Theres plenty of silliness in this rereleased fright movie set in 70 s San Francisco but too some dark, disturbing moments
Time has lent some archival interest to this Exorcist/ Rosemary’s Baby horror knockoff co-directed by the ex-serviceman grindhouse maestro Ovidio G Assonitis, saw in 1974 and now rereleased on streaming platforms.
There are lots of redundant and silly minutes, as well as some overripe behaving from Juliet Mills, but some disturbing and interesting nonsense as well. I desired Satan’s” address to the audience” from a blank screen that predates the movie, and Mills herself has a great sleepwalking scene that involves her emerge from her bunked in a full-length white nightgown and floating up to the ceiling, with some deep-throated demonic-ecstasy growling on the soundtrack.
She plays Jessica, a respectable wife and mother of two minors in San Francisco, married to a record producer, Robert, played by the Italian stage actor Gabriele Lavia( and dubbed ). A previous lover of Jessica’s called Dimitri( Richard Johnson) dies in a auto accident but as his vehicle is dashing over a cliff, Dimitri appears to cut a deal with the Evil One for 10 more years of life, in return for helping the devil with his plan to impregnate a lovely wholesome wife with his despicable spawn.
And so Jessica becomes mysteriously pregnant with her unplanned third child, and Dimitri hangs around, to make sure Satan Jr is safely born. But might he be on the side of the angels after all? It is all the cue from some outrageously ripped off head-swivelling and bile-spewing from the pregnant Jessica, and also some weirdly dodgy 70 s sexuality minutes, such as the possessed Jessica lingeringly kissing her tiny son on the cheeks.
One thing in this film generates us some important interpretative view. Jessica’s daughter is horribly precocious, attesting, talking back to her parents and incessantly reading a paperback copy of Love Story. In numerous practices, The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby were stories for the disillusioned peace-and-love generation and their anxiety and horror of a very young ones coming along. What had they committed birth to?
* Beyond the Door is available on digital platforms.