Though an obvious attempt to cash in on the popularity of THE EXORCIST, this psychological horror picture is considerably more sensational than its prototype and incorporates many distinctly Italian touches. After all other conventional and unconventional efforts to cure her paralysis have failed, 20-year-old Ippolita (Carla Gravina)and her father, Prince Massimo Oderisi (Mel Ferrer), visit a shrine to the Virgin Mary, where a penitent commits suicide in a frenzy of religious feeling. Soon after, Ippolita begins to behave strangely, becoming aggressive, vulgar and lewd. Is she possessed by an ancestor who was burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft, or is she just acting out because she's incestuously infatuated with her brother (Remo Girone) and father, who's just announced his intention to marry German librarian Gretel (Anita Strindberg)? Ippolita has been dabbling in the occult with her friend Mariangela (Lea Lander), but after the visit to the shrine she begins spewing forth vomit and undergoing a distubing physical transformation she even regains her ability to walk, but only in a dreamlike state. Two priests, her Uncle, Father Ascanio (Arthur Kennedy), and Ftaher Mittner (George Coulouris) try to exorcise the demon from Ippolita's soul, while a psychiatrist (Umberto Orsini) with experience in the occuilt concentrates on the young woman's mind. Meanwhile an unseen demon has focused its attention on Ippolita's nubile body, resulting in a graphic rape scene in which Gravina must prove her acting talents. L'ANTICRISTO was released theatrically in a poorly dubbed and edited version, but was restored for its DVD release, which includes a truly raunchy black mass scene. In both versions, Ennio Morricone's score, while no "Tubular Bells," is strikingly effective.
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- Released: 1974
- Rating: R
- Review: Though an obvious attempt to cash in on the popularity of THE EXORCIST, this psychological horror picture is considerably more sensational than its prototype and incorporates many distinctly Italian touches. After all other conventional and unconventional… (more)