Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Devil's Nightmare (Jean Brismee, 1971)

Interesting little deviant deviation from Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (Or Ten Little Indians or the more... un-PC name, if you will) wherein a busload of holiday tourists find their vehicle breaking down, and seek refuge in a nearby castle (have none of these people seen The Old Dark House (1932)?  Or at the very least, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) - no, because that came four years after this, idiot, but shush?) only to be picked off in a variety of ways in a manner according to the Seven Deadly Sins.
 Erika Blanc, whom i had previously seen as the beautiful damsel in distress in Mario Bava's masterful Kill, Baby, Kill! (aka Operation: Terror) (1966), features here as the resident family succubus, who can switch betwixt an alluring feminine form and her true guise - eerily reminiscent (for me and my childhood memories, anyway) of both Zelda from Pet Sematary (1989) ('I'm coming to get you, Rachel!') and the nightmare sequence from Gothic (1986) wherein Natasha Richardson appears all deathlike with her dead child.
 Daniel Emilfork features as a slightly camp, yet beguiling and odd-looking Satan, and the award for 'Totally Unnecessarily Long But Worth It' scene goes to Shirley Corrigan (of Dr Jekyll vs the Werewolf (1972) 'fame') and the lovely Ivana Novak as lesbo-tastic lovers Corrinne and Regine.  Curse my Male Gaze.
 Worth a laugh, with some very good direction from Brismee (the tracking shot of the arrival at the castle is stunning).  Maybe watch on a twin-spin with a Jean Rollin movie.  Or do something more productive with your time, i don't care.


  1. I find myself wishing that this review was longer, so you could tell us how they were all guilty of the sins, and how they were killed.

    Like, was the avaricious one shown counting huge piles of money? Was the gluttonous one constantly eating? Did Wrath shout at everybody and then punch them, like Jeremy Clarkson? Were the lesbians guilty of lust? Did the slothful one even bother to appear in the film? And how do you convincingly and engagingly portray Envy and Pride on screen?

  2. Lucy, you could quite literally write a thesis on this. Reminds me of the TV series Messiah where a serial killer kills people in the manner of the victims in the various circles of Dante's Inferno. That had lesbians being guilty of Lust too. It is true, we are very lustful.

  3. I probably could write a thesis on this, couldn't I? :-D

    Envy, as well as being the least enjoyable of the seven deadly sins, is also the hardest to depict satisfactorily on screen. Someone constantly looking really narked off and complaining about how the other guy has it so much better than them, I guess. I know this person who thinks that teaching is a sinecure because of the holidays the teachers get...

  4. The Pet Shop Boy's video "It's A Sin" depicts the Seven Deadly Sins and has similar trouble with Envy. They have the person pout and shine a greenish light on them. It just about works as they don't linger long on either Envy or Pride (purplish light, looks arrogant).

  5. One of my favourite songs, dat. No wonder my parents had doubts about my sexuality as i was growing up.

    Right, if i remember rightly (and it's been over a week since i watched it and i'm in the death throes of a hangover, so please bear with me) the bus driver is definitely Gluttony - his death scene wherein he is led by the succubus to a feast, and dies regurgitating green slime amidst chomping chicken legs, Henry VIII style, is great. The lesbians are Lust - especially Corinne, who also cops off with a married bloke (i suppose she's bi rather than the full Sappho), whilst an old bloke listens at the wall (i think he's Envy). Married bloke's wife is Greed, as she's killed trying to raid gold dust from the chateau owner's alchemical laboratory. The priest is definitely Pride.

    I forget the rest.