip-off ever made, but still a failure nevertheless. There are two notably powerful sequences, one involving an awkward during the young girl's birthday party and the other being the painful death-ride of the investigating police officer. "The Visitor" is an unbearably pretentious film, ridiculously plotted and remarkably boring considering the overload of story elements. The screenplay often feels incomplete and very incoherent. The fantasy elements are beyond lame and the special effects wouldn't even impress a 4-year-old. The cover-image displayed here on the website looks creepy and intriguing, but sadly like in too many cases, it's utterly irrelevant. Trust the rating and user-comments in this particular case: you do not want to see this junk
17 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
The most overlooked, underrated film in history
Pookie-1010 September 2002
Truly it saddens and astounds me how few comments (save ONE) of The Visitor are so drastically poor and give the impression of a commonly terrible low budget waste of time. Am I experiencing reality on such a drastically different

level or are people so cinematically ignorant it really

makes little sense to even bother living in this world (or this dimension) anymore? This film is brilliant beyond words. I repeat, this film is brilliant beyond words. Perhaps most of the viewers in here had only seen the badly chopped incomplete version of this film? (later released on video by HBO) If so it's an absolute tragedy,

the later video release had missing shots in sequences

which were among the best.

Ok, so this isn't an 'intelligent' 'coherent' prominently

received film in the realm of Friedkins Exorcist or Donners' Omen. I can say one thing, it is every bit as

entertaining and brilliant in it's own way. Why can't people see art for what it is? There are so many different forms of it. Is this a planet of completely inept, insipid, ignorant, robotically conformed brainwashed humans?
23 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
The Visitor
kosmasp14 June 2020
With guests like that ... although is a visitor a guest? Is the visiting part implying that he or she has to automatically be a guest? If I confused you with this, wait til you watch the movie. You ain't seen nothing yet ... but jokes aside, this is quite the ride and movie. Great actors, interesting effects (for a low budget movie of the time that is) and a wild script. Although even the screenwriter is quite unable to explain anything (as seen on the specials of the disc I own).

The stories told (unfortunately just a few) on the making of this, cry for a making of or even a full on documentary about the making of this. It may be even better than the movie on display here - actually many would argue that it would for sure be better. Horror and Science Fiction mixed, a weird uncredited Franco Nero appearance .. there are so many things going, most of them not making any sense. I guess Omen would be a close relative, even if the Exorcist is being name checked by Lance Henriksen about the reason this was made ... Crazy and unsettling for sure. And not everyones cup of tea ...
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Incompetent nonsense with well-known cast.
HumanoidOfFlesh17 April 2008
Kathy Collins is no ordinary eight year old girl.Indeed,she is unique,carrying within her the power of Sateen,an inter-spacial force of immense magnitude.Katy's primary mission on Earth is to carry these genes forward,a task accomplished by convincing her mother Barbara to bear a similarly endowed male child with whom Kathy would eventually mate."The Visitor" makes no sense.It plays like insane mix of such occult films as "Rosemary's Baby","The Exorcist" and "The Omen" but also a tribute to such sci-fi classics as "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".There are so many disconnected plot elements for example aliens wandering through the desert,giant green clouds billowing up from nowhere or the sky turning the color of blood,but the action is fast paced and some surreal images are quite psychedelic.6 out of 10.
9 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
freaky movie
pigeonsoflondon27 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This freaky movie freaked me out. If you love scenes of old men walking down stairs you'll love this movie. Thank you to the sound editor for playing sexy music during the discussion about abortion. The apparent mime camp on the roof was fascinating. And how about that Jesus guy on that heaven planet. Also, seemingly all children are bald in heaven. There's a lot of graphic beak stabbing viewer discretion is advised. This movie proves that you can get about with just about anything is you put on a freaky accent.I do not approve of the inappropriate angles during the gymnastic scenes. This movie was freaky and had some major flaws.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
The city of Atlanta may want to take this title off its resume...
moonspinner556 November 2017
Italian-American co-production (filmed in both Rome, Italy and Atlanta, Georgia!) is a too-fancy, strenuously arty supernatural thriller with echoes of both "The Exorcist" and "The Omen", featuring a faintly-bemused star cast who, in the words of co-star Lance Henriksen, signed on merely "to get a free trip to Rome." Cherubic pre-teen girl with psychic powers--into gymnastics, ice-skating and shooting her own mother at a birthday party--could be just one of many evil children produced by an ancient alien force waiting for its chance to wreak terror upon the world. Even for those who are able to follow the murky preamble, it may be difficult to ascertain who is good and who is rotten in this picture. The child's mother, now paralyzed, is dating the owner of a professional basketball team who appears to be part of a secret Satanic sect; they want him to impregnate the woman with a male child to mate with her daughter, thereby resurrecting the evil force in human form...but what if she got pregnant with another girl? Calling Dr. Spock! John Huston (sly and crafty as ever, even in these chaotic circumstances) plays some kind of disciple sent to Earth to monitor the girl's actions (at one point posing as her babysitter!). There's also a maid (Shelley Winters), sent by "the agency", who dresses all in black; a detective (Glenn Ford) who investigates mom's "accident" and is attacked by a maniacal bird; and mom's ex-husband (Sam Peckinpah!) who aborts her unwanted fetus. A misbegotten venture, ludicrous and at times laughable, though one must give credit to director Michael J. Paradise (aka Giulio Paradisi): it certainly isn't boring. *1/2 from ****
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
GAWD awful
winstonnc-113 July 2005
"The Visitor" holds a rare distinction: of the thousands of films I've seen as a paying moviegoer and paid critic, it is probably the one at the VERY bottom of the barrel. Compared to this, "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and other Ed Wood movies come across as masterpieces of celluloid art. A weird Italian-American ripoff of the horror/sci-fi cycle of the '70s (from "Omen" to "Close Encounters"), this movie looks as though it was made by a hallucinating crew that tossed the old script and started with a new one every day. There is virtually no continuity - and most of the big Hollywood names apparently working for scale and by the day (Shelley Winters, John Huston, Glenn Ford, Sam Peckingpah, etc.) stagger very briefly about looking hung over and very confused. For years, I thought my dim recollections of this movie were a bad dream; but IMDb proves I actually DID sit through this, ah, epic. The most vivid memory I have of it, for some reason, is Shelley Winters doing a perky rendition of "Shortn'ng Bread." Nelson Eddy must have spun in his grave - and if was dead yet, that probably killed him!
13 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
This One Is for the Birds!
BaronBl00d27 December 2005
I am...to reference another viewer's shocked remarks at how one could say anything defamatory about this film...appalled at just the opposite. This film is in a word quite ludicrous. The film opens with John Huston in another world needing to come down and bring back a child. We then meet the kid and her mother and the man who wants to marry her. Yes, there is a lot of religious allegory here. Just because allegory is used does not make this profound or deep. It isn't. It has a story with many, many flaws. Lack of coherence being the biggest. Characters are never fully explained. Motivation for characters are never fully explained. Scenes cut from one to another with virtually no transition. The editor for this film must have been either blind or drunk. It is so choppy and incoherent at times as to suggest that several men directed it. Ovidio Assonitis, you might remember the brain behind such great films like Beyond the Door(Chi Sei) and Piranha II: The Spawning, wrote this Italian rubbish whilst another gets "credit" for directing it. I will concede that had more effort been given to fleshing out the story and had the producers picked a real editor and had a real score been made for the film rather than that awful 70s-like soundtrack used and had some more realistic special effects other than blue screens and the like been used - then, yes, this might have been somewhat decent. But you know what? They didn't. What we have here is a weird, highly implausible, very incoherent picture with a cast of famous actors looking quite foolish. John Huston looks quite grandfatherly as the man/angel(?) coming to Earth to find this child. Huston looks lethargic and weary. After having seen this film, he had every right to look and feel that way. Maybe they should have asked him for some advice with direction. Hey, Sam Peckinpah has a small role too. With all that experience why not ask? What could it have hurt? The young actress playing the bratty child is Paige Conner, and she does quite well as an annoying kid you want to see flee the screen as soon as possible. She emits profanity, a trademark Assonitis used with other child actors in Chi Sei with equal ability, with ease to Glenn Ford in what can only be termed as a throw-away role. Shelley Winters is here as some important person. God only knows who. She sings "momma's gonna make shortening bread" about ten times and slaps the kid in the face. Mel Ferrer and Lance Henrikson play heavys. Johanne Nail plays the mother, and she goes through so much that in any other film she would have been dead after the first reel. In here she is shot, paralyzed, pushed into a gigantic fish tank, pulled and then dropped down stairs, and is choked with wire. Oh, and by the way, she manages to be impregnated and have an abortion too. What a woman! Nail, to her credit, is pretty good as she does manage to keep a straight face throughout. Pity, I wasn't able to. Many scenes stand out as being quite absurd. My favorites are: the girl skating on ice like a maniacal Dorothy Hamil and the bird scene where death from above takes the form of pigeons with a vengeance. A totally ridiculous film in every sense. And yes, Franco Nero does indeed have a cameo at the end as some kind of Christ figure. Ooh! That was awfully clever huh? Phew!
8 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
104 minute "uncut" version
kneefour12 April 2010
After years of searching for The Visitor, I just watched a cleaned up version of the 104 minute cut. Shelley Winters was hilarious, the music was kinda cool, and there were some funny choppy moments. There's really nothing else good about this movie. Most of the scenes led to nothing substantial and ended abruptly. After watching it, I realized I'm over rip-offs of good horror movies - Demon Witch Child, Beyond the Door, I Don't Want to be Born. After years of researching and looking for odd movies like Stridulum, I'm over them. Most of them have funny moments and some interesting images, but I'll be watching the classics next time.
6 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
A b-minus film that should have been a blockbuster of it's time.
CanadianBill26 July 2014
I grabbed this film off of TCM onto my DVR, and am I ever glad I did. But not for the reasons you might think. I'm glad because I now had the benefit of 'fast-forward' functionality. You'll wish you had fast-forward as well if you decide to watch 1979's "The Visitor", trust me.

I won't get much into what the movie is about, or rant about all the easily fixable 'goofs' that occur. What tortured me the most about this film most was the much-misplaced and utterly cheesy 70's 'action flick' music score, and the endless extraneous scenes. Utterly needless scenes that include shot after shot of walking, driving, buildings and passing scenery, actors saying nothing and looking all 'introspective' or just plain confused. Probably as confused as we the viewers.

Add to all that a patchwork of fair-to-weak acting (with a small few rays of sunshine here or there), lame effects that could have been done so much better even in '79, and an overall storyline that could have been a lot stronger with some solid writing changes and you have a pseudo-sci-fi-horror flick that might best be suited for viewing at a drive-in theatre. You know, a place where people are often looking away from the screen for... one reason or another. Because there is so much run-on footage in this movie that even if you only catch half of it you'll pretty much get all you're going to get from it anyway. And sadly that isn't much.

2 out of 10, and that's being generous. It's a movie that had potential but didn't come close to reaching it. But do see it for yourself. As bad as I think it is some do really get off on this type of bad. You may be one of them.
7 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Ummm... What??
dracforever8 April 2018
If there was a plot to this movie, I have no clue what it was. Seemed to me that there was not an iota of continuity to this film. Maybe I am just not esoteric enough for this one. View it if you must, but be forewarned, it will be time spent you will never be able to reclaim in your life.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
The Visitor should of stayed longer and explained a bit more...
Aaron13757 May 2020
I have always heard that this film is a bit hard to understand and incoherent, I have to say I agree a bit. A movie where if they could have just cleared up a few things it would have been a much better film. Seriously though, there are many perplexing things going on as they seem to be doing almost an Omen type film with a dash of other horror films and science fiction movies to give it a very unique flavor and they succeeded as it is rather unique. Still, a movie needs to tell a story and in that regard a lot of things seem to happen upon the screen that are none of the viewers business.

The story, well this is tough, a man meets a girl in a strange empty world. If I had to guess, this is how the main guy played by John Huston figured out what form evil had taken. A guy talks to a class of children with shaved head and the man enters and says that she is 8. Then we are at a basketball game where the girl makes her team win by blowing up a basketball as Lance Henrickson looks on. He seems to belong to some evil organization that needs the mother of the evil girl to have another child. The girl manages to shoot her mother which looks like an accident and Shelly Winters works as a housekeeper since the mother is paralyzed and she is there to protect the mother, but she does a rather poor job. Weird stuff abounds, I seriously can't give much away because it is a rather bizarrely structured story.

The cast is good and we get some nice visuals, but the story is so random and hard to follow at times. At times I was wondering if the little girl was in league with the evil corporation as they wanted the mother to have another child, but shooting the mother would not be a good way to accomplish that. Then they show the girl smiling as the corporation comes for the mother. This is like a film that could use another 15 to 20 minutes to clear up things!

So, this film is interesting that's for sure, but also a lot confusing. In the end, just think Omen and Exorcist combined with a hint of Star Wars thrown in. The little girl is evil and John Huston must stop her. Why are there birds with knives in them and why the girl who can make things explode and is evil not use her powers against her enemies more is beyond me. However, you will not be bored watching this film so it is worth checking out!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
The Visitor (1979)
fntstcplnt17 November 2019
Directed by Michael J. Paradise. Starring John Huston, Joanne Nail, Paige Conner, Lance Henriksen, Glenn Ford, Mel Ferrer, Shelley Winters, Franco Nero, Sam Peckinpah. (R)

Cosmic Christ (Nero) sends intergalactic emissary Huston to Earth to prevent a child of Zatteen (aka, Satan) from being born and eventually coupling with a naughty telekinetic girl (Conner)--or something like that, based on the bizarre plot details that hardly make a lick of sense. If that description doesn't pique one's interest, take a look at the cast list, and rest assured that director Michael J. Paradise is an alternate name for Giulio Paradisi--what actors won't do for a trip to Italy! (Some of it was shot in Atlanta, so maybe they were also Braves fans?) A film that defies easy categorization beyond aggressive "homage" (ripoff) of a dozen 60s and 70s horror and sci-fi hits before it ("The Omen," "Carrie," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "The Birds," "The Exorcist," etc.). It's all a grab-bag of incoherent nonsense, of course; assembled as puzzle pieces that rarely fit together and photographed on celluloid periodically laced with LSD. But if appreciated on a so-what-if-it's-bad-at-least-it's-not-boring level, there's some howling fun to be had. Nice use of distinctive locations and architecture; Conner's sassy but murderous falcon steals all of its scenes.

39/100
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed