The House of Exorcism (1975)

The House of Exorcism (1975)
Article 6075 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 11-17-2022
Directed by Mario Bava and Alfredo Leone
Featuring Telly Savalas, Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina
Country: Italy, West Germany, Spain
What it is: What happens when you can’t find a distributor

A priest attempts to find out why a tourist has become possessed by the devil.

When this movie originally came up on my hunt list, I opted to watch the original Mario Bava version called LISA AND THE DEVIL, which, despite a few caveats, I really liked. I was encouraged by several people to give this version a watch also, as there was enough new footage to make this reedit of the movie different enough that it became for all practical reasons a separate movie from the original. Having now seen it, I agree that it is substantially a different movie; but I far and away prefer the original.

Basically, in this version of the movie, the events in the original movie become backstory for the events in this one, but the backstory is still far more interesting than the exorcism angle in this edit; most of what happens here are pale imitations of similar scenes in THE EXORCIST, and what they don’t borrow from that movie is its attempt to tie the exorcist angle to the events in LISA AND THE DEVIL, which seems forced and silly. Telly Savalas still steals the movie, though his presence is entirely from backstory footage. The reason for this movie’s existence is that the original was unable to find a distributor, and this reedit was done to make the property more commercial. Bava wasn’t happy with this being done and I don’t blame him. And if the option comes up again to see this one, it’s definitely Bava’s version I’ll choose.

1 Comment

  1. Bava’s version will always be better, with his uncanny skill with lighting and atmosphere. Narrative and coherence, not so much. But always LOVE the look of his films!

    I think Argento tried to copy his style with ‘INFERNO’ which doesn’t make a bit of sense, but is absolutely beautiful to look at.

    I would frigg’n KILL to get that book about Bava that Tim Lucas wrote a while back, but it’s been out of print and is quite expensive now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s