The Witches Sabbath (La Visione del Sabba, 1988)

US DVD

Text below written 2019-05-19


I've heard good things about this obscure film for a long time and it has been impossible to get hold of a legit copy with either english audio
or with whatever language audio and english subtitles. Those who've seen it has mostly given it very good reviews and Béatrice Dalle is
always great, so .... finally, and i can't just wait for an unknown number of years for a release on DVD or Blu-ray, so i gave in an bought this
Alternative Market release. My expectations were ridiculously high which never is a good thing, and i thought it to be a bit too arty and even
flimsy. The director is ambitious but doesn't back it up with stringency, regarding the weak dialogue and acting (except from Dalle who's a
powerhouse) and the film falls between, either it isn't horror enough, there's no sense of dread, or not arty enough, no surreal qualities, even
though the director certainly tried with the time jumping between different ages.

Dalle is great, but in the role as Davide a non-actor, the dancer and choreographer Daniel Ezralow was chosen for unknown reason, and he sports
the same stupid smile all through the film, and it just doesn't work very well. The strange nightly witchcraft orgy scenes where people dance
around ... and around ... and around ... it goes on forever, seems more to be a ballet on a stage than a film. It's like a dream sequence and you
don't know in which century this take place, is it in 1650 or is it today ? Is it a dream ? OK, that may sound a bit intriguing, and probably Ezralow
choreographed it, but it didn't grip me and never gave me a sense of hallucinatory wonder. But the director certainly tried to mix art and horror,
and YES, i know that Bellocchio is an acclaimed film director, sorry ...

Above: Dalle; Below: Ezralow on top of Dalle

But, as i already have said Béatrice Dalle is Good, and there are lots of nudity and witch-hunting inquisition type of torture for the horror
fan , and the ending was kinda cool, i have to admit that, a scene that gave you a surreal feeling.

Dr. Davide (Ezralow) is supposedly a skilled psychiatrist, even though he looks very young, and he's called in for doing an examination of the
mental status of a young woman, Maddalena (Dalle). She's accused of attempted murder and she claims herself to be a witch born in 1630
and that she has waited many hundreds of years for a lover to take her virginity (who could that be? Hint, look at pic above).
The slightly moronic looking Doctor is immediately fascinated by the mental patient witch and ignores his beautiful wife (Corinne Touzet),
and he's already under Maddalena's influence as he has dreamt about her, him being an inquisitor and taking part in her torture.

Presented in a widescreen ratio about 1.95:1 (?), original ratio .2.35:1 and with an english audio

 

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