Monday, October 5, 2009

The Antichrist (1975, Alberto De Martino)


Continuing on with my Exorcist ripoff reviews, here's an interesting film. I had heard the title before but didn't know much about it. My childhood friend who lives in Germany told me that he saw a double feature with I Drink Your Blood and L'antichristo and said it was a must see. I decided I'd trust him and give it a chance.

The Antichrist is the story of a paralyzed young woman named Ippolita (Carla Gravina) who wants nothing more than to walk again. After fearing that she is losing her sanity, her father (Mel Ferrer) and uncle (Arthur Kennedy), who is a priest, set up a meeting with a psychiatrist. Ippolita is hypnotized and miraculously begins walking. However, she also begins having dreams about her past life as a witch and becomes possessed. Of course the only thing to cure her is an exorcism.

The Antichrist is a strange movie. Rarely have I been so torn while watching a movie as to what my feelings towards it are. The first fifteen minutes of the film are absolutely brilliant. Unfortunately the film starts to go downhill from there. There are a few ups in the film that made me start to reconsider it's mediocrity but by the end I was just worn out. The film, at almost 2 hours in length, has far too many slow parts rendering it a tough watch. There are some scenes in the film that I would call classic (the opening scene, some of the possession scenes...oh and the goat scene) but it wasn't enough to carry the film. If this film had been an hour and a half it probably could have been a classic but as it is, it's a little disappointing. There are several obvious Exorcist rips (green barf, lots of four letter words and the basic possession/exorcism theme) but also some added originality (those poor frogs. Please tell me they were fake!). So I'd say give this one a shot but you're probably better off stopping halfway through for a beer or three and then going back to the film with a little buzz. I would like to add that the camerawork and direction are top notch and really feel like a big budget film. Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai's score is also a big plus for the film (as always).

RATING: 3/5

This film is available online at http://www.lovefilm.com/ - check it out for yourself and see whether or not you agree with the review.
 



2 comments:

  1. Now this one I like in all its cheesy glory, I couldnt believe the nightmare sequence the first time I saw it, I have had to show that scene to disbelievers numerous times. Not a great film, but one of the stronger ripoffs. PS -- DONT grab Exorcism by Jess Franco, there literally isnt ANY exorcism in it, its just porn where a priest kills people that fuck because he thinks theyre possessed. Seriously.

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  2. Carl - thanks for the heads up on Franco's Exorcism.

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