Monday, April 30, 2012

Exorcism (1974)

aka Demoniac
aka Exorcisme
aka Éventreur de Notre-Dame, L’
aka El Sadico de Notre Dame

Director: Jesus “Jess” Franco

Cast: Lina Romay, Jess Franco, Nadine Pascal, Catherine Laferriere

Synapse Films / Color / Unrated / NTSC R1 / Widescreen 1.66:1 / ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Mono / 94 minutes / Purchase from!

A defrocked priest (a completely creepy Jess Franco) is kicked out of the church for being too “harsh” and sent to a mental institution. Shortly after his release, he starts work for a sex magazine writing articles about sadistic sex which he claims to be true stories from his real life. He learns that his co-worker Anna (Lina Romay) stages sexy fake torture and black mass shows with her sexy friend Martine and others for the depraved rich upper-crust.

In his religiously fanatical mind, he sees the show and its contributors as tools of Satan and must cleanse them by killing their bodies thus releasing and “saving” their possessed souls. As the body count rises, we learn that he is in love with Anna and there is a team of investigators hot on the trail of this sadistic sex murderer. Will Anna die at the hands of the nutty sexually predatory priest (they had them back then too?)? Will “Father Rapenslash” rid the world of all of the rich perverts?
If you are a fan or even a casual watcher of Franco films, you know he is no stranger to mixing horror, sex and violence. Often letting the sex overcome most everything and letting the story suffer, he tends to meander in and out of different scenes with his perverted camera lens. But that’s often why we like his films, isn’t it? Well, Exorcism is really no different. Tons of nudity and sex fills the screen as well as sadistic torture to fulfill your every sick desire but sadly lacks in much of a story.
There isn’t much gore to speak of, save one disemboweling, but plenty of whipping, rough sex and knife play. In fact, the stabbing and gut removal are done close-up in some scenes and it looks like they may have used a real pig as the body so that the stabbing and guts look real. The blood and slashing in the other scenes look like typical cheap ’70s Euro-effects.
The overall feel to the movie was very serious and not nearly as cheesy as some of Jess’ other offerings. The “story” may even be the director’s take on the seedy side of the filthy rich and the hypocrisy of the Catholic church. It’s not the best or the worst I’ve seen from the infamous filmmaker but it’s a must for Euro-sleaze and Franco fans alike. If you can get through some of the slower parts you will be treated to some pretty good smut and depravity.

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