Devil's Nightmare (La plus longue nuit du Diable/ Au service du Diable/ La notte piu lunga del Diavolo/ The Devil's Longest Night/
La terrificante notte del Demonio, 1971)

US Mondo Macabro 2019 Blu-ray edition

Text below written 2020-11-10


Yes, a group of travellers, tourists, travelling by bus that's breaking down and they've to seek shelter for the night at a
castle close-by. Never heard of that before. I'm kidding, this is an old staple used in many a gothic horror over the years,
sure, it could've been a horse carriage loosing a wheel or some car being out of gas too, but it's a cliché of the genre.

Anyway, in this film there are 7 travellers that seek shelter at a castle: The driver Mr. Ducos, an old grumpy man Mr. Masson
(Lucien Rambourg), a priest Mr. Sorel (Jaques Monseau), a married couple Howard and Nancy Forster (Collette Emmanuelle)
and two beautiful women to fill the nudity quota, the brunette Corinne (Ivana Novak) and the blonde Regine (Shirley
Corrigan). They are met with hospitality from the castle owner Baron Von Runberg (Jean Servais) and his somewhat creepy
servant Hans and the housemaid Martha.

The film was shot at the Belgian castle Antoing at Hainaut.

Succubus

What they don't know is that the Baron (played by the famous actor Jean Servais 1910-1976, i.a. seen in Rififi) has a curse
on his family line that the first born daughter of every Von Runberg will turn into a Succubus and roam around and kill people.
Another woman arrives and seeks shelter, a german Hilse Müller (Erika Blanc or Enrica Bianchi Colombatto) and she looks
great with her red hair and pale skin. But could she be the Succubus when the Baron doesn't have a daughter ? Well, the
answer to that can be seen in the picture above.

The generous Baron provides his guests with a tasy dinner and gives them rooms to stay the night, and in the cellar he
has got a laboratory where he practises alchemy. The two attractive women shares a bedroom and, for some reason can't
avoid having some softcore lesbian sex (these scenes were not shot by the obviously embarrased art director Brismée
but by the assistant director Robert Lomberto).
In the middle of the night bad things start to happen and the first to die is the busdriver Mr. Ducos (Christian Maillet) who
has a nightly meeting with the Succubus and succumbs to the sin of Gluttony. Then thievery, adultery etc. related deaths
follows and Mr. Death himself is close by overlooking the proceedings (creepy looking Daniel Emilfork).

This forgotten Belgian gothic horror was very good and with some fine acting from Jean Servais and Erika Blanc, and i
have never seen her this good in a role before and with some very effective make-up cleverly used among with her facial
contortions making her scary. Another things i liked were the quirky characters of Hans and grumpy Mr. Masson (Lucien
Rambourg) and, naturally, the luscious actresses Shirley Corrigan and Ivana Novak (seen in i.a. The Redheaded Corpse
and in Lenzi's Seven Blood Stained Orchids).
Negative was that the film was a bit slow perhaps and the killing of Regine - did the python hiss her to death or, i thought
they would do some squeezing t otheir victims.

The Mondo Macabro bluray presents the film in 1.66:1 screen ratio with a french or english audio and with english subs

Extras: Audio commentary with Troy Howarth and it was great,
Interview with director Jean Brismée (32 minutes in french with english subs) and he says that the film was shot in just one
week and flopped bad in Belgium. Brismée is very sympathetic and he only directed this one feature film
Interview with assistant director Robert Lombaerto
Interview with filmmaker Roland Lethem (in english, 29 minutes, 2019)
trailers

 

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