6.6/10
136
1 user 8 critic

Zirneklis (1992)

Nubile shut-in agrees to model for a strange artist as Virgin Mary. His sinister influence corrupts her repressed sexual urges causing her to have delusions and nightmares about a giant spider raping her. A priest tries to save her.

Director:

Vasili Mass
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Cast

Credited cast:
Romualds Ancans ... Old Man
Aurelija Anuzhite Aurelija Anuzhite ... Vita
Saulius Balandis Saulius Balandis ... Young Man
Liubomiras Laucevicius ... Albert (as Liubomiras Lauciavicius)
Mirdza Martinsone Mirdza Martinsone ... Mother
Algirdas Paulavicius ... Priest
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Storyline

A very Freudian psycho-sexual drama following a young beauty Vita, modeling for a painting of Virgin Mary. At her first visit to the studio of the shady artist Albert, Vita is caught in the net of his sinister universe. In a visually stunning sequence personages of Albert's paintings come to life and attack Vita. The girl breaks away only to realize she's now in the toils of some dark forces. Albert senses the awakening of Vita's libido, and by night occurs in the form of a giant spider and sexually possesses her. The film builds up to the final battle between good and evil, played out against Vita's sexual self-exploration. Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror

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Details

Country:

Latvia | Soviet Union

Language:

Latvian

Release Date:

17 April 1992 (Latvia) See more »

Also Known As:

Spider See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Deckrim,Rigas Kinostudija See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Vita and the Devil
20 October 2015 | by ShadowplayedSee all my reviews

The film starts with Freudian quote, talking about the repressed sexuality as the source of fear and neurosis.

Vita lives a secluded life with her mother and attends religious school. But her exceptional beauty, youth and purity won't go amiss, the renown painter gets interested in her and asks her pastor and spiritual guide to let him use her as model for Virgin Mary. Vita agrees to this, not knowing the artist is a dangerous and perverted man with sinister intentions. There's something dark and unsettling about the painter, and Vita will learn pretty soon the full extent of his fascination, he wants her body and he wants to corrupt her soul. He will haunt her in her dreams and stalk her relentlessly, there's something demonic about this guy. He is almost non human.

Of course, painter's obsession aside, this brief encounter awakens something in Vita, she starts fantasizing and experiencing sexual urges, so this is sort of coming of age story. Having been raised in religious environment, this is all so new for Vita, and she's confused and scared, but she gets some pleasure out of strange sexual nightmares. The most prominent one is the sexual encounter with the big spider, as the title suggests, and this will become light motive here. Soon, the film sets the stage for battle of wills between the strange man and priest, a war for Vita's soul.

What strikes me as interesting in all this is apparent ambiguity Vita displays, she doesn't seem scared although she keeps saying it, she doesn't seem a tortured soul although the painter relentlessly haunts her. She's happy go lucky, always with a big smile, very jovial, flirting with men she meets, but all in a very casual – 'unaware' – manner. As if she's completely aware of the effect her youth and beauty have on men, and as if she's not ashamed of her blooming sexuality. Which is, of course, in total contrast with her upbringing and strict family – we might call this film a sexploitation in many aspects.

I was pleasantly surprised with cinematography, the camera work and photography is at times exceptional and captures the mood perfectly. Breathtakingly beautiful main actress plays a big part in all this, she's a sight for sore eyes and as such perfect for the role. Outdoor shots – nature, cliffs, seaside, forest, castles and monastery – all very arty, breathe decadence and in the best tradition of Jean Rollin's typical settings or Andrzej Zulawski's early films with the touch of body horror in parts. Recommended, if you can locate it.


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