Sidewinder’s View: “The Night Of The Devils” (1972)

From 1972, this morning’s movie. Never having seen this before, I bought this recently on the recommendation of some fellow Horror fans who were raving about it.

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The plot? A backwoods family falls prey to a witch’s curse, witnessed by a stranded traveler whom the family takes in for the night. A sort of vampirism/demonic possession occurs, with the entire family targeted for death and damnation. Things do not end well.

1523818_825142930835523_157046823_oAtmospheric and gory, it’s pretty decent for the era of Italian Horror it belongs to– zoom lense photography abounds and the film features a score which often becomes lush and romantic during odd moments in the picture– but it didn’t blow me away. I love the setting and the film’s premise, though.

The special effects by Carlo Rambaldi, while very graphic and at times shocking, were not entirely convincing; very Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein-ish, if you know what I mean.

Bava’s interpretation of the same story (nearly 10 years earlier) in the anthology Black Sabbath worked much better.

black-sabbath-wsPlus, Bava’s film had the presence of Boris Karloff as the scary patriarch who returns as a vampire/demon to pick off his family members.

The image of Karloff The Crazed Undead riding off on horseback with his abducted grandchild/soon-to-be-victim, still creeps me out.

All in all, though, as a fan of early Seventies Horror, I found The Night Of The Devils to be a pretty satisfying flick.

Plus, the film stars the lovely Agostina Belli.

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Always pleasant.

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