Saturday, October 3, 2020

1120. The Devils

The Devils
Directed by Ken Russell

In honor of the spookiest month of the year, I will be reviewing horror movies for all of October. But because I am nearing the end of the List, my choices are somewhat limited. I'm not going to lie to you, some of these might be a stretch. But I think The Devils is a solid choice. Anything that has nuns fits the bill in my opinion.

The Devils is based on an Aldous Huxley novel, which recounts the events of the "Loudun Possessions." These "possessions" took place in 1634 France. A convent of nuns went batshit crazy and accused a priest of summoning evil spirits. The film is a, um, loose adaptation of those events.

I began this film thinking it was going to be some sort of John Waters-esque nightmare. One of those movies that desires nothing more than to shock and disgust its audience. I get no pleasure out of those kind of movies, because there is enough to shock and disgust me in the real world. But the story of the Loudun Possessions can't be told in a straightforward way. It's just too bizarre.

Of course, that didn't make it easy to watch. Actually, it was pretty brutal, and it's not something I ever want to see again. Still, it had style as well as substance.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Banned in Italy.

A scene of naked nuns sexually defiling a statue of Christ were removed by Warner Bros. 


  1. Oh wow.... A tad surprised for you to give a Ken Russell a rather easy ride, and even 2 stars.

    Ken Russell used to live very near here .. in fact, at one time, I used to cycle past his house (when he was still alive and-supposedly- still living there. If you know the area, you can see Derwentwater - local lake, and Borrowdale cropping up in, seemingly, most of his films... pretending to be .. all sorts of places.

    Earlier this year, Keswick Film Festival had his widow, Lisi, as a guest to present a special showing of 'Dance of the seven veils' ( a 'made of TV film', supposedly not seen for decades, and a short, (also supposedly unseen bar once) called 'A kitten for Hitler', which he made as a bet that he could make a film in such bad taste that even he would agree it should be banned.

    Anyway, as far too often, I have rambled on at a tangent, not to do with the film in question..

    One of Ken's more relatively straightforward films, well.. considering the subject... As you say Amanda, not easy to watch, and one I probably wouldn't want to see again...

  2. The problem here is that Russell does a full Godard. This could have been great, all the ingredients are there, and then he stylizes and art-shits it to pieces. What a shame