Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Devil's Nightmare

 The Devil's Nightmare Directed By Jean Brismee, Starring Erika Blanc (1971).
During the month of Sept 2012 when I started this blog, I had just finished watching this  very special Gothic Italian horror film. My wife inspired me by saying "Hey you're watching everything on YouTube already why not review them and do something more creative".  That's when I got the idea to track down every film related to the Chas Balun catalog or Deep Red magazine and the rest is history. So this review has been in the works for some time now and even though it's more of a Mad Ron's Prevues From Hell pick (that legendary tape was purchased by way of Chas too). I am 98% certain it was featured in D.R. one way or another so it counts. 
I'm watching the Redemption version, which is the best quality one available and there are some muddy lookin copies out there. It has this awful Goth lesbian Elvira type segment before the film that is very cringe worthy, so lean on that fast forward button if you get this copy. 


   It starts off in Nazi Germany with some bomb footage as two elderly Nazis, await the birth of a child. Once he realizes the baby is a girl, he heartlessly stabs it with a huge knife (they show this in full detail and not off screen) and it's utterly repulsive! 

Very shocking even by today's standards

   Then it kicks off with a fuzz drenched psychedelic number by Alessandro Alessandroni that sounds like it would fit on a garage compilation like "30 seconds before the calico wall".
Years later the same Nazi who they
now call the Baron (Jean Servais) lives in a creepy castle. I think this act of supreme cruelty has brought a curse on the house; this film is very Catholic and superstitious. A bunch of frowny faced tourists and one disgusting man with chicken pieces hanging out of his mouth encounter Satan, who in this is a spindly fellow in a field played by Daniel Emilfork. He looks like a cross breeding of Margaret Hamilton and Jack Skellington (just in time for Halloween). Emilfork is someone I fondly remember as Krank from City of Lost Children. A woman journalist is the first victim found with the mark of the devil burned on her arm and all the killings that follow are based on the 7 deadly sins.
The movie is very Bava-esque and has vibrant colors and gothic imagery, but is a lot more religious then you'd expect.    

I'm Jack the fancy new pumpkin king

   Erika Blanc who plays Lisa the succubus was also in Kill Baby Kill. She is an incredible shape shifting actress, her facial contortions are terrifying and reminiscent of Spencer Tracy's minimal make-up performance as Jekyll and Hyde. The makeup is subtle, but effective as Lisa goes from beautiful to cryptic with grey features and intense menacing eyes. Blanc is very attractive and was featured in Italian Playboy in the 70's (lately a lot of actresses in films we've reviewed have been popping up on that list). 

Succubi have feelings too

   In the haunted castle the travelers encounter some spooky shit and all die in cool creative ways. The butler with one bulging eyeball was the other Nazi from the opening scene, he mentions some kind of lie about the child's mother stabbing herself. This total bullshit, since we know what happened in the beginning and the butler is covering up the hideous murder. The mark of the devil is found in the priest's room, it looks like a lobster claw, in fact that's what cracked me up about the trailer, which showed a big-ass cartoon crustacean pincher.

pick up your drawn butter and claw crackers in the theater

    It's all a set up for Lisa the succubus who lives among the castle and each visitor represents the seven deadly sins. They will soon be punished in this ultra catholic punishment fantasy.
It starts off with two busty lesbians fornicating, one cheats on her lover with a man and the other is killed by a giant snake. Another character played by Lucien Raimbourg who smokes a pipe, looks like a non midget version of Billy Barty. 
They all sit down to dinner and the Baron mentions to them how there's a succubus in their midst and that his family legacy is doomed by a pact with Satan, the Billy Barty guy scoffs and says "Ha I'm an atheist"! 

Did I Do That? (in Urkle voice)

    Satan shows up later to collect his payment in the finale.
 Erika Blanc looks great in a sexy black skimpy dress. She's obviously not to be trusted and is that aforementioned sex demon in human form. 
She quickly tries to seduce the Father Alvin Sorel (Jacques Monseau) who remarks that he's still in school and has not yet a full fledged man of the cloth. Is his will power strong enough to resist the temptations of this she-demon, you'll have to see to find out.
I should never have done Game of Thrones cosplay

   Everyone is afraid to go to sleep and they prop chairs against their door knobs for security. Then dead cat's blood starts dripping from the ceiling on one of the lesbians.
The Priest sees buxotic visions of Lisa the succubus who wants to devour his soul among other things. When he rejects her advances she starts feeding the sloth (the guy on the bus shoving chicken into his face) and he chokes to death.
Everybody's out to milk this castle for all its worth: financially, sexually and through gluttony. One greedy woman sinks into a pit of gold in the basement.
There's a cool medieval torture chamber in the basement that's put to some use. An iron maiden and guillotine are utilized. It all ends in a final showdown between her and the priest and a warning not to eat and drive. Classic Gothic horror worth checking out!


Bill Maher as Alice Cooper

I heard Iron Maiden was here, where's Nicko McBrain?

Don't forget to tip your butlers

Don't drive and eat


  1. I think this film perfectly illustrates my shifting tastes in film. When I watched it years ago I hated it. But I also had little time for creaky gothic horror. Years later and I lap this stuff up.

  2. Yeah it depends, I think I saw a cut version but really dug it this time


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