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Il Plenilunio delle Vergine

The Devil's Wedding Night

Italy 1973
produced by
Ralph Zucker (executive) for Virginia Cinematografica
directed by Paul Solvay (= Luigi Batzella)
starring Rosalba Neri (as Sara Bay), Mark Damon, Esmeralda Barros, Enza Sbordone (as Francesca Romana Davila), Xiro Papas, Gengher Gatti, Giorgio Dolfin, Stefano Oppedisano
story by Ian Danby, screenplay by Alan M. Harris, Ralph Zucker, music by Vasili Kojucharov, cinematography by Aristide Massaccesi (= Joe D'Amato)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Sometime in the 19th century: Archeologist Franz Schiller (Mark Damon) sets out to look for the "Ring der Nibelungen", a ring that could make its bearer all powerful - but in the wrong hands it could have devastating effects. But unfortunately the Ring is thought to be in Transylvania - vampires' country, as you might know -, at castle Dracula. So, to ward off evil, Franz takes with him the amulet of the demon Pazuzu (& in case you wonder: yes, it was the same Pazuzu that featured prominently in the Exorcist-movies as well as William Peter Blatty's novel, but in real life popular lore, Pazuzu was acutally used to ward off evil as well).

When Franz has sex though with Tanya (Enza Sbordone), the daughter of the house he's staying in, he loses the amulet between sheets, & so, when he arrives at the castle, he has to realize he came unprotected. However, his welcome at the castle couldn't be a more pleasent one since the lady of the house, Countess Dolingen (Rosalba Neri), proves to be a charming host, so delighted about his company that she seduces him.

When having sex,

Franz suddenly notices the "Ring der Nibelungen" on her finger, but it's too late ...

But while the Countess & her servant girl Lara (Esmeralda Barros) are still in the process of hiding Franz, someone's knocking at the door - it's Karl (Mark Damon again), Franz' identical twin brother, for some reason looking for Franz.

The Countess is all charming hostess again & offers her guest some drugged wine, which sends him on a trip while she - for some reason - has sex with Lara before his very eyes. Then she locks Karl into a room, which he escapes with little effort though, investigating the castle, complete with catacombs & crypts, until he encounters his share of vampires, who he fights off though before freeing his bother from his coffin.

Then Tanya stops by, having found Franz' amulet between the sheets, &, knowing about its power, feeling compuldsed to bring it to him. She is attacked by vampires though, & instead of using the amulet, she loses it, on a place where Karl can easily find it.

Franz meanwhile meets up with the countess again, & it turns out he has already become a vampire & is furthermore possessed by Dracula, & promises to marry the Countess in a Black Mass. However, while the Countess starts the party without Franz & sacrifices some naked virgins as part of the ritual, Karl, having eavesdropped on the 2 of them, overcomes Franz  & takes his place.

When the ceremony comes to its climax, though, with Karl (as Franz) joining the Countess & having to co the ultimate sacrifice - he has to kill Tanya - the Countess realizes it's actually Karl & sends her hordes of vampires towards him while she herself goes after Tanya. Karl though fights off the vampires with an axe & is soon on the Countess's trail. However, when she proves to be unimpressed by the axe he is wielding, he seems to be remembering the amulet of Pazuzu he is carrying in his breast pocket, pulls it out, & voilà, the Countess dissolves to dust.

Now all that's left to do is to stake his poor brother, & head off to a better life with Tanya, who claims to be ready & willing - but of course, she has already been turned into a vampire ...

 

One of these somewhat charming Euro-Gothic-shockers from the 70's, this movie plays it strictly by the book, though. It does contain all the familiar trappings you would expect from a vampire-tale set in an old castle, complete with some mild sex that was compulsory in 70's Euro horror. The film has little though that would elevate or differentiate it from others of the same ilk, instead even offers some serious plotholes - e.g. if first Tanya, then Karl do hold the amulet of Pazuzu, why do they hardly ever use it to fight the vampires ... ?

... so no, it's not a good movie. Some mindless fun, though.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD