Lisa And The Devil (Lisa e il diavolo) (The Devil in the House of Exorcism) Reviews
I found that amongst the horribly cheesy costumes (Elke excluded) and over dramatic acting...there were some really amazing (and at times BIZZARE) visuals.
I felt like it would have been more effective had it been about 30 minutes shorter.
More substantial then a "pure cheese" film, but not great by any means.
Though I think the bulk of my Flixster friends will appreciate it for what it is.
The story is built on a couple of standard genre clichÃ (C)s: the hapless traveler stranded in a spooky old house, and the beautiful woman who becomes an obsession because she resembles someone's dead sweetheart. These plots have been used countless times before.
Oddly, the most unnerving sequence may be the unimportant exposition, where Lisa (Elke Sommer) wanders off from a central Italian square and gets lost amidst a snarl of narrow streets and villas which seems like a private, inescapable universe of its own. Though exaggerated for effect, it's a realistic nightmare which many of us have felt at some point or another.
She finally hitches a ride with a wealthy couple passing through, and ends up at an ancient mansion populated by characters including handsome Max (Alessio Orano), his countess mother (veteran actress Alida Valli) and their butler Leandro (Telly Savalas, believe it or not). Leandro has a puzzling fixation on mannequins, and may have a supernatural -- dare we say satanic? -- ability to animate them. Though he's just a servant, he is clearly the one who's running the show. Unfortunately, Savalas insisted upon bringing along his signature lollipop from "Kojak," which totally punctures the film's gothic atmosphere. Another glitch is the score's inclusion of Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez," which inevitably recalls Ricardo Montalban's kitschy Cordoba commercials from the same era.
Intense, clammy Max sees his departed lover in lookalike Lisa and, somewhat implausibly, she soon returns his ardor. But he is much more twisted than she knows. Meanwhile, her fellow guests are being sequentially murdered. Eventually, the tale develops hints of a surreal, unstuck-in-time paradox similar to what's found in Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining." And of course, there's the obligatory "gotcha" ending.
Director Bava's baroque set decoration is typically spectacular, though the lighting is not as brilliantly stylized as in some of his other films. There aren't any notable jolts, but there are a couple of good, sick laughs: Leandro breaking the ankles of a corpse to fit him into a short coffin, and a murderer ridiculously rolling a car back and forth over a body. I also noticed one fun continuity error: Savalas accidentally knocks over a mannequin head, and in the next shot, the head is upright again. Who loves ya, baby?
Not going to be my favorite Bava by a long shot, but the dreamy visuals and gorgeous sets make it worth a look at least once.
Looking forward to seeing how this was edited into another film called House Of Exorcism
Worth a rental, give it a look at least the one time.
You can definitely see that this is trying to ride the coattails of The Exorcist. Not only was a shameless movie given a second cut with a new title and new scenes, but the scenes themselves are direct stealing from The Exorcist. The people behind this movie should be sued seven times from Sunday for just adding Blatty's story into their own. I mean, the contortioning, the vomiting, the hallucinations. It's all there. Scene for scene this movie just knocks off The Exorcist.
What's infinitely worse is that the exorcism story that is suggested in the title barely fits in with the original Lisa and the Devil. If you didn't know, this movie was just another release of Lisa and the Devil. I feel torn because I've already reviewed in depth Lisa and the Devil and that movie was pretty abysmal again. Honestly, watching this movie a second time was even more terrible. I mean, the movie was shitty as it was to begin with. Why did I need to rewatch it?
I don't think anyone is allowed to give me sh*t because I did give it a second chance, but when I remembered how bad Lisa and the Devil was, I half paid attention to the original film footage and only gave full attention to the exorcism stuff. The exorcism stuff is halfway decently done outside of just being a cop out, but you can definitely tell that those scenes were done on a budget. Hell, even Elke Sommer looked drastically different from the filming of the first movie to the continuation used for The House of Exorcism. I cannot stress how shameless this movie is. There are the sequences where the movie is not necessarily disgusting in the original Exorcist, but depend on vulgarity to get the audience's attention. This movie, I swear to God, must have stolen direct lines from the first movie just to pad this movie's unnecessary creation.
I feel like I have to justify even writing this review by giving a Lisa and the Devil review. What I will say is that I was kind of disapointed by the end of Lisa and the Devil. (I don't really remember what I wrote in my original review, but while thinking about it, I do realize that I just didn't care for the ending. Sure, it was fun to get an airplane, but why let her leave the house if you are just going to f*ck with her on an airplane.) This ending isn't much better. I mean, we see the original her escaping the house, but that's really the end of that. The story now loops to put her back into the city, implying at least some degree of optimism, but the new ending is just as goofy as the airplane. There's this weird exorcism of a house which is clearly filmed at a different time than the Lisa and the Devil footage that doesn't really explain much. I think they just wanted to have the lighting storm that was implied during The Exorcist. But they use this time to throw rubber snakes at the priest? Then, right when the exorcism starts to die down...
...the credits roll.
Now, I'm not complaining too much because the movie was boring as it was an every second we could have shaved off of this terrible movie meant another second I didn't have to watch it. But there's so much more to be said rather than just showing me images. Really, this movie is the PowerPoint presentation of exorcisms. They can show me all the images I want to know that someone did some work somewhere, but that work really means very little to me as a viewer. Also, like a PowerPoint presentation, someone else did all of the work and I just got reworked highlights to make it seem like someone else did all the work. This movie is just god-awful and I don't recommend anyone who has anything better to do than watch it. I literally just sat through it so I could say that I've watched both Bava boxes all of the way through.
Lisa is an American tourist that takes a tour in an ancient Spanish village and discovers a mosaic of the devil. She becomes very interested in the piece and has some interesting encounters. One night she is forced to take refuge in a strange mansion with an interesting house keeper. She may have found what she was looking for in the town in the mansion.
"The thought of losing you fills one with much sadness."
Mario Bava, director of Kill Baby, Kill; Black Sabbath; Black Sunday; Roy Colt and Winchester Jack; Knives of the Avenger; and Blood and Black Lace, delivers Lisa and the Devil. The storyline for this picture is pretty interesting and fun to watch unfold. Some of the sequences were cheesy but it's an old classic. The cast delivers solid performances and includes Telly Savalas, Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina, and Alida Valli.
"I am no longer a child. Let me live my life!"
I came across this on Netflix as part of the Mario Bava collection and had to watch it. I enjoyed the film and thought it was better than many of the films in this collection. Telly Savalas was great in his role and kept the film off balance. This is a good film for fans of the genre.
"I was not introduced to the fifth guest."
I don't know why I keep watching Mario Bava movies. I've seen all of those that people have recommended to me over and over again and found them anywhere from mediocre (Bay of Blood) to utterly unwatchable (Black Sunday). And yet so many people I know are so taken with Bava's movies that I keep trying. I don't do that with Woody Allen or Godard, so what is it about Bava? That said, I may have finally found the movie that will put me off him forever, Lisa e il Diavolo. Incoherent, rambling, badly-paced, and one of the largest wastes of A-list talent I have ever experienced, this movie would be best-served with the piquant odor of burning celluloid.
I'd give you a plot synopsis, but for this movie, that is well-nigh impossible. It involves the titular Lisa (delicious B-movie temptress Elke Sommer), who attracts the eye of a very wealthy, very perverse chap with a mannequin fetish, Leandro (Blood and Lace's Telly Savalas). During a tour of a foreign land, her car breaks down, and she and her chauffeur (Emmanuelle and the Last Cannibals' Gabriele Tinti), along with the husband and wife from whom she hitched a ride, Max and Sophie (The Count of Monte Cristo's Alessio Orano and Boccaccio's Sylva Koscina), are forced to find shelter in the decaying mansion of a countess (The Third Man's Alida Valli-oh, how far the mighty have fallen) who may or may not be in league with the diabolical forces who seem to have taken as much of a shine to Lisa as Leandro has.
Man, I wish, given that cast (did I mention Eduardo Fajardo is in here as well?), there was one thing I could say about this movie that sounds like a vaguely redeeming quality. That's usually a stable of actors where at least one will turn in a performance that make a movie at least marginally worth watching, but it's almost as if Bava coached them to be as stale and lifeless as possible. Simply put, in every conceivable way, this is an awful, awful movie, and it easily earned itself a place on the 100 Worst list. It was saved from zero-star status simply because it wasn't overtly offensive and I finished watching it, for some unknown reason. Avoid like the plague. 1/2