Directed by Paolo Lombardo
Mya Communication

The first time I tried to watch LUCIFERA: DEMONLOVER (L'amante del demonio), I fell asleep about 15 minutes in. I figured I was just worn out from a busy day at the 9 to 5, so the next night I gave it a second try. That time I was able to make it about 20 minutes before passing out on the couch. In order to give the picture a fair shot, I held off on watching it again until an afternoon presented itself in which I would be able to give it the proper attention it deserved. So, well rested, bright eyed and bushy tailed, I once again sat down and, starting from the beginning, watched LUCIFERA. Even in the middle of the day, having ingested copious amounts of caffeine, it was a struggle to stay awake. LUCIFERA is not a movie you will want to watch by your lonesome. It’s simply too dull. The only way I can ever see myself sitting through it again would be with a group of likeminded film fans, eager to view a very bad film and tear it a new one.

While visiting a castle reported to have once been the home of Lucifer himself, Helga (Rosalba Neri, FRENCH SEX MURDERS) and her two leggy friends ask permission to spend the night in the demonic abode, and why not? If any place screams hospitality it’s Satan’s summer home. That night, after being tormented by strange voices and nightmares, Helga awakens to find herself in a century long past. Making her way back to her family and 16th century village, it is revealed that Helga’s hand in marriage has been promised to Hans, a strapping young lad who is all too eager to start a new life with his soon to be bride. Magda, the village’s busty barmaid however would like nothing more than to put a stop to such a proposal as she wishes to be the one with which Hans lays down with each night. As the big day draws near, Helga begins to have chance encounters with a strange man who calls himself Gunther (Edmund Purdom, FRANKENSTEIN'S CASTLE OF FREAKS). With his Dracula cape and ability to appear and disappear at will, it’s clear to Helga who Gunther really is and nothing could turn her on more. Promising to satisfy her every physical urge, Gunther approaches Helga on her wedding night and, presenting her with a dagger, instructs her to kill Hans so that… zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

With a pace that would give a snail a run for its money, LUCIFERA: DEMONLOVER has so many flaws they’re hard to keep track of. There is very little action, attempts at eroticism are half-assed at best (Rosalba doesn’t disrobe until the last act and even then she is quickly covered up by Edmund’s cape) and continuity appears to have not even been an afterthought as there are several instances in which day for night shots were apparently not even considered. At one point Magda is instructed to meet at sundown by a witch with whom she has hired to help poison Helga. When Magda is finally able to reconvene with the old hag, the shadow she cast suggests that the time is closer to 3:00 pm than dusk. Not to mention the fact that the witch, who is supposed to be dead, killed by a red hooded Satan, is lying on the ground with her eyes open (blinking) and breathing like she’s having an asthmatic attack. Another scene features Helga and Hans sitting down with their families for supper when a traveling flutist named Alex, who appears to have escaped from the Men Without Hats, “Safety Dance” video, comes calling on their front doorstep. Invited in for wine, it’s not easy to miss the fact that when ever Alex is outside it’s a bright and sunny day, but the moment he steps inside it becomes pitch black.

There is a random orgy / rape sequence in which two of Helga’s friends are stripped down and forced upon each other that does stand out, not only because it has nothing to do with the rest of the picture but because the action is abruptly broken up by a thin, nude, female vampire who is never seen or heard from again. In fact, I can’t think of better way of explaining how uninterested I found LUCIFERA to be. Random lesbian action and I still had a hard time staying awake!

Mya Communication has quite obviously used a video source in bringing LUCIFERA to the States as the film, which is presented full frame in 4:3 aspect ratio, jumps up and down like a tweaker jonesing for a hit. Riddled with errors and defects, the image is soft and colors are muddled. Audio, a mono Italian language track, holds up fair enough and is accompanied by removable English subtitles which feature at least one glaring misspelling. With a running time of 77 minutes, the opening credits accompanying this release suggest that an alternate and possibly longer cut exists, as they differ from a similar sequence that can currently be found on YouTube. The opening credits presented here feature a black screen with white credits, where as the credits found here show the long drive that Helga and her friends take on their way to Satan's castle. The opening score is identical in both sequences however the YouTube clip does appear to show the film in its proper aspect ratio. Save for a Chapter Selection menu there are no extra features with this release.

Don’t be fooled by a provocative title. Not only does this release have nothing to do with the Italian comic book, or fumetti of the same name (at least not that I can tell anyway) but its languid pace make watching paint dry seem like an Olympic sport. If however curiosity keeps getting the better of you, do yourself a favor and rent before you buy, as the disc carries a MSRP of $24.95! A box of Tylenol PM is almost half that and will provide the same results. (Jason McElreath)