Film Review: THE NIGHT OF THE DEVILS (1972)

Film Review: THE NIGHT OF THE DEVILS (1972)

Oct 12, 2018

IMDb: Night of the Devils (1972)
Director: Giorgio Ferroni
Writers: Eduardo Manzanos (story) (as Eduardo M. Brochero), Romano Migliorini (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Stars: Gianni Garko, Agostina Belli, Roberto Maldera

This somewhat unknown Italian gore-fest is a great release from Raro Video. Known in Italy as La Notte dei Diavoli and starring Italian icon Gianni Garko, it is a film that American horror fans must seek out. While it is a remake in a way, it is at least a very good remake. You see, it is based on The Wurdulak by Leo Tolstoy. This story had been previously adapted by the much more well known filmmaker Mario Bava, as Black Sabbath.

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The fans of horror films from this decade, especially Euro-horror, probably know everything about this film, its predecessor, and the source material. The release itself is a few years old, so many American collectors at least know that it exists. I’m here to tell horror fans young and old, however, that they need to check this out. It will appeal to fans of Giallo, slashers, gore films, and everything sleazy, trashy, and disturbing. It actually has a certain amount of appeal in all of these categories that some viewers may not get from Black Sabbath. This film has a dirty nasty quality to it. It feels like one of those low budget shock films that you know you shouldn’t be watching.

Aside from well known cinematic inspirations, it also employed a composer from Argento films (Giorgio Gaslini) and the effects man behind ET (Carlo Rimbaldi). Their talents are truly showcased in this memorable film. I found this one sounding surprisingly nice, despite the old source material that was used to create the DVD. It is not going to be up there with the Suspiria soundtrack, but will stand out nonetheless.

The effects work is actually what truly stood out for me. Many of the aspects of this film surprised me because I didn’t expect them to be very good. I assumed there would be some gore. To my surprise, however, there was a lot of gore…a lot of really good disturbing gore. While some of the disturbing sequences dealt with content of the sexual nature, it was easy to ignore when the bodies started piling up. With that being said, some of you are probably here for the sexual depravity, so know that it has plenty of that too.

In the end, this is a shocking and brutal story. It has all of the best aspects of Giallo, gothic haunting stories, slasher, vampire, and zombie films. It is a film that the collector of all things horror may want to keep an eye on. As far as this label goes, I have only come across two films at a low enough price that would make a blind buy worth my time. Sadly enough, my first blind buy Blue Movie, was not worth the money. This film, on the other hand, was completely worth it. I paid six bucks for it, but would easily move up to a standard 12-15 dollar DVD price to add it to my collection.

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