Monday, 4 October 2010
NIGHT CHILD (1975)
Directed by Massimo Dallamano (director of the essential giallo What Have You Done to Solange?), Night Child is a relatively subtle Italian thriller mis-advertised as an Exorcist-style potboiler. NOT the first time misleading advertising has been used to sell a movie. Richard Johnson (Zombie, and the actual Italian Exorcist rip-off Beyond the Door) stars as a British documentary filmmaker whose latest subject is the Devil. Traveling to Italy with his daughter (the always fantastic Nicoletta Elmi from Who Saw Her Die?, Baron Blood, Flesh for Frankenstein, Footprints on the Moon, Deep Red, and Demons) and her nanny Ida Galli (The Whip and the Flesh, The Psychic), Johnson is met by Production Manager Joanna Cassidy (Bladerunner, Six Feet Under). Johnson and Cassidy start a relationship, Galli gets jealous due to her unrequited love for the filmmaker, and Almi goes a little nuts trying to deal with the recent death of her mother who died during a house fire. Too bad daddy has let her wear mommy's medallion in memoriam. See... it's cursed. Deaths ensue, wild laughter from the terrific and throaty Cassidy ensues, and little Elmi does have one scene of thrashing about on the bed à la Linda Blair. It's an entertaining 90 minutes that is more atmospheric than scary, and features an appearance from Edmund Purdom (Pieces) and a co-starring turn from Lila Kedrova (Torn Curtain) as psychic Contessa Cappelli. Interesting enough, the ending looks like a dry run for the next year's The Omen (1976). The DVD from Code Red, the great DVD company that is apparently going to close shop next summer, looks great and features an assortment of potential Code Red titles as well as the trailer for Night Child. Possess it!