Night of the Devils (1972)

NIGHT OF THE DEVILS (1972)
aka La Notte dei divaoli
Article 2393 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-15-2007
Posting Date: 3-1-2008
Directed by Giorgio Ferroni
Featuring Gianni Garko, Agostina Belli, Maria Monti

A man in an insane asylum thinks back on the events that brought him there; his car broke down in the woods, and he was stranded in the home of a family that is under a curse – they are plagued by Vurdalaks.

If this movie seems similar to the Vurdalak segment of BLACK SABBATH, that’s no coincidence; it was based on the same Tolstoy story as that one was. Though BLACK SABBATH is certainly the better known version, this one is strong in its own right; it’s moody and suspenseful, the special effects (by Carlo Rambaldi) are memorable and grotesque, and it holds the attention throughout. The movie is so effective that I easily forgive some of the things I don’t like, such as the ineffective timpani “Boinnng!” sound that is more comic than scary, and one of those twist endings that feels more like a manipulative cheat than a revelation. Furthermore, the movie is excellently dubbed. This one is recommended, especially for fans of the shorter version of the story in the Bava movie.

 

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