2 April 2010 | lazarillo
Not totally un-entertaining German "Exorcist" knock-off
An old man is found crucified by a streetwalker in a German village. Miles away at a boarding school in Munich, the man's granddaughter begins to exhibit very strange behaviour as if she were, I don't know, possessed by Satan. . . I admit, I LOVE European "Exorcist" rip-offs. None them really equals the power of the original (they're more like "The Exorcist" if it had been directed by Ed Wood Jr.). But actually the term "rip-off" is a bit of misnomer since few of them really tried too much to equal the big-budget spectacle of the Hollywood blockbuster. They could actually be quite creative and very different from both their inspiration and each other.
I had kind of high hopes for this one since it was directed by Walter Boos, one of the men responsible for the long-running German "report" films (i.e. "hausenfrau-report", "schulmadchen-report"). I didn't think it would be good, but I thought it would be an interesting collision of genres (kind of like the old Reese's commercials: "Hey, you got Satan in 'report' film!" "Hey, you got schulmadchen in my devil possession movie!"). Boos does follow the familiar European exploitation route of making the possessed girl several years older than "Ravin" in "The Exorcist" (and played by an actress obviously several years older than that). But this isn't quite the "barely legal" sex romp of Boos' "schulmadchen-report" films. In fact, he seems at times to be doing a fairly earnest (if very inept) imitation of the actual "Exorcist", which is not exactly his forte.
This does have some interesting elements like the crucified grandfather or the scene where the possessed "Magdalena" tears a bible in half with her bare hands. She's actually not much more foul-mouthed than your usual teenager, but you got to laugh at the scene where she tells a priest she wants to take communion, but not in her mouth! Interestingly though, satanic possession turns her not into a crazed nympho, but rather a virginal tease from hell who gets grown men killed fighting over her. The lead actress Dagmar Henrich, though German, has a real early 70's teen look about her, kind of like "Marcia Brady" or "Laurie Partridge" gone horribly bad (she's not nearly as cute as Maureen McCormick or Susan Dey actually, but she has a lot more full-frontal nude scenes). Due to the severe budget limitations, she has to work a lot harder than Linda Blair to convince anybody she's possessed. And whereas, Blair was dubbed by Mercedes McCambridge, she gets dubbed by the usual gang of Euro-idiots who dubbed these things. This certainly isn't a bad performance all things considered, and as a movie this not totally un-entertaining.