E: Exorcismo (1975)

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So… a Paul Naschy Exorcist rip-off should be pretty sweet, huh?

Yeah… about that…

Leila (Mercedes Molina), your typical European heiress, is enjoying a typical evening of sex and drugs at a Satanic ritual with her dissolute boyfriend Richard (Roger Leveder). A near-fatal car crash later, things begin to go south for Leila’s state of mind. As things worsen, the family priest Father Adrian (Paul Naschy) is brought in to investigate, and four deaths later, he finally decides it’s time to throw down with the demon inhabiting Leila’s body.

1973’s The Exorcist still hadn’t opened in Spain, so what we have here is something like Luigi Cozzi trying to make a Star Wars rip-off without actually seeing it and coming up with Starcrash, a Barbarella rip-off. Director/screenwriter Juan Bosch probably had pictures, even the original novel to work with, and what he came up with is more giallo movie than anything, with Paul Naschy in the Tony Franciosa role. There’s a perverted chauffeur (Luis Induni) for a red herring, the usual ineffectual policeman who suspects Father Adrian, blah blah blah.

We have all the setpieces from the Friedkin movie: the freakout at the party, the levitating bed, the death by head-twisting – twice, just to one-up the original (the amateur occultist cop mentions this is a favorite murder method of Satan). But if you’re here for awesome exorcism action, be aware that it’s confined to the last five minutes of the movie, which may be a record for a title character not showing up (Spoiler: that record actually belongs to The Ice Cream Bunny) .

Maria Perschy is sadly wasted as the high-strung mother. I will admit that the possessed makeup on Leila is pretty good, especially the freakiest damn set of contact lenses I’ve ever seen. Too bad it’s limited to the last fifteen minutes or so. According to most of the synopses I’ve read, Leila is playing host to the spirit of her dead father, but I got no indication of that. To be honest. it may be there, I just didn’t care enough to notice. I generally hate giallo, and once I found out the movie’s true genre, I slipped into endurance mode.

Basically, if Paul Naschy had made this movie instead of just starring, there would have been 14 murders and a nude scene by the half-hour mark. And probably some zombies. Instead, what we have is an ill-informed cash-in that would have deservedly vanished were it not for the cult status of its star.

Buy Exorcismo on Amazon

3 Comments

  1. And yet, I must now see this!

    • It is to be expected. At least it is a relic of the Golden Age of Men With Beards.

  2. […] movies I managed to schedule this year. The last two, in case you’re joining us late, were Exorcismo and The Valdemar Legacy/La Herencia Valdemar. It was my intent to spread my nets wider for movies […]


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