Satan's Blood (1978)/ Nuda per Satana (1974)
Into this world came the exploitation film, always quick to seize the zeitgeist and take it to the extreme. Europe was particularly adept at grabbing the satanism fad and lending a very dark and intrinsically evil vibe to their movies. Britain's Dennis Wheatley and Hammer productions released their fare share of satanic pop culture to the masses, but it was the European continent and Mexico/Latin America that really brought the satanic mojo to its demonic limit.
I've got a whole stack of satanic sleaze, and we'll start things off with a couple of the sleaziest Europe had to offer. So, sprinkle yourself with holy water and grab your rosary because we're about to walk down a dark and sinister path...
Escalofrío (1978) AKA Satan's Blood, Don't Panic
Ana (Mariana Karr) and Andres (José María Guillén) are a happy young couple (think Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes). They have nothing to do this afternoon, so decide to go out and enjoy the afternoon in Madrid and take their German Shepherd, Blackie, with them.
Along comes this shady couple: Bruno (Ángel Aranda) and Berta (Sandra Alberti).
Bruno swears up and down he knows Andres from their college days, but Andres can't for the life of him remember him. They invite Andres and Ana to their house for some drinks.... and as you can probably guess, the couple stupidly agrees (they obviously haven't watched many horror movies).
Naturally, Bruno and Berta live in a creepy mansion in the middle of nowhere. They must have the same interior decorator as The Addams Family, as their home is full of creepy stuff... namely that unspeakably horrific doll!
Ana thumbs through a book on satanism and Andre cluelessly struggles to remember Bruno. Neither suspecting for a moment that they are in danger. Only Blackie has a clue, and Berta stealthily locks it in a far-off room.
Mistake #2: Ana and Andres play Ouija. Their day started with taking Blackie for a walk; now, they're communing with the dead with a couple satanic strangers in a remote mansion. I think it's safe to say Ana and Andres have made some poor choices this Saturday.
Ana gets freaked out by the Ouija session and wants to go home. Berta gleefully informs them that they won't be going anywhere. A storm has come in, and all the roads are flooded.
I think I'd take my chances.
Things go to hell (literally) in a hurry. Blackie is killed by the groundskeeper, then the groundskeeper nearly rapes Ana. When they try to ge the f**k out of Dodge, they run into Berta and Bruno, butt naked, performing a satanic ritual.
Poor Ana and Andres are lured into the demonic orgy
Up until this point (about forty minutes in the film), things have been pretty tame. There's been a foreboding air, a sinister vibe, but nothing explicit. Suffice it to say, we get to see all of Ana, Andre, Berta and Bruno... it's erotic, but more dark, wicked and disturbing than titillating.
Ana and Andres seem to have no recollection of the orgy, and proceed to go retire for the night. That evening, Ana is visited by the doll. Truly one of the most haunting scenes ever - longterm nightmare fuel.
Yep. I'm going to have to watch an episode of Three's Company to wash this from my mind. Holy crap this is horrifying.
Then, Berta walks in and shoves a knife into her pillow, then starts sexually molesting a traumatized Ana.
Yes. Shit has definitely hit fan.
Was it all a dream? Whatever the case, Ana and Andre are ready to split the next morning. Predictably, their car won't start... and they can't find Blackie.
Well, Blackie doesn't stay lost for long. They find the poor dog. Berta and Bruno begin fighting over who killed the dog, and (off screen) Bruno is shot dead.
A doctor arrives and pronounces the satanist dead. He tells Ana and Andres to stay put while he gets the police.
Berta slits her wrists, but is saved by Ana and Andre. However, Andre subsequently strangles Berta to death when she starts acting like she's possessed.
So, let's get this straight - Bruno and Berta are murdered, and Ana and Andre are the only people around for miles..... this might look a bit incriminating to the police.
Ana and Andre make it look like a suicide, then FINALLY get the hell out of this place (but not before an encounter with an undead Bruno).
Finally, they reach home and discover all their furniture and belongings are gone. They ask the neighbors about it... and, well, I won't spoil the ending. Let's just say, if you've seen Rosemary's Baby, you have an idea how these things go.
I must say, Satan's Blood is one of the best horror flicks I've seen in a long time. It's got it all: genuine scares, a supreme sense of evil throughout, and tons of naked Berta and Ana. Sure, it takes about forty minutes for things to really get going, but I think a semi-slow setup is needed for the level of batshit crazy horror that ensues. It's not campy; it plays everything straight, and I'd say it was well directed. An underrated horror film if there ever was one.
Nuda per Satana (1974) AKA Nude for Satan
Our hero, Dr. Benson (Stelio Candelli) is travelling down a dark and deserted road, when he comes upon an accident. Amid lightning flashes, he pulls the girl from the car.
She seems to be barely alive, so he runs to the nearest residence... which is, of course, a haunted manor.
Dr. Benson roams around the estate for what seems like an eternity (I almost bailed on this flick at this point - my attention span can't tolerate a 15 minute house exploration). But then, he encounters the woman from the accident.
The thing is, she's dressed differently, looks perfectly healthy, and keeps calling him her lover, "Peter". She says her name is Evelyn, and Dr. Benson assumes it's the same chick from the car, and she's just delusional from the crash.
Meanwhile, the chick from the car emerges and heads towards the mansion, only to encounter a dude who is clearly the devil.
She's played by Rita Calderoni, who acted from 1968 through 1983. The devil (who reminds me of Gene Simmons at times) is played by James Harris who was in a handful of obscure movies.
After showing Suze around the estate, the devil zaps her clothes off like Scott Baio. Then, zaps them back on. The most random nudity I've ever seen.
And there's this wincing, odd, slightly-creepy butler (Renato Lupi). What's his story?
Meanwhile, Dr. Benson makes out with Susan in the grass. Doesn't this violate some medical code of conduct? I mean, he thinks she's in a state of shock from the accident - should he really be grubbing with this girl?
Meanwhile (I'll be saying this a lot, as this film keeps shifting from Dr. Benson's story to hers), the chick from the car is manhandled by guy named Peter, who keeps calling her Evelyn. She thinks it's Dr. Benson, evidently driven mad by brain damage from the accident ... but he wasn't in an accident.... whatever.
Let's pause to regroup - this shit is confusing. The story is, the estate is haunted by the ghost lovers, Evelyn and Peter, who are lookalikes for Susan and Dr. Benson. The devil is involved for some reason as well.
That night, Susan gets caught in a web and is nearly killed by a giant fake-as-hell spider (yes, you read that right), but Dr. Benson shows up to save her.
Yes, her boob is hanging out. Rita Calderoni provides an unprecedented level of pointless, purely gratuitous nudity. She's constantly in a towel or taking a bath, or just randomly nude for no apparent reason. Gilligan approves.
While Susan rests, Dr. Benson looks for answers... and he finds them.... sort of.
According to the devil, the doppelgangers of Susan and Dr. Benson are the manifestations of their "dark side" - or some kind of mumbo jumbo like that.
I'll mention that one of the reasons I chose this is because I heard The Rocky Horror Picture Show was influenced by it. Certainly I can see the similarities - in place of the devil, you have Tim Curry, you have a couple stranded at an old mansion, and there are a couple scenes that are clearly lifted in terms of visuals/setting. But, overall, the overlap between the two films is pretty thin.
In the climactic scene, Susan falls victim to Peter, Dr. Benson's dark half. Amid an orgy of satanists and the devil on his throne, she is taken as one of them, while Dr. Benson is apparently pure of heart enough to escape the flames of damnation.
And the film ends with Dr. Benson waking up behind the wheel and, just as in the beginning, he finds an accident victim along the dark and haunted road.
I cannot tell a lie - I enjoyed Rita Calderoni's frequent eye candy - she is a stone cold fox, clearly unafraid of shedding her clothes. That aside, this movie is total shit. Don't watch it.
It should be mentioned that there is a hardcore version of this (which is actually the one I watched). This version adds in some explicit scenes of nameless actors and actresses getting their satanic groove on, but is ultimately pointless. If you want to watch a porno, go watch a porno - what's the point of splicing in hardcore material in film like this? Maybe it gave the flick some extra mileage at the drive-ins. Who knows. What I do know is this movie sucked - fast-forward to the Calderoni scenes then be done with it.