(Bruno Mattei, 1981)
1981 was a GREAT year for Italian horror. It gave us Patrick Still Lives, Macabre, Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, Murder Obsession, and THIS! Bruno Mattei delivers another greasy cheese pizza with The Other Hell, though I find it oddly delicious...
The Other Hell is about a convent besieged by the Devil. He is causing the nuns to commit diabolical acts. A priest is called in to investigate after one nun stabs another to death in the depths of the convent cellar. At first he is (naturally) skeptical but, after a series of bizarre incidents, he begins to believe that Satan may be among them.
What could have been a delightfully schlocky nunsploitation romp is instead a delightfully schlocky MESS in Mattei's hands. Everything in this movie is borrowed from somewhere else! In Bruno's defense, it IS entertaining. I absolutely loved the soundtrack, which was essentially Goblin tracks lifted from a few of their scores. He lifts scenes directly from Dario Argento's Deep Red (hanging doll, the child's drawing)and Suspiria (dog attack). He also took cues from Lucio Fulci and included a lot of close-ups of the eyes, and of course some maggots. Then there's the stock footage of the owl. Yes, really. As if Mattei hadn't learned after Hell of the Living Dead at ALL! He also manages to rip off Carrie (the character herself AND the psychotic religious mother!)The one original image he DID create in TOH is the faceless girl looking through frosted glass, which was picked up much later in a variety of Asian horror movies.
I should also the mention the special effects, or lack thereof. The devil appears to be nothing more than a foam head painted black with a couple red lightbulbs in his eyes! At one point we are introduced to an infant who has psychic abilities, which is OBVIOUSLY a plastic doll. Oh ya, and there's a fake bat stuck on a wall and flapping its wings like a moth at one point too! The story itself isn't terribly original either, and is offensive and tacky in a way only Bruno Mattei could get away with. Anyone who might be allergic to pure cheese should probably stay away from this (but if you're fearless like me, it might just end up in yer Top 10!)
8 months ago