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On set, actor Michael (Stefano Patrizi) almost murders his co-star
Beryl (Laura Gemser). This makes him decide to get away from it all and
pay a long-overdue visit to his mother (Anita Strindberg) in her remote
mansion together with his girlfriend Deborah (Silvia Dionisio). Thing is,
the relationship between michael and his mum is somehow strained since he
has murdered his dad as a kid - which might also account for his erratic
behavious on set.
Michael's mother is overly pleased to see him again,
but for him it's hardly a holiday to get away from it all because his
director Hans (Henri Garcin), Hans's assistant Shirley (Martine Brochard)
and of all people Beryl also come for a visit. Soon, attempts on pretty
much everyone's life are made, and Deborah is dragged off to participate
in a black mass (though she's later released and doesn't know if she
didn't just dream everything). Everybody's a suspect of course, but then
Michael has sex with Beryl and whenhe wakes up next to her after a short
nap, he finds her slaughtered - and thus he figures he's the killer and
hides the body. Hans has taken photographs of the incident, so he is
killed to, as is Shirley, who has developed the photographs. Deborah gets
away though ...
Michael decides it's time to have a talk with his
mother, who tells him now that he isn't the killer but her servant and
lover Oliver (John Richardson), who has everybody under some black magic
spell, and who has also actually killed Michael's father after he caught
Oliver making love to mum. Now Michael wants to fight it out with Oliver,
who has ruined his life and killed his friends, but Oliver has since taken
his own life but left a tape behind that tells a different story: It was
actually Michael's mum who killed his dad, and she's the one with the
black magic powers. Michael only believes it when his mum wants to use him
to reincarnate his father again. In the ensuing struggle, Michael is
killed, but then Deborah, who was stupid enough to return to the mansion,
enters the scene again ...
The last film of Italian horror
maestro Riccardo Freda - and not one of his better ones. Sure, the film is
well-crafted, atmospheric, and features some ok suspence sequences .. but
boy, does the script suck! Everything starts out well enough as a murder
mystery of the old dark house variety, but eventually all narrative
build-up is thrown out of the window for a black magic plot, and even that
is not seriously hampered by quite a few unnecessary and ridiculous
plottwists. On top of that, lead actor Stefano Patrizi lacks any and all
screen presence his character would have badly needed.
In all, not a
total fiasco maybe, but not a film Riccardo Freda deserves to be