In this episode of Pop Culture Beast’s Halloween Horror Picks, I talk about the shocking Italian Exorcist ripoff L’anticristo, aka The Antichrist, aka The Tempter (1974)! Stylishly directed by Alberto De Martino and shot by prolific cinematographer/director/pornographer Joe “Evil Ed Wood” D’Amato, the film stars Carla Gravina, Mel Ferrer and Athur Kennedy and features a nightmarish score by Ennio Morricone.
When sexually frustrated Ipolita, a paralyzed young woman with serious daddy issues, makes a lustful pact with the devil, she quickly regains the use of her legs… at the expense of her body, mind and soul! Soon she’s levitating around the ceiling and spewing profanity and green puke all over opulent Rome.
This perverse Italian shocker is probably the best of the 70s Exorcist knockoffs, at least that I’ve seen, in part because it’s boldly set and filmed in Rome amongst the true believers and adherents of the Catholic church. It isn’t afraid to cross any lines of decency or good taste, and in fact gleefully wallows in its blasphemous depravity. Is it as good or better than The Exorcist? No, not by a long shot. Does it go further than the Exorcist in terms of sheer, utter blasphemy? Absolutely, yes!
Notorious for an unforgettable Satanic ritual affectionately dubbed by those who’ve seen it as “the goat orgy” sequence, the movie absolutely merits its reputations, both good and bad. It’s a flawed but uncompromising gem of Italian trash that often transcends its otherwise derivative setup. Recommended, I rate The Antichrist 8/10.
Look for new episodes of Pop Culture Beast’s Halloween Horror Picks every Monday and Thursday from now until Halloween. And be sure to check out the other episodes in the series:
Episode #1 – Shivers (1975)
Episode #2 – Strange Behavior (1981)
Episode #3 – The Killer Shrews (1959)
Episode #5 – Don’t Panic (1988)
Episode #6 – Spider Baby (1968)
Episode #7 – Targets (1968)
Episode #8 – Feast (2005)
Episode #9 – The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
Episode #10 – Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Please also take a minute to support my own horror movie: Eggs – A Horror Movie starring Lynn Lowry (Shivers, The Crazies, Cat People, etc.) and Duane Whitaker (Pulp Fiction, Feast, The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween 2, etc.), now funding on Kickstarter! As always, there’s a contest at the end of the video: Be the first person to make a pledge and leave a comment on Kickstarter with the correct answer to get a bonus prize added to your reward.
Ryan Stockstad is a Los Angeles filmmaker with a passion for horror, documentary and experimental cinema. He has written articles for HC Magazine, Mostly Harmless Magazine and various blogs and websites. He has lectured on topics as diverse as low budget filmmaking, short story structure, and the influence of the Spanish Civil War on surrealist cinema. He hosts new episodes of Pop Culture Beast's Halloween Horror Picks every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in October.