In the wake of the success (and massive controversy) surrounding
Ken Russell s The Devils, numerous filmmakers rushed to create their
own Inquisition horror films, most of them inspired by the true story
of satanic possession and torture at the convent of Loudun. THE
DEMONS (Les démons) is Jess Franco s stellar entry in the
nunsploitation canon, with a degree of sadism and sexual explicitness
that overshadows its competitors.
The film begins with the torture and burning of an accused witch
who, before the flames consume her, manages to curse the principal
witchfinder and his minions. As a result, members of royalty and the
religious establishment are caused to suffer (or, some might say,
enjoy) a series of human depravities. Franco s camera lingers over
these episodes of torture, sex, and demon possession, and captures
them with a sense of tenderness that is both aesthetically pleasing
and deeply unsettling.
Previously unreleased on video in the U.S., this Redemption
edition has been mastered in HD from the original 35mm negative, and
represents the complete, uncensored version of the film.