Friday, November 30, 2012

A Night of Lemora-like Devils?

The film's leading man looks a lot like Vincent Cassell in this painting

Watched NIGHT OF THE DEVILS BluRay for the second time. It's an extraordinary little horror film from Italy with exceptional cinematography by Manuel Berenguer, who shot over one hundred movies in his forty year career. The film's pleasures, like most pleasures, are subtle and lingering.

For mine, the American film it most closely resembles is LEMORA - A CHILD'S TALE OF THE SUPERNATURAL. It has that same Lovecraftian unease and setting, and a similar focus on corrupted children; also, a well-meaning hero plunged into a supernatural world, and powerful sexuality conveyed via subtext.

Director Giorgio Ferroni, who also made the very fine MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN, demonstrates, once again, a flair for rising menace and grotesque nuance. Carlo Rambaldi, who died recently, contributes some wonderful putrefaction effects, and Ferroni knows to use them sparingly.

LEMORA was a '73 film; DEVILS is '72. Did LEMORA director Richard Blackburn see DEVILS before conceiving his own masterpiece and was divinely inspired? Who knows?!

The Raro Video BluRay is struck from an immaculate print.

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