Turkish Delights

The Turkish film poster for THE DEATHLESS DEVIL (1972).

Adventurous film lovers can always rely on Mondo Macabro to expose them to something weird and wonderful like the nutty Indonesian fantasy adventure The Warrior (1981) starring Barry Prima or the diabolically creepy Queens of Evil (1970), an Italian supernatural thriller. Occasionally MM also releases some killer double features such as the twin pairing of the vampire tale Bandh Darwaza (1990) and Purana Mandir (1984) featuring a baby-eating fiend; both of which are featured in Volume 1 of their Bollywood Horror Collection. Still, my favorite double bill from the maverick DVD/Blu-ray outfit is a double dose of Turkish pop cinema that pairs Tarkan vs. the Vikings (1971, aka Tarkan Viking kani), with The Deathless Devil (1973, aka Yilmayan seytan).

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Satanic Sisterhood

(from left to right) Haydee Politoff, Ida Galli and Silvia Monti in Queens of Evil (aka La Regine, 1970)

(from left to right) Haydee Politoff, Ida Galli and Silvia Monti in Queens of Evil (aka La Regine, 1970)

Tales of the Devil seducing and destroying man have been a popular theme in cinema since the silent era but Queens of Evil (aka La Regine,1970) puts a new spin on the concept which departs from the more familiar treatments we’ve seen in Faust (1926), The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) or Rosemary’s Baby (1968). It’s weird, dreamlike, sexy, ominous, often unpredictable and unintentionally funny at times (in the English dubbed version). Though often lumped in the Italian horror category, Queens of Evil, directed by Tonino Cervi, is closer to a gothic fairy tale for adults or a cautionary allegory for its era about young idealists who reject the status quo but are susceptible to corruption when their innermost desires are unleashed.    Continue reading