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Jun 16

Demons VI: De Profundis

demons6Genre: Horror
Year: 1989
Country: Italy

original title: Il Gatto Nero
aka: Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat, The Black Cat, Demons 6: Armagedon, Dead Eyes

Director: Luigi Cozzi
Starring: Florence Guerin, Urbano Barberini, Caroline Munro, Brett Halsey, Luisa Maneri

 

Between dreams & nightmares… between reality & fantasy… lies the terror of

 

The fans of Dario Argento had been waiting for ten years for the third and final entry to «The Three Mothers» trilogy that he started with Suspiria back in 1977 and Inferno in 1980. Due to the poor reception of the last one, Argento wasn’t able to create the third one before 2007. That being said, there was a third entry into the saga made in the final year of the 80’s without his involvement.

Luigi Cozzi, Argento’s friend and frequent collaborator decided to do his own spin on the saga with this film. I guess there wasn’t any rights issues or such in Italian cinema at the time, cause it is hard to believe that Argento would give his approval on this production regardless of how good friends he and Cozzi were at the time.

I have a soft spot for Cozzi. I’ve met the guy before and he is such a kind person and while he has some poor films, he is also responsible for the incredible fun Starcrash (labeled as a Star Wars ripoff, but it has a lot to offer, including David Hasselhoff with a light saber). This film though is not worthy of being put next to Suspiria or Inferno, hell, not even Argento’s most maligned Mother of Tears.

The story this time around centers around a group of people who are about to make a film based on the story of Levana, laso known as Mater Lachrymarum – the Mother of Tears. They even acknowledge that there has been films based on the story of the Three Mothers earlier by Dario Argento within this film. Anne Rivenna (Florence Guerin) is supposed to play the role of Levana in their film, but while she prepares for the role the real Levana is summoned back to life and starts to haunt Anne to make sure she will not be able to bring her portrayal to the big screen (or more likely a very small screen on a VHS cassette).

While the story isn’t the main focus of Suspiria or Inferno, it still made more sense than what the story does in this one. This is post-Nightmare on Elm Street, so there’s plenty of nightmares and nightmarish visions. There is also an attempt to delivering a colorful film, but in the end this isn’t a very visually pleasing movie. The budget is not there for it and Cozzi is just not talented enough to mimic and make sense of Argentos style.

It’s also funny to see how different Cozzi and Argento himself would envision the Mother of Tears. In this one she is… I don’t even know what she is supposed to be, but she has a horrible mask covering her face, attempting to make her look ancient and scary. In Argento’s film, she is a hot naked woman. Two different worlds for sure. The film does have some cheesy 80’s rock tunes that work well with the film and a few of the nightmare scenes are effective enough to not make this into a boring view.

The title of this film is just as interesting as the film itself. The original title is The Black Cat, which would make you assume that it is based on the Edgar Allan Poe story. The Demons title was used on several films after the success of Lamberto Bava’s Demons 1 and 2, although none of part 3-6 (there was even two films that received the Demons 3 title) has anything to do with the films Bava created. Amazingly enough, the content of this film makes sense of the mixture of Argento’s Three Mothers storyline (the plot with the witch), the Demons title (the way the gore is done) and the addition of Poe (the black cat popping up every now and then).

Demons 6: De Profundis is not a good movie. It is a below average film that unsuccessfully attempts to continue the story of two brilliant films. Die-hard fans of the Argento films however might find it interesting to see what Cozzi tried to do and it is definitely not the worst late 80’s horror film that came out of Italy, but it is hardly worth seeking out for anyone else.

 

 ★★☆☆☆ 

 

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