frankenberry | Los Angeles, CA USA | 05/15/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I can only recommend this psychedelic italian-horror film to diehard euro-trash fans. It has ALL the standard elements of euro-trash and more...wide-eyed damsels screaming, neon colors (blue,red, green lighting), lots of wild close-ups, TONS of NUDITY, some gore (fake), lots of bondage and torture (scenes go on endlessly!), sex and lesbianism, satanic rituals, a pasty naked woman (Isabella) with a hole in her chest, and even Mickey Hargitay (who gets to wear red tights again...did he have them left over from "Bloody Pit of Horror"? ). On the negative side, the plot is nonsensical, the continuity is primitive, some of the sets are cheap and fake, and at 98 minutes, it does all get a little tiresome. BUT, it's great if you just have it on as background and don't put too much energy into following the plot or lack thereof. It can truly be a very hallucinogenic experience! A worthy purchase for euro-fans needing a fix... just don't expect anything more than a flamboyant parade of style, screams and sex. DVD has the original Italian trailer with no english subtitles."
Warped horror nasty will mess with your head
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 07/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"That's what The Reincarnation of Isabel, or Rites, Black Magic, and Secret Orgies in the 14th Century, as the original Italian title reads, will do. However, as the title character is referred to as Isabella and not Isabel, why wasn't the English title The Reincarnation of Isabella?The opening scene sets the stage, as a cute blonde in miniskirt and go-go boots is captured by satanists and sacrificed to Isabella, the Great Mistress who will come back to life on the 25th moon. The satanists do some coronary extraction sans anaesthetic--i.e. they pull out her heart, squeeze the blood from it, and drink it. And this a full decade before Mola Ram did his bit in the second Indiana Jones movie!Who is Isabella, though? During the Inquisition five hundred years ago, in the village of Ariel, Isabella Drupel, a vampire and witch, was bound to a stake, impaled by a wooden stave, and barbecued live, while her lover screamed out "murderers!" amid the villagers who wanted her fried.In the present day, the young and beautiful Laureen is getting married to Richard Brenton, a local. Her stepfather, Jack Martin, buys a castle that is supposedly cursed. There is a reception there celebrating the upcoming marriage, with lovely girls and shady characters. For example, what's the story behind the creepy butler who bears a close resemblance to Donald Pleasance? Or the mustached guy in black whose nephew sold the castle to Jack?Along the way, girls end up dead, missing, or fall prey to vampires. They look nice in skirts, shorts, or lingerie, and also in the nude. However, what really makes this film weird is the incoherent cuts and maddening brief flashes from the castle to the scene where Isabella is being burned. What may also blow the viewer's mind is that the guests in the castle are also present at Isabella's roasting. Somehow, they all played a part in Isabella's death. In the latter quarter of the movie, there are also weird cuts back and forth from day to night scenes, and back, which I still haven't figured out. The line "Nobody knows for sure what is real" is very appropriate here. But the incoherence also serves to mess with the viewer's head in a weird and wonderful way.Dracula comes into play here, as he is revealed to have been Isabella's lover, and invoking the powers of darknes, became the first vampire, but at the cost of living off blood. However, Vlad the Impaler existed in the 15th century, so there is clearly a continuity error here.Another goof in the movie are the flames surrounding Isabella. Up close, they look like tall individual flames, as from a gas burner. Farther away, they turn into a real blaze, the next moment, the fire seems to have died, and then back again.The only well known actor here is Mickey Hargitay, (Jack) a former husband of blonde sexpot Jayne Mansfield.Viewers may or may not find the introduction by a leatherbound demonic vampire who looks like a fugitive from a Cradle of Filth video, complete with headdress, white irises, fangs, long fingernails, and ridiculously large wings, cheesy and intrusive.
After scenes of biting into nude and nubile women and blood dripping into a pan, she goes into a brief history of Nazi exploitation flicks, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the feature presentation.It may take the average viewer two to three times to fully understand what is going on in this movie. Once that's accomplished, this twisted, sleazy video nasty may burn itself into one's psyche and do squirm deep inside."
Daniel J. Hamlow | 01/25/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very incoherent movie. There are all kinds of continuity glitches. For example, when Christa is trying to seduce Lenda, she's wearing shorts. Then she takes Lenda down to the vaults for a more comprehensive ... encounter, and suddenly she's wearing slacks. In another scene, two women flee from the castle and are then attacked by the villagers as suspected witches, while the background switches from day to night and back again without any rationale. There are several silly side-plots involving the guests at the castle that have nothing to do with the main "story"--whatver that is. Really, this is a one star movie, but the presence of Rita Calderoni and Mickey Hargitay pushes it up to two stars. "The Devil's Nightmare" from Redemption is a much better example of Euro-horror cinema."
Fast Forward Review
Daniel J. Hamlow | 07/18/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Sex sleaze fans don't generally expect superior film production skills, but boy howdy, this thing is really putrid. There is sleaze potential at certain times, but it's wasted by the follow-through.First we got an altar babe losing heart to a bunch of green faced guys wearing robes out of a bad Star Trek episode, but it's so inept you hardly notice. Then a witch gets ready to be toasted, and she's nude and pretty too, but first they have to drive a huge wooden stake through her heart. I mean, they really have to beat on the darn thing, which takes a long time in a scene embellished by really fakey wax blood. And get this . . . she's still living! Hey, even if she was a real witch (and I guess she is per the "plot"), the old wooden stake treatment is suppose to be effective, right? Well, never mind, because all they show after that is some propane burner flames in front of her, still breathing away with a telephone pole sticking out of a big red wax plug gluing the thing to her chest.The rest of the film is mostly plot except for a few nudity bits and one scene with a trick knife that even Franco could have done better. Zero stars."