‘Deliver her from evil.’
The Antichrist – original title: ”L’anticristo – is a 1974 Italian supernatural horror film directed by Alberto De Martino (Formula for a Murder; Holocaust 2000; The Blancheville Monster) from a screenplay co-written with Gianfranco Clerici (The New York Ripper; Cannibal Holocaust) and Vincenzo Mannino (Phantom of Death; House on the Edge of the Park).
It was produced by Edmondo Amanti (Cannibal Apocalypse; Let Sleeping Corpses Lie; A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin). Aristide Massacessi (aka Joe D’Amato) was the cinematographer.
In the United States, Avco Embassy released the film in an edited ‘R’-rated version as The Tempter.
Carla Gravina, Mel Ferrer (Nightmare City; Blood and Roses), Arthur Kennedy (The Humanoid; Let Sleeping Corpses Lie), George Coulouris (Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb; Womaneater) and Alida Valli (The Killer Nun; Suspiria).
Rome: Having been wheelchair-bound since she was involved in a car crash as a child, Ippolita Oderisi, is deeply traumatised. Very fond of her father Massimo, she becomes jealous when she finds he has taken up with another woman, Greta.
A psychologist, Dr. Sinibaldi, places Ippolita under hypnosis and deduces that has become possessed by her ancestor who was burned as a witch.
Ippolita spouts obscenities, and regaining the use of her legs, begins attacking people. Massimo’s brother, a Catholic bishop named Ascanio, concludes that an exorcism is the only way to cure her…
“While some elements are stolen wholesale (like the exorcism sequence, which involves a priest who arrives covered in shadow, a door that’s about to be pounded off its hinges, and pea soup), it’s different enough to warrant a look. Instead of a young girl, the Devil takes over a 20ish woman, and since this is an Italian movie, you know what that means – gratuitous (and blasphemous!) nudity.” Brian W. Collins, Horror Movie a Day
” …The Antichrist comes out of Italy, bares the breasts, eats the goat ass, and does everything that The Exorcist does but in European form, just not quite to the extent of being a better film or causing chills to the level that its American counterpart accomplished. Its visually rich, well acted, and different, plot-wise, for the most part from scene to scene.” John Marrone, Bloody Disgusting
“Most cheap Italian rip-offs of expensive American blockbusters have the good sense to scale down the aspects of the production that cost money— the name actors, the sets, the special effects. Not this one. The Tempter has two Hollywood has-beens, rather than the standard one, and both of them went all-out to provide the kind of crazed performance that one expects from a washed-up star in a European exploitation flick.” Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting
“The cross-cutting, seventies styles and dated special effects will amuse as much as they convince. Sometimes it all evokes surreal dreams, other times just presents awful effects. The fake toad and snake anticipate similarly unsuccessful moments in Lucio Fulci horrors. The variable optical compositing often fails to convince, but a bold use of back (front?) projection is still effective, especially when all the colours are distorted.” Black Hole Reviews
Buy Blu-ray (English audio option): Amazon.co.uk
Cast and characters:
- Carla Gravina: Ippolita Oderisi
- Mel Ferrer: Massimo Oderisi
- Arthur Kennedy: Ascanio Oderisi
- George Coulouris: Father Mittner
- Alida Valli: Irene
- Mario Scaccia: the charlatan
- Umberto Orsini: dr. Sinibaldi
- Anita Strindberg: Greta
- Remo Girone: Filippo Oderisi
- Lea Lander: Mariangela