Sunday, October 14, 2012

31 Days of Halloween 2012: Nude For Satan

An appreciation by Bob Ignizio

Boasting a title guaranteed to send all but the most obsessive horror and schlock fans running the other direction, NUDE FOR SATAN is a bizarre mix of sex, metaphysics, and pulpy gothic horror made in Italy during the psychedelic seventies. There's not much that can be called a plot, but the setup has one Dr. William Benson (Stelio Candelli) involved in an automobile accident with a woman named Susan (Rita Calderoni). Upon awakening, each goes separately to a nearby castle looking for help. This leads to a convoluted series of events involving doppelgangers, lesbianism, whippings, cheesy giant spider attacks, and of course as the title implies, Satanism.

As befits a movie called NUDE FOR SATAN, the film’s star Ms. Calderoni spends a good amount of time without clothes and looks quite stunning while doing so. Writer/director Luigi Batzella even manages to execute a few genuinely erotic scenes. He also takes his film's occult elements more seriously than the sort of lurid pulp Satanism found in most horror films of the era. For the most part, though, eccentric goofiness rules the day.

The end result is like a more technically competent Ed Wood film spiked with hallucinogenics. As with Wood's films, there's a genuine sincerity running throuh NUDE FOR SATAN even at its most absurd. Batzella seems to be trying to make a good film here; he just doesn't have the skills and/or money to pull it off. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between just another depressing bad film made without passion and a true schlock classic.

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