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Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Devil's Plaything (1973) - Horror Vampire

The Devil's Plaything (1973) - "Der Fluch der schwarzen Schwestern" Also known as Veil of Blood or Vampires Ecstasy. A rather sleazy erotic horror film that tells an at least semi interesting story between its scenes of swaying topless acolytes and lesbian suggestive interactions. 1970's erotic film master Joseph Sarno gives us not a great film, hell maybe not a good film but a film that is competent and complete but is really for those with a taste for this kind of thing. There is lots of nudity mostly in the form of swaying cultist as they do their spells.
The story is that at a castle in Germany there is a cult that wants to bring a vampire Countess back into the world by allowing her soul to posses one of the two beautiful young descendants that have been lured to the castle. Helga (Marie Forsa) and Monika (Ulrike Butz). Monika is accompanied by her cross dressing companion (Flavia Keyt), they are surprised when they learn they can not share a room. It was really thrown into the script so I threw it in here too. The fact that they are lesbians only serves the purpose that later on the character played by Flavia joins the cult to support her companion. Shortly after those three arrive a storm picks up and Dr. Julia Malenkow (Anke Syring) and her brother Peter (Nico Wolferstetter) arrive, saying their car has broken down. There is a look that passes between the housekeeper Wanda (Nadia Henkowa) and the superstition studying Julia. Did they really break down?
That night the drums of a ritual are heard in the depths of the castle. They are really African drums which is strange for this German castle. A bunch of women including Wanda dance and cast a spell apparently on Peter who tosses and turns in his sleep. Sister Julia comes upon him and touches her own breast watching as he appears to have a wet dream. When he wakes she makes sure he has his cross of garlic on and says he should never remove it. It is protection against the magic she suspects is afoot.
We learn the superstition of the baroness who was supposed to have drank the blood of her subjects. She did black magic and well, was a vampire, but was burned at the stake some three hundred years ago. The priestess, Wanda and the swaying nude woman cult are working towards bringing her back into the world. Thank you Julia for the expository story about the baroness.
Helga finds herself drawn to Peter and very soon they are in the horse barn doing the nasty. There is some weird editing in this scene that makes you think it was cut drastically. They read the will of the aunt and we learn they(Hilga and Monika) have to stay in the castle for a year to inherit the place. Helga is enchanted by the cult of priestesses, they surround her and stare intently, then the event is culminated with fingering her. She is now initiated. So to strengthen that we get more swaying cultist scenes and Helga and Monika staring at the portrait of the baroness.
Julia is onto Wanda and lets her know it. The garlic protects Julia in her battle of wills but Wanda is no fool even when her intense staring fails she has options. She does the divide and conquer by putting spells on different characters to weaken Julia. They suck in the Flavia character as they try to get closer to Monika. She is initiated into the cult. We learn that Julia and Peter are descendants of the people who burned the baroness at the stake and there is some vengeance to be had here.
Meanwhile those damn sexy drums are really driving Helga crazy, and she needs to pleasure herself with a candle giving the audience a facial expression of satisfaction.
Julia is really worried that things are coming to a head but she doesn't know what it is. Now Peter wants Helga and expresses his love. Wanda uses that relationship by making Helga super horny and saying it won't stop until she gets Peter's cross off him. She is driven to this end and we here the distant sounds of bees buzzing during this scene.
On the night of the Vampire which occurs once every nine years, Wanda is gloating to Julia that she can not be stopped and the spirit of baroness Vaga will be back soon. Peter and Helga talk and he has given her his cross and she is no longer driven crazy.
So much is happening, Peter and Helga are part of the ceremony to bring back the baroness. To keep Julia out of the way she has spells cast on her to confuse her on the grounds. She ends up in a barn and the most ridiculous bats pull her clothes off. The bats are really black gloves with wings on them. Hilarious!
Peter and Julia try to get Helga to leave. Julia believes the vampire is back but Helga does not feel she needs to leave her inheritance. Peter is frightened by a sound in the woods and they have to return. Monika is the baroness and now things are moving along. She comes to the gathering of them all and says "Our winged cousins of the night they call me, they call." wonderful. A reference to Dracula, the film of course not the book.
They use Peter to go to his sister and come on to her. Julia likes it, the incest feelings are strong in her, and he tries to get her to take off the cross, dirty trick. She does and now they will get to her too. She realizes it and they struggle until she gets her hand on it again and saves herself by getting the cross back on.
This convoluted plot has Peter making love to Monika and her biting him. Then she drinks from Helga who is in the corner being felt up by some cultists. Julia tries to get in and has to fight off a couple cultists herself. They his like cats but the garlic cross keeps them at bay. Peter somehow makes it to her in the room she has locked herself in and she sees the weakened man has been bitten. She gives her cross to him.
The cult is chanting up a storm now not in the cellar but in the main room of the house. They believe they have won. Julia falls under this spell and proceeds to touch herself. Out on the woods Helga is on a hanging platform, Julia will take Helga's place and Monika will have her blood. In a slick move Julia gets into position near the platform and is able to pull a piece of wood free and use it to stake Monika as she comes in for the kill. Suddenly the spell is broken and people are stumbling about and wandering off. The cults power is gone and the cultists are all free from the power of the baroness.Although the plot is interesting in this there is so much strange shit that I will not recommend this. The pace is pretty slow and really the nudity although abundant is not the sexiest you can see.
Rating (4.4) 5.0 and up are recommended

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