Mario Bianchi’s film is a 1982 remake of the recently reviewed Malabimba. The spirit of a newly deceased woman possesses her daughter, and proceeds to wreak havoc in the gothic castle that is the family’s domicile. Of course, given that the father is a murderous drug-addict, there isn’t that much for the possessed teen to do, as far as the plot itself is concerned. Curiously, this effort is less lurid than its predecessor (barring a couple of insanely OTT performances), with less nudity and taboo-busting, and also a rather less interesting deconstruction of respectable society. Plotting and motivation are haphazard at best. Still, it’s a not-unentertaining late-period Italian gothic, blessed with handsome sets.
Perhaps the one thing this film has over its model is that the dialogue synchs up with the lip movements rather more consistently. The track is still the original Italian mono, and it is nice to see these films without the awkward English dubbing. The sound is decent, but very low in volume, and the music sometimes sounds rather muzzy.
There is grain here, visible throughout the film, in some scenes far more noticeably than others. There’s also a faint but persistent guitar string. Even so, this is still a pretty nice looking transfer, as this is a film whose budget and relative obscurity would lead one not to expect very much at all in terms of picture quality. And quality is here: rich colours, strong contrasts, great blacks and a look that is never murky despite all the night scenes. The image is sharp, too. The aspect ratio is 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen, so 16×9 screens will wind up trimming it a bit.
Other than the theatrical trailer, the only extra is an interview with the director. That is already more than one might expect with this sort of film, so kudos to Severin for landing it. Mario Bianchi is at once brutally realistic about the Italian film industry and his mercenary role in it, but also rather pleased with himself.
Interesting watching this almost back to back with Malabimba. While I prefer the earlier, nastier film, this one is still kinda fun, and nice to see rescued from oblivion.