Lisa and the Devil (1973)



Dear Mario Bava, I’m starting to think you only depict women in one of two ways: creepy battle-axe or needy damsel in distress.

Oh, wait, you’re right, three ways: I forgot sexpot.

Yes, Mr. Bava you have a point, I haven’t watched enough of your stuff to make such a claim. Fair enough. I promise, I’ll most-likely never give up on you, no matter how shallow your view of women seems to be. It’s just that after watching Lisa and the Devil, I’m really getting tired of watching your ladies writhe around painfully in ineptitude.

Lisa is a tourist in Italy. She gets separated from her group, and after encountering a man who curiously looks exactly like the devil depicted in the main square’s fresco, becomes trapped in a

Lots of bald.

Lots of bald.

circular landscape. Eventually, she is picked up by some other folks, and their car breaks down. They’re lucky enough to find refuge in an old mansion, inhabited by a family of creepsters led by the Countess (Alida Valli, whom you might recognize as Miss Tanner from one of my personal favorites, Suspiria) who are all watched over by their housekeeper, Leandro (Telly Savalas) who happens to be the aforementioned devil look-alike.

Having no option but to stay through the night, Lisa and her new “friends” encounter some very strange shit indeed. Suffice it to say, this family is super messed up. As luck would have it, Lisa has stumbled upon the weirdos during their annual funeral recreation: the man of the house died years ago, and the Countess insists on reliving the

And this weird looking dude.

And this weird looking dude.

event each year on the anniversary of his death. Or… something like that. Leandro is, thankfully, really great at creating mannequin versions of the dead man, which, in the end, doesn’t really matter all that much since the Countess is blind and can’t even see!

Anyway, shit gets real, or unreal, and Lisa freaks out. She escapes. Or does she? I don’t know, it’s one of those movies where you can’t tell what the heck’s going on. And that’s usually totally cool. It’s even cool here, it’s just not that cool.

I want to like Mario Bava more. I will keep trying.


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