Wednesday, October 29, 2008

BLACK MAGIC RITES (1973) d. Renato Polselli

Reviewed by
Tracy Hook

I've seen this film numerous times before, but I think it was called something else. . . oh yeah, The Reincarnation of Isabel. Personally, I prefer that title to Black Magic Rites which is a bit generic. Oh!

Black Magic Rites is a strange and confusing story of a party gone wrong. People disappear, have dirty fantasies, fall down the stars, and meet up with Satanists. The Satanists look more like they're going to a slumber party than a black mass. These pajama-clad Devil worshippers pop up all over the film and as we see they control all the mishaps, mayhem and reincarnation. Whippings, shacklings to ladders(!?) and gropings (lotsa and lots of gropings). It reminded me of this street in York, England nicknamed Grope Alley in the victorian Age. Everything was squeezed there, by the time people left they felt like a roll of Charmin. I bet by the time the actress attended the wrap party for Black Magic Rites they did as well.

The film, I have to admit, took about four viewings to figure out what was going on. I formed a theory that it was created for the "sober-impaired". I'm not endorsing illegal drug use or underage drinking by any means, (I can't, I'm legally bound by Saturday Fright Special Inc.) but possibly the director was under the influence of psychadelics. Black Magic Rites was shot in 1972 after all. And on that note, there's lots of Free Love with a hairy, borderline, mentally retarded man for comic relief no less. Oh and don't forget, girl on girl action, vampire on girl action, satanic groppings, a creepy Donald Pleasance look alike, orgasms while falling, and even more groping. All this is accompaned by a haunting soundtrack of a woman pretending to be a ghost, or is she having an orgasm? Probably, both. I don't know the whole thing confuses me, but that's why I enjoyed this film.


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