Sunday, October 25, 2020

October Horror Movie Challenge: Satanic Sunday

We are in the last week of October. I am sad to see it go.  But we still have the whole week and I am going to watch as much as I can.  I had some movies still on BluRay so I thought I'd make a theme weekend of it. 

Inquisition (1976)

Another Mondo Macabro purchase.  This is Paul Naschy's first directorial effort. The Blu Ray is quite nice, you could almost believe it was originally filmed in HD. The transfer is very good. Naschy is his best leering self and chews up scenery like no one's business. 

It's the 16th century and witches, warlocks and the devil is everywhere.  At least that is what Benard de Fossey thinks.  One by one all the beautiful women in the village are accused of witchcraft and find themselves at the mercy of de Fossey. 

It is largely an excuse to have a bunch of naked women getting tortured. Even so a lot of effort went into this one. There is the witchhunter's manual that is as nicely illustrated as any Monster Manual.  I'd love to get some art like that for a monster book. 

There is a witch, of sorts, and she recruits our star, Catherine (Daniela Giordano).  The scenes of the witches' sabbat are trippy and Naschy pulls double duty as Satan.  Triple duty really since he also plays the Grim Reaper. 

The ending is not entirely unexpected but still, there is a nice twist ar the end. 


The Demons (1973)

Jess Franco is as notorious as Paul Naschy.  But in some ways I like Franco better. It's nothing I can put my finger on, I have just seemed to like his movies a little more. This movie though is a touch sleazier than his others.  This one also reunites Britt Nichols and Anne Libert with Jess Franco. Their last outing together was La fille de Dracula in 1972. Though this time Brit Nichols and Anne Libert play sisters and not cousins. 

This one begins with the trial and burning of a suspected witch.  She curses all who are there, by saying her daughters will avenge her. 

We switch to a convent where two orphans have been raise. One Margaret (Carmen Yazalde appearing as Britt Nichols) is good and pure, but Kathleen (Anne Libert) daydreams (a sure sign of sin) and moans and writhes in her sleep at night.  So she is obviously possessed by the devil.  Sure enough, these two girls are the daughters of the witch.  We are treated with not one, but two scenes of Katheleen being "seduced" by the devil.  

Lady de Winter (Karin Field), an eyewitness to the execution of the witch arrives at the convent. We discover that Kathleen, unlike her good sister, is no longer a virgin.   She is taken, strung up on a wrack, and tortured.  Lady De Winter seems to get off on the torture. While Lord De Winter pities the poor girl.  She is found guilty of witchcraft, of course, and sentenced to be burned.  But Lord De Winter sets her free in the night.  She finds the home of a painter where she stays. 

While that is happening Margaret is back at the coven praying when she is visited by the ghost of her mother and then by a servant of Satan to "initiate" her.  And no Margaret, putting your cross between your legs won't help.  Now a full bride of Satan Margaret starts in on the convent. First by seducing another nun and then getting her to commit suicide.  She soon finds Kiru "Satan's Favorite Wife."

Kathleen is recaptured, but her captor falls in love with her and wants to escape to England with her. But she manages to escape again and is recaptured.

Margaret finds her way to Lady De Winter's home where she seduces her.  But now she has the cool power of being able to kill anyone she has sex with.  I guess we see that again in American Horror Story Coven. 


Margaret and Kathleen escape, but when Margaret uses her sex magic on Kathleen's lover (who had hunted their mother) she turns Margaret in.

On the pyre, Margret requests a last kiss from the Lord Justice and she kills him.  She laughs while she burns.  In the end, Kathleen finds Kiru.

Not a bad flick, but a little all over the place. The BluRay has a couple of nice features, but not a lot. 

Britt Nichols and Anne Lipert would also later go on to be in A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973), another Franco movie.  Between 1972 and 1973 they would appear in six movies together. They stopped filming with Franco also at the same time that Lina Romay started.  I am going to try not to read too much into that.


Mark of the Devil (1970)

Also known as "Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält", or "Witches Tortured till They Bleed."

Bleed is appropriate here since this movie is overflowing with blood.   

This features a young Udo Kier as a magistrate over the European Witch Trials in Austria. Naturally, he falls in love with a woman accused of witchcraft.   There is some goings on with the local witch-finder and his gang and church appointed witchfinder.  But honestly, it is just an excuse to make a torture-porn movie. 

The torture is vivid and done well with the effects of the time, but after an hour or so it gets routine.  Starting off the movie with the rape of some nuns sets the desensitizing dial pretty high, everything after is just more brutality.  Or maybe since this is the third movie of roughly the same subject I am getting burned out.

I guess the film was fairly notorious back in the day. I have seen copies of this go for really ridiculous amounts. Not as much "sexploitation" in this as "tortureploitation" as some of the other movies about this time. 

The highlight of this one is Udo Kier, who even then, showed a great talent for acting. 

I looked for "Mark of the Devil Part II" since it featured Erika Blanc, but all I found was a really terrible copy on YouTube.

NIGHT SHIFT and Old-school Content:  A few notes.

A tortured innocent will say many names, but a real witch will never reveal who her sisters are. 
I also need more prophetic dreams for my witches.

Lady De Winter looks like she could be part of the Winters family of witches. She enjoys the torture of the other witches a little too much. But the deviousness with the blonde hair and blue eyes almost makes her a family member by defualt.

Margaret's death by sex is a cool Occult power (for one of my Old-School witches) but it has limited utility in a game.

Nuns and witch covens have a lot in common. 

I also need more witch hunts in my games.  Something for my witches to act against. Especially skeezy ones like from Mark of the Devil.

Watched: 48
New: 32



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