The Demons (1972)

(a.k.a. LES DEMONS)
Article #1470 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-24-2005
Posting Date: 8-21-2005
Directed by Jesus Franco
Featuring Anne Libert, Britt Nichols, Doris Thomas

A witch passes a curse on those who burnt her at the stake. The curse is brought about by the actions of her two twin daughters.

I’ve seen only a handful of Jesus Franco films at this point, but I’ve seen little to make me understand why he’s something of a cult item; at his worst, his movies are as boring as anything by Jerry Warren. However, I did get a few hints in this movie. He certainly finds some wonderful places to serve as backdrops for his movies; the interiors in this movie are truly stunning. It’s basically a cross between a witch’s curse movie and nunsploitation. The plot is somewhat coherent this time, and though it moves at a snail’s pace, it never grinds to a complete halt. Still, it’s hard for me to think of Franco as something other than a proponent of pure exploitation when he sees fit to make sure that every five minutes or so we get close-ups of masturbation, torture, genitalia or pubic hair (or several at once, if he can manage it). Yet, for all its excesses, I found it more watchable than FEMALE VAMPIRE, for example, though I still prefer Jean Rollin for my arty erotic horror needs. At least, however, I am getting a few hints as to why he has his cult following.

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