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Friday, September 10, 2010

Enter the Devil (1974) - Horror exorcism

Enter the Devil (1974) - If there is one thing that can be said for Italian movie making in the 1970's when an idea got popular they jumped both feet into the fray. While "The Exorcist" was making money in the States, there were a string of exorcism movies put out in Italy. This entry into it is a decent to poor example. The earlier reviewed "The Antichrist" is a better example of these films. In this particular film a religious artifact is brought to the place Danila (Stella Carnacina) works restoring art, or being a student, it is not clear with the poor dubbing. The artifact is possessed and soon we have hallucinatory scenes where young Danila starts having sexual encounters with the devil. Not all at once but each building and more overt. Tied into this is Danila seeing her Mother, Luisa having violent sex with a lover, being struck with the thorny stems of roses, all in a sexual nude way. Suggesting that Danila is somehow disturbed and maybe the possession story is really about the psychological effects of what she saw. Certainly she notice her parents are not really loving with each other. When her sexualized episodes become more disturbing she thrashes about coming on to her father who is disgusted. Then an episode with Stigmata that comes with a hallucination of being nailed to a cross by the devil. In the end the devil has sex with her and we can say from that point she seems possessed. Stella Carnacina is a stunningly beautiful woman but the makeup people do a great job at uglying her up for the possession scenes.
The family consults doctors and psychiatrists before taking her to a remote Italian village for an exorcism. She escapes her room and runs about the village for a good long time before being found by the search party.
When the first exorcism attempt comes it is way too short and anticlimactic. Some wind to keep the priest away. She attacks him as he prays over him, the devil talks to Danila saying she should seduce the priest. She rubs against him now her beautiful looking sexy self instead of the dark eyed possessed girl. He pushes her away and leaves. "Abomination." he yells at her laughter.
No another heavy handed scene where the priest conduct self flagellation bringing the viewer back to the idea of pain and sex because this is just after Danila tried to seduce him. So he must have felt something and was now punishing himself. He prays for strength.
Danila in her room has a conversation with the devil who encourages her to go after the priest and beat him. He thinks that this victory would be grand. Amazingly Danila's room is not locked and she walks out into the courtyard as the priest comes to finish the job. He prays at her and she gets crazy, grabbing a chain and again with the whipping hits him repeatedly. This does not stop our priest from praying the demon out of her though. As he dies she vomits out the demon who was surprisingly green and slimy goo. Then the movie just ends there.
Such an abrupt final scene and really why all the whipping? What was direct Mario Gariazzo thinking. No story arcs for anyone , the family is not made stronger the message is really that poor Danila had been susceptible because of her mental state and only a dying priest could save her. This movie had so much promise with the early scenes of the statue coming to life, the devil being well, the devil and then it just ends so quickly when there could have been an epic show down.\
Rating (4.0) 5.0 and above are recommended Zombiegrrlz rating system I would say Skip It!

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