Crypt of Curiosities: Satanism in Italian Cinema

85 days ago | DailyDead

It’s telling that the first feature-length film to come out of Italy was Dante’s Inferno (1911). Because of course, what else would it be? A silent, 68-minute adaptation of the classic poem that, quite memorably, features Satan munching on the souls of the damned. I suppose you could consider this film a tone-setter for the sort of genre films that would come out in Italy over the next hundred-plus years. The film is violent, demonic, and packed with full-frontal nudity. But most importantly, it was all about Hell.

Now, I know it should go without saying, but Italy is pretty big on that whole Catholicism deal. According to a survey conducted in 2005–2006, 87.8% of Italian citizens considered themselves to be Catholic. It should be no surprise, then, that while religious horror is prevalent in the United States, nobody can quite deliver a satanic panic like the Italians. And in the


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Movies & TV

Inferno (1980)
Black Sunday (1960)
Blood and Black Lace (1964)
Prince of Darkness (1987)
The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962)
Castle of Blood (1964)
Bloody Pit of Horror (1965)
On top (1982)
The Seventh Seal (1957)
Island of the Fishmen (1979)
Dark (2015)
Lisa and the Devil (1973)
Alice in Wonderland (1985)
The Night Child (1975)
Beyond the Door (1974)
The Church (1989)
Knights Templar (2013)
Cemetery Man (1994)

People

Dante
Mario Bava
Black Sabbath
Jean Brismée
Steve Jobs
Sergio Martino
Telly Savalas
Michele Soavi
John Carpenter
Goblin