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.
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.
Atmospheric 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.
Plus, 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.