31 Days of Horror! – Day 10

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OK so sorry about the weekend. Hopefully my little “horror so far” post was good for you guys. Anyway, I’m back now, ready to get to my regular postings. So here is the newest one. And oh boy oh boy howdy is it a trip…

The Devils (1971)
Directed by Ken Russell
Written by Ken Russell

The first thing I want to say is that this movie isn’t necessarily a horror movie. It’s more about the horrors of the old Catholic Church in France. It’s based on true events surrounding accusations of demonic possession in the town of Loudun, France. If you want to find out more, the film is based on Aldous Huxley’s non-fiction novel The Devils of Loudun.

It’s basically about a priest who likes to have sex with all of the women, and a hunchback nun who is sexually obsessed with him, to the point of (or as a result of) total insanity. You can already see why this film was considered controversial. I don’t want to give away too much of the wild stuff that goes on in the film, because it’s great and you should see it for yourself, but I will say that it is the most sacrilegious movie I’ve ever seen. Nobody involved with this appeared to be a big fan of the Catholic Church. And if you’re like me, that’s probably why you’re watching the movie.

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This movie has a very sordid history. It involves pretty graphic violence, almost extreme sexual content, and it is utterly damning of the Catholic Church. As a result, it got cut. A lot. The original director’s cut has yet to be released upon the world, and the full, UK theatrical version is still banned in a bunch of places and unavailable to purchase in US Region A. We have a very cut version. Even more cut than the UK’s version. Now, I will say I saw the totally uncut version, and that is because I am special and you aren’t. I’m glad I saw this version, because a certain infamous scene was removed from every version of the movie, and it was a great scene.

Anyway, I highly recommend The Devils to fans of history, horror, horror that actually happened, underground cinema, subversive art, and/or critics of the Catholic church/organized religion.

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