After hanging out with “He Who Walks Behind the Rows,” last night, I decided that I wanted to venture back into some classic horror. After searching Shudder for something interesting, I decided on the 1973 Mario Bava entry Lisa and the Devil.
Plot/ Lisa is a tourist in an ancient city. When she gets lost, she finds an old mansion in which to shelter. Soon she is sucked into a vortex of deception, debauchery and evil presided over by housekeeper Leandre.
As a fan of surrealistic movies and horror, it is awesome to get a chance to watch some of the films that possibly served as inspirations to the modern masters of the art. In this one, horror maestro Mario Bava creates one of his most entertaining and original films, and it has the perfect surrealism that I was looking for. Butchered as House of Exorcism here in the United States when it was originally released, the original vision is much more atmospheric, powerful, and coherent in the original form (Lisa And The Devil). The cast is solid and features some tremendous performances (Telly Savalas is awesome), the atmosphere is just creepy enough, and the cinematography, setting, and storyline work together to create a special movie. Yes, some of the pacing may feel slow and there are some head scratching moments, but those are easily overlooked. In the end, this is one of my favorite Mario Bava movies, and a movie that fans of that era and genre must watch.