Monday, September 24, 2018

Les démons AKA The Demons (1973) - Jesus Franco

As the scarlet flames lick her pale and desperate face while the feeble body is eager to succumb, a vindictive unrepentant witch doomed by the Grand Inquisitor Jeffries and Lady de Winter to die at the stake vomits her last malignant and sulphurous curse to all those guilty of her ordeal. As a result, petrified and with the curse of demise upon the accusers' heads, Lord and Lady de Winter set out to trace the witch's dark bloodline, and in particular, her daughters Kathleen and Margaret who have been raised as Sisters in the Blackmoor convent since childhood. But within the nunnery's thick stone walls, rabid desire and evil possession govern, furthermore, only one daughter is the curse's true heir. Which one is granted the power of retribution?

There are more than a couple of similarities between this and Russell's The Devils, but Franco's witchfinder opus has more to do with two of the more dominant themes running through his filmography up to that point: the virginal/lustful sister dynamic of de Sade's Justine and the brainwash and revenge plot of The Diabolical Dr. Z.

Even though this thing is so long, I can't help but like it a whole lot more than The Bloody Judge -- the female characters are stronger, the soundtrack is better, and the plot is much more interesting. One of the better intersections of Franco the formalist and Franco the pulp voyeur.

-- Evan (Letterboxd)

Language: English, French (2tracks)
Subtitles: English (embed)

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