Let's get one thing out of the way, I adore Ken Russell. Something about his aesthetic is totally in sync with my world view. From WOMEN IN LOVE to WHORE, Russell always impresses. His rambunctious, over the top, more is more style should be ideal for THE DEVILS. Unfortunately, the film simply grows tiresome. You get what Russell is up to--group think, religious hysteria, sexual repression, etc... It takes about 30 minutes to get the point but the film goes on for another 90 piling on the atrocities and turning up the craziness.
THE DEVILS feels like a madcap Hammer Horror which is a huge compliment. THE DEVILS also looks amazing with a white brick set that is totally modern and nothing to do with 17th century France, and yet it never feels as obvious as the film.
Bravo Vanessa Redgrave for a no-holds-bar performance. She is spectacular and displays a restraint at moments that you wish the film had.