For some reason, my sleep cycles have gotten all messed up this week. I overslept yesterday and for some reason, I wound up waking up early this morning (as in 2am early) and could not get back to sleep. I think this is going to entail a nap this afternoon, or possibly an early bedtime tonight, or possibly both ideas. Either way, I find myself somewhat exhausted. That should make watching today’s movie pretty interesting. An Italian horror movie that is part of the Pure Terror box set, today I find myself watching a fun little movie called The Eerie Midnight Horror Show.
The plot: Danila is attending art classes in Italy and after her class lets out, she asks her boyfriend Carlo to take her to an old church to look at some old statues. At the church, two crucifixes are being examined by Danila and some art historians before they are taken down and placed in a truck to be transported back to the school, where they work on separating the sculpted figure from the crucifix. That night, Danila’s parents throw a party, and Danila sees her mother, Luisa, taunting the fact that she has a lover in front of her father, Mario, before Luisa heads off to have sex with her lover. After watching the lovers display some sado-masochism acts, Danila leaves and heads back to the university, where she starts to work on restoring a painting before she is drawn to the sculpture. Turning her attention back to the painting, Danila doesn’t notice as the sculpture suddenly begins moving and breathing behind her. Danila is shocked when she turns around to find the statue has come to life and rips off her dress before pushing her to the ground and having sex with her, while the crucifix catches fire in the background. Suddenly, Danila snaps out of it, realizing it was simply a dream, and calls Carlo and asks him to meet her. They go to a cafe and Danila tells him what happened but Carlo feels like she just had a dream inspired by what she witnessed regarding Luisa. He takes Danila back to her house but when she starts climbing the stairs, she hears voices calling out to her and the sound of footsteps following her. Rushing to her room, she quickly locks the door but the voices persist and she finds herself compelled to begin masturbating before collapsing to the floor. The next day, her parents go to check on her and find her squirming on the bed and Mario tells Luisa to call the doctor. When Mario tries talking to Danila, she attempts to seduce him but he slaps her to try and bring her to her senses. The doctor shows up and believes that Danila is under too much stress and suggests they go out and spend a day in the country. The next day, Danila, Mario, Carlo, and Luisa head out to the country when one of their tires blow and as Mario and Carlo work on changing it, Danial gets out and begins exploring some nearby ruins. She finds a photographer that is taking pictures of the ruins for a magazine article and he tells her about the ancient temple to Baal that is in the area. As Danila explores further into the ruins, she hears laughter and sees the image of the sculpture on the cross laughing at her. She then sees an ancient ritual to Satan, where some women prepare a virgin sacrifice for Satan before the leader approaches Danila and hands her a goblet to drink from. After she drinks the liquid, the sculpture, Satan, leaps free from the crucifix and Danila is placed on it and Satan proceeds to hammer the nails in to crucify her. Danila wakes up screaming in her bed and Mario and Luisa stop her from hurting herself before calling the doctor. Afterwards, Mario and Luisa argue over who is to blame for her current situation. Meanwhile, the doctor examines Danila and finds the stigmata wounds on Danila’s body, which he later tells her parents that he can’t explain them and says he is getting some other doctors to come and help him figure out what is happening. One of the doctors suggests an exorcism, and while the idea is initially treated with scorn, they admit that medicine won’t help her and it is worth a try. Luisa goes to see the local priest and explains the situation and the priest warns her about what could happen but agrees to examine Danila and see if it warrants an exorcism.. Meanwhile, Carlo goes to see Danila and they make plans to drive out to the ocean the next day. As Luisa leaves the church, her lover shows up and offers her a ride, where he yells at her for dumping him. When she says that Danila’s illness takes priority and she will not let anything distract her from caring for her, he threatens to tell everyone about their affair. The priest arrives at the house just as Danila starts screaming and when he walks into her room, Danila sees the crucifix he is wearing and begins banging her head into the headboard of her bed. The priest later speaks to her parents, and tells them that they should have Danila taken to a nearby convent while the priest contacts an experienced exorcist to perform the ritual. The next day, Mario and Luisa, along with the doctor and the priest, take Danila to the convent, and after Danila is placed in her room, Mario, the priest, and the doctor head to a nearby hill, where the find Father Xeno praying in solitude. Back at the convent, the nuns gather for morning prayers but Danila begins freaking out in her room and tearing up the furniture before she manages to break free from the room and escape the convent. Carlo, who had learned where they were going, arrives just as Mario and the priests organize a search party to find Danila. Danila runs through the town, screaming and banging on doors and windows before Carlo finally finds her and she is taken back to the convent. At the convent, Xeno prepares for the exorcism and as he heads to Danila’s room, a strong wind starts blowing, attempting to keep him from Danila, but he begins chanting in Latin and the wind dispels. Entering Danila’s room, Xeno begins performing the exorcism and as Danila begins writhing on the bed, she has a vision of Satan speaking to her. Satan tells her that she has passed the tests he placed for her and he is giving back her beauty to use as a tool to seduce the priest, as a sign of his power. Danila begins trying to seduce the priest but he breaks free from her grasp and quickly leaves the room. As Xeno prays for strength and prepares to renew the exorcism, Danila leaves her room and Xeno finds her in an open foyer and begins chanting the exorcism. Danila screams out at firs tbefore she suddenly starts laughing and pulls a chain free from an old well and begins striking Xeno with it. Undeterred, Xeno continues with the exorcism before he collapses to the ground, as Danila begins foaming and vomiting bile onto the ground. Xeno begs God to save Danila before he dies, and Carlos runs into the foyer and finds Danila seemingly cured of her possession.
I can’t help it, but the further I got into this movie, the more I feel like this is a bad rip-off of The Exorcist. The acting was ok, dubbing issues aside, though some of the times that Stella Carnacina (Danila) was running around and moaning looked pretty ridiculous. Like I said, the basic story felt like it was just a remake of The Exorcist, just with a little less pea soup vomit or upside down spider-walking. The special effects and make up were pretty good in regards to Danila’s wounds but the make-up for her face when she is possessed was honestly pretty stupid looking, though the foamy bile at the end was a nice touch. Look, The Exorcist was a highly influential movie in the realm of horror movies so it is understandable that some similar movies will come out but you would still like some more originality in them to be more effective.
Rating: 2 out of 5