January 21st, 2014: Lisa and the Devil (1973)

Lisa and the Devil

Cast and Crew: Alida Valli

What It’s About:  Tourist Lisa (Elke Sommer) gets lost in a European city.  She finds herself  at an imposing mansion, where she is drawn into a tangled web of deception and murder which seems to be stage managed by the butler of the house, Leandro (Telly Savalas).

Why Watch it Today?:  Telly Savalas was born on this date in 1922.  Savalas is most known to American audiences as Kojak, but he also spent a lot of time acting in European genre films in the 1960s and 1970s.  While today’s film is not one of Mario Bava’s most coherent films, it is beautifully atmospheric, and Savalas makes the most of his role as a man who may or may not be the devil.

Other Choices:  Savalas plays a psychotic in The Dirty Dozen; the most physically dangerous incarnation of Blofeld in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; and, like so many others, has a cameo in The Muppet Movie.

Just a heads up, the trailer is slightly NSFW:

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4 comments on “January 21st, 2014: Lisa and the Devil (1973)

  1. geelw says:

    Heh. I saw this as House of Exorcism (the even MORE confusing US version) before seeing the original years later on a double feature with The Devil Within Her. That was a scary set of films for all the wrong reasons… But I did laugh a lot!

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      I really enjoyed this movie, but I wouldn’t ever call it scary, it’s more of a mood piece. The Devil Within Her, on the other hand….it was funny, but no where near funny enough to forgive how terrible it was. A movie about a woman giving birth to an unusually large child possessed by a (still living) dwarf cabaret performer that put the whammy on her…no right to be as dull as it is!

  2. geelw says:

    Yeah, the plot to TDWH alone is insane, but that film is SO boring even though you get a bunch of murders (which are all funny) and a sex scene (which is dull!)…

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      The funniest things about it to me were a) trying to pass off a very cute baby as hellspawn and b) the husband’s “Eye-tal-ian” accent, though those murders were pretty damned funny. Of course, we can’t forget Donald Plesence as the world’s most unsettlingly OBGYN.

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