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October 29, 2007

Demonic Possession - Italian Style

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Andrea Bianchi (as Andrew White) - 1979
Severin Films Region 1 DVD

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La Bimba di Satana/Satan's Baby Doll
Mario Bianchi (as Alan W. Cools) - 1982
Severin Films Region 0 DVD

I had to made sure that these were two different films. Both stories take place in huge remote castles. The nubile daughter is possessed by the angry spirit of her dead mother. Both girls have uncles confined to a wheel chair. Both films have Mariangela Giordano in similar roles, wearing almost identical nun's habits. And both films are directed by guys with the same last name, both using the time-honored tradition of signing their films with Anglo pseudonyms. If that's not enough, both films represent the single film appearances of Katell Laennec and Jacqueline Dupre in the starring roles.

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, William Friedkin may still be blushing. If nothing else, these two films are evidence of the impact The Exorcist had, years after its initial release. Malabimba begins with a seance led by the wide eyed Elisa Mainardi. The name may not be familiar, but the face is one that has appeared in several Fellini films for good reason. After zipping open Enzo Fisichella's fly and ripping off Patrizia Webley's dress, the spirit takes over the young daughter played by Ms. Laennec. Not only does Laennec speak in a very low voice and run around in various states of undress, but she does things with her stuffed dolls that would probably bar her from future visits to FAO Schwarz.

In Satan's Baby Doll, Jacqueline Dupre is also possessed by the spirit of her mother. Additionally, the dead mother, portrayed by the appropriately named porn star Marina Hedman physically reappears to haunt the family. There is one nod to classic horror films when the Devil worshipping servant is killed by a reanimated mummy shortly after having chicken dinner in the manner of Tyrone Power. Satan's Baby Doll also is the only film I know of with a scene of lesbian necrophilia. And sure enough, it should be noted that Malabimba and Satan's Baby Doll were both written by the prolific Piero Regnoli. The auteur of Playgirls and the Vampire proves that when it comes to sex and horror, some things just can't stay buried.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at October 29, 2007 12:32 AM


I haven't seen either of these, but I'm really curious about them, especially Malabimba. Hopefully I'll be able to give them both a look soon since they sound like movies I'd probably enjoy.

Posted by: Kimberly at October 30, 2007 01:52 PM

But I’ll still take that over random strangers wanting to touch my belly. *shivver*

Posted by: glimpse at December 16, 2009 05:14 PM