Out of the Devil’s Reach (1959)

aka Kam cert nemuze, Where the Devil Cannot Go
Article 3814 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-13-2012
Posting Date: 1-23-2012
Directed by Zdenek Podskalsky
Featuring Miroslav Hornicek, Jana Hlavacova, Vlastimil Brodsky
Country: Czechoslovakia
What it is: Faustian romantic comedy

A physician suffering from ennui finds himself followed by a woman who may be an incarnation of Mephistopheles and who wants his soul.

You know, there are some movies where it’s simply maddening to try to avoid plot spoilers, especially when those spoilers play a major role in defining the fantastic content of a movie, which is one of the main things I hope to touch upon in these reviews. Such is the case here, but I’m going to try to discuss it without letting the cat out of the bag in its entirety. Suffice it to say that the movie’s initial premise concerning a man tempted to sell his soul to the devil is a smokescreen for what is really going on. Still, there is a bit of spookiness to a couple of scenes, and there’s just a touch of ambiguity in the reappearance of a black cat at certain times in the story. Still, the movie is primarily a comedy, and a pretty strange one at that; it’s amusing enough, but will leave your head swimming at times. Outside of the Faustian parallels, the only other content that could be called even the least bit fantastic is that it flirts just a little bit with the theme of madness, though this flirtation never really ventures into real horror territory. This one is odd, but not uninteresting, and it’s a nice change of pace from what I’ve been watching recently.


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