The Other Hell (1980)

‘Say your prayers’

The Other Hell is a 1980 (released 1981) Italian supernatural horror film directed by Bruno Mattei [as Stefan Oblowsky] (Snuff Trap; Cruel Jaws; Hell of the Living Dead) from a screenplay written by Claudio Fragasso (Robowar; Zombie 3; Rats: Night of Terror).

The film stars Franca Stoppi (Beyond the Darkness), Carlo De Mejo (Manhattan Baby; City of the Living Dead), Francesca Carmeno and Franco Garofalo.

The original Italian title is L’altro inferno, and it is also known as Guardian of Hell and The Presence. The Goblin soundtrack score was recycled from Beyond the Darkness (1979).

On April 11, 2017, the film is released in the United States on Blu-ray by Severin Films.

Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

Audio Commentary With Co-Director/Co-Writer Claudio Fragasso, Moderated By Freak-O- Rama’s Federico Cadd
Sister Franca: Interview With Actress Franca Stoppi
To Hell And Back: Archive Interviews With Director Bruno Mattei and Actor Carlo De Mejo
Trailer
Reversible Cover Art

Review:

Something is amiss in the local convent, the mummified Mother Superior raves in the cellar, an evil-looking gardener (Franco Garofalo) lurks in the grounds, babies are boiled in the font, incidences of mutilation rise amongst the novices and the threat of demonic possession looms large.

As an ill-fated clerical investigation tries to sort it all out, the possibility of a return to the oldest of gothic subgenres, the evil convent story (pace Anne Radcliffe, M.G. Lewis and Diderot) seems in the offing, especially since director Bruno Mattei also made The True Story of the Nun of Monza (one assumes, using recycled nun habits and convents sets).

As flaky special effects and softcore writhings are trotted out, it becomes obvious that this is another ‘exorcismsploitationer’ with a superficial emphasis on Catholic trappings.

Most of the minor characters meets supernatural fates until a few slices of exposition finally reveal that it’s all down to the influence of a nun’s illegitimate daughter and the Devil himself, who have a right old set-to, dragging in some zombie nuns, in lieu of a climax.

Kim Newman, Horrorpedia

Buy DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca

Other reviews:

“In The Other Hell, they manage to rip off Carrie, The Exorcist, The Devils and The Omen (among others), while the music is stolen from various Goblin-scored films, including Buio Omega. And don’t miss the Mario Bava riff — the scenes in the convent attic, which almost succeed in being atmospheric and disturbing. That is, until you ask yourself: “What is a room full of dolls hanging from chains doing in a convent?” Braineater

“Alternately odd and hilarious, this mixed bag – full of screaming, out of control nuns […] An outrageous performance by Stoppi as the guarded Mother Superior dominates the action. The whole would-be transgressive silliness must be seen to be believed.” The Terror Trap

” …manages all sorts of confusing antics sure to keep the viewer in a state of increasing disbelief. Telekinesis, dog attacks, cooked babies, genital slicing and sketching priests might all add up to a cringe-inducing cocktail of crudeness to most, but thankfully for us viewers, it’s just another day at the office for Bruno Mattei!” MonsterHunter

 

” …while the film starts off promising, things slow way the f*ck down once the priest comes on the scene to investigate the murders. Along the way, there’s some bizarre moments (like a dog attack and some baby boiling); yet it’s nothing that’s in the same league as the opening scene. Ultimately, the intermittent spurts of WTF craziness just don’t justify the long dull stretches in between.” Mitch Lovell, The Video Vacuum

Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

” …The Other Hell does not disappoint with the old ultraviolence, be it death by stigmata, multiple stabbings, a very convincing priest immolation, or a severed head in an altar.” Duane Hicks, UK Horror Scene

Choice dialogue:

Mother Vincenza: “The genitals are the door to evil! The vagina, the uterus, the womb; the labyrinth that leads to hell; the devil’s tools!”

Cast and characters:

  • Franca Stoppi as Mother Vincenza
  • Carlo De Mejo as Father Valerio
  • Francesca Carmeno as Elisa
  • Andrew Ray as Father Inardo
  • Susan Forget as Sister Rosaria
  • Franco Garofalo as Boris
  • Paola Montenero as Sister Assunta
  • Sandy Samuel as Catatonic Nun
  • Tom Felleghy as The Bishop
  • Alba Maiolini as Sister Fiorenza

Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

Filming locations:

Convento di Santa Priscilla, Rome, Italy
Cimitero delle Fontanelle, Naples, Campania, Italy

Wikipedia | IMDb

Image credits: TerrorFantastico.com | VHSplatter

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Categories: 1980s, Blu-ray, Horrorpedia review, Italian, religious horror, satanic horror, zombie

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