Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Devil's Nightmare (1974)

Caution: Spoilers Galore

Jean Brismée's La Plus Longue Nuit du Diable (The Devil's Nightmare) opens in Nazi Germany, with a birth and a baby killing. Baron Von Rhoneberg (Jean Servais) pulls a dagger from its sheath, and skewers his daughter within minutes of her birth. With a great war raging over land, sea, and sky, I suppose he figured nobody would notice the execution of just one baby.

The viewer time-travels to present day 1974. A group of seven impossibly-linked travelers are forced to spend the night in Von Rhoneberg's gothic castle due to a blockage of the main road. The tourists are a diverse lot. Father Alvin Sorel (Jacques Monseau) is a handsome priest with an honourable dedication to the virtues of the cross, and an admirable resistance of the pleasures of the flesh. Howard and Nancy are an unhappily married couple, bound together by money rather than any sort of romantic feelings toward one another. Erotic tension is provided by Regine (the Blonde Bombshell) and Corinne (the Brunette Bimbo), a pair of strikingly-beautiful girls with decidedly lesbionic tendencies. Mason is a formidably un-sexy, bespectacled old geezer, and rounding out the bottom of the barrel is Ducha, a greasy sweatball in a cheap suit.

Upon arrival at the castle, Nazi Lurch shows the guests to their rooms, taking great care to make them aware of the "gruesome stories" attached to each one. Evidently, Von Rhoneberg's staff have much to learn about running a successful bed and breakfast!

A beautiful, auburn-haired woman named Lisa Müller (Erika Blanc) arrives late to the castle, asking to be put up for the night. By the way the Von Rhoneberg's servant greets her, the viewer is left with the impression that the lovely Lisa has some sort of history with the Baron. She changes into her best floor-length gown with the stomach cut out, and joins the rest of the guests for dinner. All points considered, Lisa seems the perfect candidate to fulfill the Von Rhoneberg Curse of the Succubus that the Baron not-so-subtly mentioned to his house guests earlier.

Demons that adopt feminine appearances
in order to seduce men and lead them to perdition.

For the architecture nuts out there, here are a few neat-o features the old castle boasted. Talk about well-appointed!

  • a nifty alchemy lab in the basement (which the Baron uses to seek out "philosophical truths," and also to make gold)
  • a tortured cat in the attic
  • a sarcophagus (which functions suspiciously like an iron maiden)
  • a guillotine
  • wallpaper that matched the bedspread (in every room)

When the castle guests retire to their rooms for the night is when the fun really begins! Lisa the Succubus (or Lisabus, if you will) focuses her attention on the dashing, young priest. I suspect the soul of a clergyman fetches a much higher price in Hell than that of an Everyday Joe. Showing impeccable control over both his mind and his sex organs, Father Sorel resists temptation. Lisabus will have to return later to make a second attempt at Seduction of the Innocent...

Can't you talk about anything else, besides succubuses?

Seduction of the Fab Slob, Seduction of the Married Douche, and Seduction of the Brunette Bimbo go a lot more smoothly for Lisabus. The Slob consumes one too many glasses of poisonous demon wine. The Douche and the Brunette Bimbo sneak off to find a quiet place to fornicate, and instead wind up losing a battle to the guillotine and the iron maiden, respectively. Mrs. Douche's greed for the Baron's gold leads to her untimely demise, and the Geezer, being a geezer, can only run so fast. Meanwhile, Blondie's see-thru nightie is no match for the massive python conjured by Lisabus!

This is a very weird castle... Very weird, indeed!

Father Sorel finally sees Lisabus for what she truly is, in the midst of a steamy, slow-strip seduction sequence. Perhaps if he kisses his rosary an appropriate number of times, and thrusts it at the demon just so...?

The Devil's Nightmare is a shining example of what a Satano-themed 1970's cult film should be. Briskly paced, brilliantly scored, and remarkably well acted, this Belgian-Italian co-production delivers the very best in late-night horror delight. Even the Devil himself (Daniel Emilfork) drops by to join in the fun and frolic! I proudly submit The Devil's Nightmare as my 100th post.

5/5 Kitty Skulls = Pick of the litter!


Karswell said...

One of my favorites as well... you definitely can't go wrong with a movie featuring a baby getting stabbed in the first few minutes. And then of course there's Erika Blanc!

Kitty LeClaw said...

Yes! If I had to be succubized by any woman, I'd choose her. Thanks for sending the vid my way -- I really enjoyed it!

Karswell said...

And congrats on the 100th Post too!! We should totalilly celebrate today, like we did last night...

Kitty LeClaw said...

Thank you!! Celebration is definitely in order!

The Vicar of VHS said...

Congrats on 100 posts, Kitty! There's a saucer of milk waiting for you at the Vicarage should you ever find yourself this far south.

I like this movie pretty well too--I seem to remember reading somewhere that the guests all represent one of the Seven Deadly Sins, which I can sort of see in some cases, but in others the link seems tenuous. Still, fun stuff, and well worth the time it takes to view.

>>Can't you talk about anything else, besides succubuses?

I can, but I choose NOT to!

Comment verification: "mention." It's rare I get an actual English word on these things. I just thought that was worthy something about. :P

Kitty LeClaw said...

Vicar: Thank you!!!

I agree that the 7 Deadly Sins link is tenuous at best. What did the Geezer do, besides smoke a pipe? I know smoking isn't very PC these days, but when this film was released... Didn't babies come out of the womb with giant stogies in their mouths?

Voodoo Rob's Hellbilly Hollywood said...

Amazing movie. I got mine on a compilation disc for dirt cheap that had a bunch of made for TV horror movies.

I was debating doing a write up of it myself for my page. But yours is so good, I dont need to!