Thursday, October 2, 2014
The Eerie Midnight Horror Show (1974)
Welcome to your first B-Movie Enema - and do I have a treat for you tonight. Grab your popcorn and don't forget your tickets for The Eerie Midnight Horror Show!
Let's first tackle some basics about this week's feature. From the 50-Movie Pure Terror set, the synopsis reads: "A young art student is tormented by strange, vivid dreams involving her being nailed to a cross, as well as other bizarre images. Her torment increases when the actual crucifix seen in her dreams comes to life!"
Whoa! That's some scary stuff right? The film stars Stella Carnacina, Chris Avram, and Lucretia Love (who all sound like stars of pornos). Interestingly enough, this film has several different titles. IMDb lists it as Enter the Devil with an original title of L'Ossessa (oh boy, we have a foreign movie alert flashing brightly). However, we can also find this movie listed as The Devil Obsession, The Tormented, and my favorite The Sexorcist. Thus proving I may not be too far off with my suspicion on the stars' names.
Let's get to my in-depth review of The Eerie Midnight Horror Show...
Well, to start, the credits are some serious bunk. It's just computerized text over some filtered stills. It's got that old school TV quality stuff where it shows the name of the actor or actress over a still frame. Then we get to those filtered stills - which some of it contains nudity, so... Yay? right before the original film kicks in, we get that classic "Based on a true story" shit that horror films like to throw in for extra scares. I'm willing to bet this movie is about as much true as the stories I like to tell about how I ate more McDonald's Chicken McNuggets than George Foreman on a dare on a day I was bored out of my mind. Anyway, let's digress into the story a bit.
We're introduced to a girl who has some taste and/or knowledge about art. She goes to check out a crucifix. There's a real eerie, but kinda bitchin', electronic organ soundtrack blaring loudly. The girl collects the crucifix and rides off with it, and when they get it to an art dealer or some such shit, they remark about how lifelike the dude is on the cross. I'll give the filmmaker(s) one thing - they keep cutting to the crucified dude's face and he does look like a living guy simply covered in dried mud. It's pretty creepy.
We cut then to a scene where a pretty hep party is going down in the girl's parents' home. The place is littered with hairy chests and George Hamiltons. We learn that the main girl's mom is a bit of a swinger with one of the hairy chested gentlemen and one of the George Hamiltons is the main girl's dad - and I don't think he likes his wife screwing any other hair chests than his own. Guess what - that happens anyway.
So now we're watching one of the hairy chests messing about with the mom character and the daughter is kind of spying on them or catches t hem or something. What I'm getting at is this is a pretty awkward scene and I'm not sure what the point is. Hairy chested dude starts whipping the mom with rose stems, making her bleed, but she likes it. The daughter (or heroine?) sees it, and just kinda walks away with a look on her face to say "Aw, Mom, you rascal!" I don't know if this is to show some sort of distinction between the good daughter and the devilish mother or what. All I know is I paid a pretty high price to see some tits and bush this early in the feature.
After leaving the hep party, the daughter goes to the art studio which is basically just out back of her parents' house. While she's working on her pretty much already completed painting, the crucified dude starts moving around. I have to say, if this was a guy in dried mud the entire time, I applaud his ability to keep his head cocked in that manner for this long. Like Pinocchio, the crucified dude becomes a real boy. In one clean swipe, he tears our girl's dress clean off allowing me to win the bet I had inside my own head that she wasn't wearing any kind of underwear. They play such a furious game of vaginal bingo that it lights the cross the dude was originally tied to on fire. However, it was just a dream, or a daydream, or a fantasy, or something. The girl hightails it out of there and calls up her boyfriend(?) to talk about the dream/daydream/fantasy/something.
Without really knowing what her guy is going to do about this girl's issues with fantasizing about screwing crucified men or her mommy issues, he takes her home. She apparently lives on the top floor of a 400 floor apartment building. As she walks up, in an admittedly decently-shot scene, she hears a voice calling her name. She then hears heavy footsteps following her up the stairwell. She quickly gets inside where all sorts of voices start talking to her and saying something clearly Latin (I guess?). Anyway, whatever they are saying, it's really turning her own. She rubs her body all over the place and pretty much rubs one out. When her parents come home, they find she has moved to her bedroom where she's still furiously getting herself off. I think she starts talking and showing signs of possession. All I know is that it's poorly overdubbed, and gets particularly weird when she starts coming onto her dad. In fact, I'm certain that all the supposed sexiness of this flick is going to be ruined by incredible discomfort.
After a car ride that was shot in super close up of each of the four people in the car, our main girl goes into a temple to Bal (I think?) where she meets a photographer with the most amazing set of eyebrows and mustache ever. He goes on and on about some shit about the temple and the girl looks incredibly bored. So she goes on into the temple where she starts her daydreaming again and witnesses a sacrifice of (you guessed it) a naked chick to Satan - who I guess is the dude on the crucifix that she's been fantasizing about. Just when you think Satan is going to take another turn on our girl (who's named Danila if you give a shit), the prick nails her to a cross. It's gross. Really gross. But it's just a dream and she wakes up screaming and having all sorts of fits.
Or was it a dream? A doctor comes over to check out our poor Danila and discovers she is suffering from stigmata. They sit around and discuss the markings on Danila, and I have to say the overdub on this doctor is hilarious. The dub is bad enough, but the voice used is just horrible. Anyway, he calls in some "experts" and find Danila's wounds have basically healed to the point where they are nothing more than bruises. They stand around her room and debate what to do with her (with her still in the room, awake, and listening mind you).
Here's where we get to, what I believe is, the meat of the theme of the movie. Half the doctors want her to have an exorcism performed on her. The other half want a sexorcism performed. Nah, just kidding. They want to do everything scientifically and strictly by the book. Now we find the parents torn about the mom's infidelity - to which her husband called "tomfoolery" at one point - and what to do about Danila. Should they trust in their faith or is there just something boring and scientific going on inside her brain? They go with the exorcism. When the priest comes in, s he freaks out and starts throwing herself into the headboard and flopping around like a fish out of water. The priest backs out as if to say "Nuh uh... Not fucking around with this broad." and tells the family that they need to find a trained exorcist. Despite saying they are basically non-existent, it turns out he knows a guy.
Danila is taken to a place in the mountains to see this exorcist. At this point I realize that I still have 30 more minutes of this movie and I start to die a little inside. I'll get to more about why this is happening in a moment. So, Danila goes to this monastery where she gets real crazy looking with really bushy eyebrows and badly chapped lips. She even starts to eat her own hair when the nuns are singing. She eventually escapes, but doesn't really have anywhere to go - much like this movie.
So, the priest comes in, starts to exorcize Danila. Then, Satan pops up and says, "Yo, I'm going to make you pretty again because I want you to bang this priest and make him mine. Cool? Alright, here goes." That leads to Danila being all sexed up and coming onto this poor old priest. I'll give it to the old man, he resisted well and gets the hell out of Dodge. He prays his boner away and gets ready for round two, but not before whipping himself on top of praying that hard on away. Meanwhile, Satan couches up Danila like he's a boxing trainer in her corner. She gets out of her room, somehow, and the priest and Danila face off again in the courtyard of the monastery. He chants in Latin and she starts out screaming and acting like it's bothering her, but she just starts laughing at him and begins swinging a chain at him. At this point, I'm kinda thinking the getting him in bed isn't the plan anymore. He gets up one last time and finishes the job, causing her to barf out the evil. He dies and everyone else lives happily ever after. Seriously, it ends that way - with a freeze frame of Danila looking into her boyfriend's eyes with some relief.
This movie was some fuck. It's like a pervy, old Italian guy was sitting around one of his orgy parties and decided he wanted to make a sexier version of The Exorcist. In fact, I'm positive that's what happened. However, the problem is that he probably never really saw The Exorcist. He probably saw enough to get that Linda Blair had some really badly chapped lips and some creepy eyes. Oh and that she fucked herself with a crucifix. So he's like "Just make a movie with tits everywhere and let the subplot be that this girl is possessed by, or enslaved to, the devil. Aw, fuck it, just come up with something. Just make sure there are tits everywhere."
I'm all for this line of thinking, however, the problem comes when you can neither make a spooky movie about possession nor make it sexy. I've never been less turned on by a girl bringing herself to orgasm. I've never been so grossed out by sex in a movie in general. This movie fails on both fronts of horror and sex. On top of that, the title, while not really its official title, was a real let down. It wasn't eerie. Most of the movie took place in daytime, or at least not around midnight. It was hardly a horror movie. I guess it did have lots to show, but it turned out to be weird and not worth looking at.
Bottom line, not even Cinemax would put this movie on in the middle of the night and I'm sorry I put it on in the middle of the evening.