Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Movie Review: The Antichrist (1974)

The Antichrist (1974) - Italy - Horror - Rated R
A.K.A. L'anticristo, Blasphemy, The Tempter
Directed by Alberto de Martino
Starring Carla Gravina, Mel Ferrer, Arthur Kennedy, Anita Strindberg

A dull exorcism movie as incoherently babbling as the possessed character in it.

That is the nicer version of what I originally wrote.

A young woman with a father fixation has been paralyzed in her legs since the age of 12 stemming from a car accident in which her mother was killed. Seeking a cure for her paralysis she has sought help from doctors, occultists, and even the church, but to no avail. Introduced to a psychiatrist/parapsychologist, having found no organic cause of her paralysis he believes her paralysis stems from an earlier trauma, not in her life but in a previous life. Unfortunately in the process of dealing with the trauma a door is opened for a demon which previously possessed her ancestor to possess her.

Opening with a scene of a mob of zealots babbling incoherently while crowding around a religious effigy in a church seeking cures for various ailments, what follows in the rest of the movie is no more coherent. The plot is basic as can be. A woman with a trauma in her past becomes possessed by a demon when trying to release that trauma. Much of the movie is dull as it drags out a plot that wouldn't fill a half hour TV show into 112 minutes. I found myself checking the remaining time left on the movie hoping...hoping...and hoping even more this torture of innocent film stock and me would be over soon.

The Antichrist is a showcase of overacting hell. If anybody in this movie needs to be exorcised of anything, that would be bad acting. Arthur Kennedy plays against type as a priest; Arthur Kennedy was not meant to play a priest. Mel Ferrer plays a caring father...I will leave it at that or else it would be cruel what I would say. Carla Gravina screams a lot, very probably wanting the hell out of this mess. Anita Strindberg at least gets naked but it is too little to save this movie.

From poor special effects that make silent movies seem like a technological improvement to confusion in characters, and filled with jumps and scenes that just don't fit with the rest of the movie and are never explained, there is enough torture to be had watching this movie to justify giving a prisoner a reprieve. As for the confusion in characters, or perhaps I missed it, there is a male character I presumed was the boyfriend of the main character because of their affection toward each other. It turns out it's her brother. Holy creepies, Batman!

Even if you like bad movies this doesn't have anything to offer as you may go into a coma waiting for something to happen.

My Rating: I give it a finger!

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