Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Devil's Wedding Night (1973)

Director: Luigi Batzella

Starring: Mark Damon, Rosalba Neri, Esmeralda Barros

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: Dark desires unleash the legions of lucifer!

Plot: Twin archaeologists (Damon) battle vampires -- and each other -- in Countess Dracula's castle. Setting off on a quest for the magical ring of Nibelungen, the siblings find it in the possession of a Transylvanian noblewoman (Neri) with an affinity for virgin blood.

My Rating: 7/10

Would I watch it again? Definitely

You're not going to find much here that you haven't seen in many of the other early 70s Euro-trash, vampire, lesbian, gothic, gory horror films that were so prevelant at this time. TDWN does offer, however, some nice touches with visuals.

There's a scene about a half hour in that has one of the twins making love to La Contessa Dracula. There's very little nudity but the entire scene, lasting about 2-3 minutes, consists of nothing but kissing. The various angles, music and edits combine to form an eerily erotic scene that seems so unusual for a film like this considering they typically have a love scene loaded with gratuitous nudity which dampens any sensual impact they may have been going for. Strange, right? I was pleasantly surprised.

Speaking of music, Vasili Kojucharov's score largely works. He's obviously working off a thin orchestra and sometimes it's very nice and lyrical but then there are times where it's just too much and brash. As each of the brothers are travelling to the castle, we get galloping music that's really upbeat and rushed. It's a little jarring the first time you hear it because it's kind of Mickey-Mousey, cartoonish. It's another thing to hear it MANY times as we get several breaks in the narrative to show that someone's on his way and that he will be there at some point. The effect is now comical and it takes you out of the story. Don't need that. Lose a few notes. I don't know...just cut a few. Too many notes. Haha.

When's the last time you saw something like this?

The print I watched is from the Elvira collection that gives you the option of watching it with the Elvira segments or without. I chose without and then went back and watched only her bits in the other version. This is one of the grainiest, filthiest prints I've seen but that just adds to the fun of watching an old film of this type.

These are the big reasons to watch THE DEVIL'S WEDDING NIGHT. There is a satisfying, yet cliched, bleak ending. It's been done many time before, I know, but I like it. I prefer it to a happy ending where the guy gets the girl and they live happily ever after. OOPS! SPOILERS! Not really. It's not like that's going to ruin this film. It's predictable at times but that's OK. TDWN brings a wonderfully erotic, low-key love scene and lots of blood poured on all the right places. Say, that sounds like there's a song in there somewhere. Hmmmmm.

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