Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lisa and the Devil (1974)

Due to an unfortunate mishap, I viewed and watched a horrible hacked and re-edited version of this film. It was called House of Exorcism and it was bad. But there was enough intriguing elements to that mess of a film that I figured I should check out the original version. Rumor has it, that this even director Mario Bava was displeased with the hacked up version. So the original should be good… I hope. But the devil is involved, so it could be bad in a whole new and exciting way!


Lisa (Elke Sommer) is enjoying some touristy fun in Toledo, Spain when she runs across a very strange man with a mannequin. She is separated from her tour group and is picked up by a strange couple driving a car right out of The Great Gatsby. The car is on its last legs, and stops in front of a creepy mansion. Inside is a handsome but unstable young man Max (Alessio Orano) and his mother the Countess (Alida Valli).

Soon evil doings are afoot. People get killed, creepy dolls are manipulated, rotting corpses are revealed and most of the gals end up topless. Behind it all is a mysterious butler Leandro (Telly Savalas). Is he the sinister mastermind behind this dreamlike world, or has Lisa lost her mind? The tale of Lisa and Devil offers more questions than answers.

Good Points:

  • Combines gothic horror and surreal really well
  • Some good creepy moments
  • Better than House of Exorcism
Bad Points:

  • Parts of this movie don’t make a lick of sense
  • Some pretty bad dubbing
  • Very slow paced
Bava’s vision was to make a surreal gothic horror flick, and he mostly succeeds. The major issue is the extremely show pacing. Some of these build a creepy atmosphere, but other sequences seem like padding. Still there is some creepy stuffing going on here, even if it all doesn’t make much sense in the end. Not bad for an evening of gothic horror. Just don’t think about it too much while you’re watching.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 3
Sound: 3
Acting: 3
Script: 2
Music: 3
Direction: 2
Entertainment: 3
Total:  3

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.    

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