Black Magic Rites and the Secret Orgies of the Fourteenth Century (1973)

BLACK MAGIC RITES AND THE SECRET ORGIES OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY (1973)
aka Riti, magie nere e segrete orge nel trecento, The Reincarnation of Isabel
Article 3085 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-27-2009
Posting Date: 1-24-2010
Directed by Renato Polselli
Featuring Mickey Hargitay, Rita Calderoni, Raul Lovecchio
Country: Italy
What it is: One man’s overheated sexual fantasy with vampires, witches, possession and premature burial thrown into the mix

Many years ago, a witch had a stake driven through her heart and was lightly singed at the stake. Dracula became a vampire in order to reincarnate her. Many years later, a bunch of people move to a castle. Black masses are held. Things happen…

One of the subtitles near the end of the movie says “Don’t try to understand it.” They should have had that line at the beginning of the movie. I watched it in Italian with English subtitles, but if you have any hope of taking this movie seriously, you’d better watch it without subtitles; it will make no sense, of course, but then, it didn’t with the subtitles either. Scenes seem to occur at random, and writer/director Renato Polselli is addicted to editing; unfortunately, the more he edits, the sillier and more confused it becomes. The dialogue is often ludicrous, the special effects are mostly horrible; are those bats or hummingbirds that pop up sporadically throughout the movie? and couldn’t they find even one real snake for the snake pit sequence? The witch-burning sequence is also pretty bad; after stripping her naked, they place a stake with a heart on it on her chest (yes, I know the stake is supposed to have gone through her chest and that’s supposed to be her own heart, but that’s the level of the effects), and then light a fire that doesn’t seem to get within five feet of her body. The movie also contains the single most annoying actress I’ve seen in years, Stefania Fassio. Oh, and did I mention there’s lots of nudity?

If Ed Wood ever directed an Italian Eurotrash movie, this would be the result.

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