Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Devil's Wedding Night (1973)

To be honest, I am not exactly a man of complex taste. Give me some basic, exploitable elements and a movie that won't bore me to death, and I'll probably find some merit in it. Case in point: Luigi Batzella's* 1973 vampires plus Satanic horror show "The Devil's Wedding Night" It has it's flaws, but I did find myself enjoying it.

The plot, to tell the truth, is dumb even by the standards of Eurohorror: Franz (Mark Damon) decides to spend some time at a local castle. Oh, and this Castle is called Castle Dracula, and the Countess de Vries (the gorgeous Rosalba Neri) runs the joint, and is preparing a Satanic ceremony that requires virgin blood. Good news though, as Franz has a twin brother who must try to save the day.

As I said, the plot is pretty dumb. The movie also gets a bit too chatty for it's own good, sometimes relying too much on exposition. However, in spite of that and the stupid nature of it, I found this to be a fun movie-kind of like a mix of a 70's Hammer vampire movie and a more competent Jess Franco. For one thing, the thing is dripping with atmosphere, and thankfully manages to get away with it thanks to some striking visuals (such as the Countess bathing in blood in a fog drenched set piece) and some strong cinematography from the one and only Joe D'Amato. That and all the offbeat moments (the zombie like maid, the weird, almost Igor like dude that pops up) which manage to keep the thing from dragging too much (though as I said, it does drag a bit at places)

Then there's the final third act, in which things really pick up. Without giving too much away, let's just say there is an abundance of female nudity, some pretty gory violence, and a satisfying (not to mention darkly funny) conclusion. Really, it's hard for me not to eat a lot of this up.

To be honest, "The Devil's Wedding Night" won't make anyone's top Italian horror movies of all time list. I doubt it will make any top ten lists to tell the truth. However, it is a lot of Gothic fun, and should be of interest of the trashier side of 70's horror.

Rating: 7/10

*Among other things, this is one of three horror movies Batzella directed. The other two-"The Beast in Heat" and 'Nude for Satan"-aren't really worth it, so this is his best horror film. His other directorial credits include "Django's Cut Price Corpses" and the wonderfully titled "God is My Colt .45"

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