Friday, May 11, 2012

Lisa And The Devil (1974)

Judging by the year and the title I think its safe to say that Lisa And The Devil was trying to cash in on the success of The Exorcist but unlike the countless Euro-Trash ripoffs like The Eerie Midnight Horror Show or Paul Nashy's Exorcismo, Lisa And The Devil isn't an Exorcist rip at all.

Nope! Instead Mario Bava does what he does best and directs another atmospheric Giallo.

Lisa is played by Elke Sommer who I remember best from another Mario Bava collaboration Baron Blood. She is stranded in a spooky old castle where a young man, his blind mother and Telly Savalas reside. Lisa believes Telly Savalas's character to be the devil and this is neither proven nor disproved but there is much worse things to worry about at hand. For one a killer is roaming about the castle killing people in very violent ways. We have stabbings, achy-breaky skulls are caved in with blunt objects (complete with red splatter that splashes all over Bava's camera lense), women are impaled on poles and in one of the most gratuitous moments of violence a man is repeatedly run over by a car. His mangled body is crushed worse and worse with each passing of the vehicle.

Aside from the bloodletting and random acts of brutality Elke Sommer bares a bit of tit for us in a much appreciated scene. We also have a bit of necrophilia going on and while all these horrible things are filling the screen Mario Bava yet again manages to pull off some incredible shots. The sets and locations are filled to the brim with decor and Bava makes use of every square inch. The lighting and shadows seem natural and add a whole new level of life to the film. In some of the most memorable scenes Bava shoots reflections through broken glass and a puddle of red wine. In another he films Savalas through a lake. We even get a typical American 70's horror movie type ending.

This one is bound to bore the average gore hound who is not used to this Italian brand of film making. Check it out if you have an open mind and can appreciate a bit of beauty with your horror.

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