The Antichrist/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Antichrist
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For what its worth, THE ANTICHRIST is arguably considered the best of the EXORCIST rip-offs. This is most likely because the starts off being interesting based on its own merits; one of which is an opening visit to an ancient Italian church that houses a Virgin Mary believed to have healing powers. This powerful sequence (which ends on a horrific note) offers up the gorgeous locale, an understated creepiness and introduces the theme of tragedy bringing on a question of faith.

Carla Gravina (in a balls-out performance) plays Ippolita, a young woman bound to a wheelchair from an accident that killed her mother. Its since then that she has developed a borderline incestuous infatuation with her father Massimo (Mel Ferrer). This, in turn, is causing problems for his relationship with girlfriend Greta (Anita Strindberg).

Its after Ippolita's unsettling visit to the old church that she begins to act strangely. She relays her own fears in a confession to her uncle Bishop Ascanio Oderisi (Arthur Kennedy). He, however, beliefs Ippolita's issues to be more psychological than supernatural and brings onboard Doctor Marcello Sinibaldi (Umberto Orsini).

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When the good doctor puts Ippolita under hypnosis, a shocking revelation comes to surface about the family -- A female ancestor (also played by Gravina) is burned at the stake for being a practicing Satanist. And that is when all Hell breaks loose...

Its when Ippolita becomes possessed that the filmmakers reveal their sleazy intentions. This includes Ippolita masturbating with a framed photo of her father, as well as her having (unseen) sex with her brother Filippo (Remo Girone) and then claiming to have been impregnated by him. The result will most likely end up being an Antichrist with its mother's eyes . . . And a extra one for good measures.

In actuality, she has somehow become pregnant while dreaming of her ancestor's induction into the Satanic cult. Its during this sequence that the film's most notorious moment surfaces -- Once agreeing to become a daughter of Satan, the ancestor proceeds to blow a goat. The direct act is never shown but it certainly is strongly implied. To make matters worse (read: hi-larious!) the scene is intercut with the modern-day Ippolita lewdly pantomiming the act. (The American version, known as THE TEMPTER, has the entire black mass sequence excised...Or is it exorcised...See what I did there?) Also worthy of note is a score by Ennio Morricone and none other than Joe D'Amato (who we'll be seeing again a little bit later).

Reviewed by Angel Orona

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