In this re-edit of Lisa and the Devil (1973), a troubled priest attempts to exorcise the soul of an American tourist who has been possessed by the Devil after witnessing supernatural events at a Spanish villa.
Tourist Lisa Reiner faints on the street and is taken to hospital. She shows disturbing sings of demonic possession, so a priest, Father Michael, is brought in to perform an exorcism. However, he first tries to investigate how she became possessed by the devil in the first place. Despite the fact that her personality has now completely blended together with the demonic entity within her, she none the less tells him about the horrific experiences she lived through in the mansion of a twisted Spanish aristocratic family with a dark secret and the devil she met there.
Okay, so I saw 'House Of Exorcism' the re-edited version of Mario Bava's 'Lisa And The Devil' with the added cash in footage. I've heard great things about the original version, but I haven't yet had an opportunity to view it so I'm sticking with this, the "unauthorized" cut. Bava must have had mixed feelings about it seeing as his name has been removed as director. I can understand why, because I'm a little ambivalent about it myself. This is in many ways a confusing mess of a movie, but overall enjoyable enough and holds the interest until the end. Elke Sommer, who had previously worked with Bava on the uneven 'Baron Blood', plays an American tourist apparently possessed by the Devil. While being exorcised by a priest (Robert Alda), we cut to a series of events involving her being picked up hitch hiking and taken to a mysterious mansion populated by various nuts, not least of which is Leandro, the mysterious lollipop sucking butler (yep, you guessed it, Telly Savalas). This footage (recycled from the original 'Lisa And The Devil') is either hallucination or flashbacks or both, and Leandro may or may not be the Devil. It's all very hard to tell. Frankly, you won't even care. Even so, I enjoyed this movie even if it was incoherent most of the time. It may not be genuine Bava but it's a lot of fun, and I must admit I preferred it to 'Baron Blood'. Take from that what you will.
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