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DVD Review: ‘The Devil’s Kiss’

★☆☆☆☆

You know those films which are so bad they’re good? Well, unfortunately The Devil’s Kiss (1975) isn’t one. This (apparent) ‘Euro-terror’ classic from director Jordi Gigó – who gave us Porno Girls (1977) – is just plain bad. Featuring Silvia Solar, Olivier Mathot and Jose Nieto – all three of whom also starred in that other sleaze fest Terreur cannibale (1981) – this is an exercise in ineptitude, pure and simple.

Claire Grandier (Solar) is a wacky medium out for revenge. She blames the aristocratic Duke De Haussement (Nieto) for the death of her husband and intends to make him pay. Charming her way into the duke’s chateau she, with the help of her friend Professor Gruber (Mathot), creates a demon-possessed zombie, which she unleashes on the unsuspecting duke and his friends with hideous results.

First, let me say that the ‘Eurocine Horror trailer reel’ which forms part of the extras with the DVD release of The Devil’s Kiss, is more fun than the actual film. Right, on with the main feature.

During the heyday of the American B-movie, films like Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) and virtually anything by Herschell Gordon Lewis, built cult reputations out of their atrociousness. Unfortunately, though you suspect The Devil’s Kiss may be aiming for the same end, it fails to deliver neither the ‘terror’ nor ‘bizarre devilry’ it alludes to.

One promising scissor stabbing aside, all the murders are somewhat prosaic stranglings, unpleasant but hardly terror inducing, whilst Claire’s similarity to ‘Elvira Mistress of the Dark’ is so unsubtle it’s laughable. My one-star rating is for the mad 1970s fashion show the Duke stages for some party guests (why he puts on a fashion show is never explained except perhaps that he’s a bit of a perv) with a collection of young models in psychedelic catsuits shimmying to some funky 70s beats.

The château where the pedestrian horrors unfold is beautiful and at least authentic, whilst the exterior night shots really are exterior night shots. Unfortunately however, though the zombie which Claire and the professor reanimate actually runs instead of the usual undead shamble, he has all the shudder inducing capabilities of a car crash survivor, which is also an appropriate summation of The Devil’s Kiss as a whole.

Cleaver Patterson