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Ring of Darkness (1979)

Un'ombra nell'ombra (original title)
Four women make a pact with the Devil. The 13-year-old daughter of one of them has begun to shown signs of a dark nature which causes preoccupation and somewhat regret on her mother.


Pier Carpi (as Peter Karp)


Pier Carpi (screenplay) (as Peter Karp), Pier Carpi (story) (as Peter Karp)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Heywood ... Carlotta Rhodes
Valentina Cortese ... Elena Merrill
Frank Finlay ... Paul
John Phillip Law ... Exorcist
Marisa Mell ... Agatha
Irene Papas ... Raffaella
Paola Tedesco ... Anna Merrill
Lara Wendel ... Daria Rhodes
Ian Bannen ... The Professor
Ezio Miani Ezio Miani ... Lucifer
Carmen Russo
West Buchanan West Buchanan ... Peter Rhodes
Marina Daunia ... Prostitute (as Marina D'Aunia)
Patrizia Webley Patrizia Webley ... Prostitute
Sofia Dionisio


Young women join a Satanic cult surrendering their will and bodies entirely to the Devil himself. Years later when they're older women, Carlotta, starts to lose control of her 13 year old daughter Daria, who starts to develop strong powers of her own, aware of her powers and with extreme devotion to The Devil she starts speaking and behaving in strange ways like casting spells and harming people with no remorse whatsoever. And her powers seem to increase exponentially every single day. In her desperation, Carlotta and some of her friends enlist the help of a priest with a crisis of faith to help them perform a strange ritual that will hopefully vanquish the evil out of Daria once and for all. Written by William Linares

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Parents Guide:

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Italy | UK



Release Date:

29 October 1979 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Satan's Wife See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When interviewed on set in 1977, director Pier Carpi angrily denied that his screenplay was inspired by The Exorcist (1973) and pointed out to the interviewer that he merely adapted his own novel "Un ombra nell'ombra" which he claimed to have written in the sixties but which, in fact, was published first in 1974. However, it is assumed that Carpi's original cut of the movie was considered too much unlike "The Exorcist" by the producers who thus ordered extensive re-cutting and re-shoots. See more »


Referenced in Pieces (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

"You mean having a child with Satan has it's negative aspects?"
3 March 2019 | by BezenbySee all my reviews

Eh, better just ignore or try not to think about Lara Wendel's date of birth when it comes to this film, which is labelled as an Exorcist rip-off but strikes me more like an Omen rip-off.

I'm not one to look down on people, but when you join up for a Satanic cult that involves a choreographed disco session followed by group sex with the Dark Lord himself, isn't it a bit naive to feel put out when the spawn of such a union turns out to have evil tendencies? What did they expect to happen?

Mother Anne Heywood is concerned that her daughter Lara Wendell is getting a bit lippy and argumentative and a bit too wise in the ways of Satanic rituals that no one's ever told her about, so she goes to see her three mates who also seemingly set up carnal relationships with Lucifer without thinking of the consequences. They also do this kind of South Central LA gang hand signal to each other which was pretty funny. Each of them regrets doing the nasty with the Anti-christ, including Irene Papas who has turned to prostitution to meet men, but fails every single time as Satan shows up scowling disapprovingly every time she's about to get busy. Not the best career choice. Get this though - even though they're all going on about how their children are acting up and being devilly, they still attend these black masses. Where's the commitment?

I'm not quite sure what he had to do with it all, but Ian Bannen shows up to put the moves on Anne Heywood while spouting garbage about 'the black and the light' but he pretty much high tails it once Satan shows up to stop anyone having any fun. While Lara somehow arranges the death of her stepfather (that big goofy looking guy from Cosmos: War of the Planets), Anne tries to stop her going full evil by asking high Priestess Mellisa Mel to get involved.

I know - it's confusing. Surely the intention of the coven or sect or whatever would be do to Lucifer's bidding and bring down society, so why are they getting all arsey when the kids start acting up, stealing dolls, rejecting dolls that are bought, burying finger nails, shouting and throwing stuff around, and killing their classmates for getting fresh? Were they just into it for the long cloaks and the dance sequences?

John Philip Law is brought in as a priest who does some dodgy acting at one point. Lara Wendell gets naked a lot which is quite disturbing due to her age and even has a nude Satan fight with her mum at the end. The whole things lacks gore and even scares, but is so bizarre and non-sensical in every way I couldn't help wonder what they were aiming for.

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