As part of their 9th Annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror & Science Fiction, the American Cinematheque presents a double bill of mideval torture films, one by Ken Russell and one by Lucio Fulci.
- THE DEVILS, 1971, Warner Bros., 111 min. One of Ken Russell’s best movies, this shocking adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s play “Devils of Loudun” is just the right kind of material to justify the filmmaker’s excessive style. Oliver Reed plays a priest targeted by political machinations in the 17th century. When Mother Superior Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave) begins having erotic dreams about him, she accuses him of sorcery, giving his enemies just the amunition they need to destroy him. This film is not on DVD, and it demands to be seen.
- BEATRICE CENCI, 1969, 99 min. Gore meister director Lucio Fulci (THE BEYOND, ZOMBIE) tackles literary giant Stendahl’s masterpiece of bloody familial treachery in 16th century Italy in this surprisingly faithful adaptation (which itself was based on a true story). Wealthy Francesco Cenci (George Wilson) is a sadistic landowner who regularly abuses his family and tenants, but is in good standing with his powerful cleric friends. He also has depraved designs on his own beautiful daughter, Beatrice (Adrienne Larussa). After one too many nightmarish evenings trying to keep her patriarch’s hands off of her, Beatrice plots with her servant lover Olimpo (Tomas Milian) to murder her evil parent. But after his demise, things quickly unravel, with noblemen and powerful clergy ensnaring Beatrice and her hapless accomplices for rounds of gruesome torture. One of Fulci’s comparatively unknown and best efforts. (Screened from a digital source).
More in this series:
- American Cinematheque's 9th Annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction - Complete Schedule
- 9th Festival of Fantasy, Horror & Science Fiction at Aero Theatre
- 9th Annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror & Science Fiction at Egyptian Theatre
- Blair Witch - 10th Anniversary Screening with Cast & Crew
- The Devils & Beatrice Cenci at Egyptian
- Seventh Moon - Los Angeles Premiere, with Guests