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The House of Exorcism / Lisa and the Devil (Special Double Feature Edition) [Blu-ray]

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

LISA AND THE DEVIL: While on vacation in Spain, an American tourist (Elke Sommer) is drawn into a terrifying world of mystery, madness and murder in this surreal spine chiller directed by Italian horror maestro Mario Bava. A blind countess (Alida Valli), her imbalanced son (Alessio Orano) and a creepy bald butler (Telly Savalas) who carries around a mannequin all come into play in this fantastically bizarre tale liberally spiced with gruesome, gothic deaths.

THE HOUSE OF EXORCISM: Lisa and The Devil was later re-edited and re-released as The House of Exorcism (1976, 91min), adding the horror of diabolical possession, following The Exorcist's phenomenal success. After seeing the devil (Telly Savalas) in an ancient Spanish fresco, comely tourist Lisa Reiner (Elke Sommer) meets him in the flesh. Satan soon takes over her soul and drives her into the hospital, where American priest Father Michael (Robert Alda) does his best to exorcise the demon.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Telly Savalas, Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina, Alessio Orano
  • Directors: Mario Bava, Alfredo Leone
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Blu-ray, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NC-17
    Adults Only
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2012
  • Run Time: 187 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008BWFOR8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,453 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jesse Baker on November 21, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
The story of "Lisa and the Devil" is the stuff of movie legends: riding high after the success of Baron Blood and A Bay of Blood, the iconic horror director Mario Bava was given free reign for his next project: the surreal "Lisa and the Devil". Sadly, "Lisa..." flopped at the box office in Bava's native Italy and desperate to sell it overseas, the film's producer basically butchered the film in an act of cinematic murder. The film's ending was removed, new footage of lead actress Elke Sommer was shot with actor Robert Alda, that basically turned the film into bastardized rip-off of the Exorcist, with the remaining footage recast as an extended flashback sequence about Sommer's characters being possessed.

For decades, the removed footage was considered destroyed until they resurfaced late in the 1990s, at which point the restored "Lisa and the Devil" was resurrected. The film's reputation, having grown over the years due to the butchery done to it in the name of making it more "commercial", was reappraised and it has since been seen as one of Bava's best films.

The Blu-Ray includes both cuts of the film, but trust me when I say you should stick to the original cut and shun "House of Exorcism".
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I originally got this on a PD version from Cheezy Films - and knew, immediately, that I had to own a good print of it! One of Mario Bava's (BLACK SUNDAY, DANGER: DIABOLIK, PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES) most surreal movies, LISA AND THE DEVIL tells the story of Elke Summer's Lisa, on a guided tour in Italy, who sees a portrait of Satan on the wall of a church - then meets a man who looks just like the portrait (Telly Savalas, a year or two before KOJAK) carrying a man tucked under his arm - or is it a mannequin that looks like that man? Lisa misses her tour bus, and accepts a ride from the aristocratic Lehar couple in a decrepit touring car which breaks down in front of an old, seemingly deserted mansion - and runs into the Satanic man again! He introduces himself as Leandro, the butler to the Countess and her son Maximillian who live there, and invites her and her companions inside. Once inside, it seems everybody mistakes Lisa for Elena - a woman it turns out the Countess's late husband and Maximillian had been the lover of! Leandro, meanwhile, provides comically put-upon, often snide running commentary of all the goings-on, including Sophia Lehar's affair with George the Chauffeur, Francis Lehar's murder of George and later Sophia and subsequent death, Maxmillian's obsession with Lisa who he insists is Elena, the man Leandro was seen carrying at the start of the film who turns out to be the Countess's late husband who's also obsessed with Elena, and so on. It all ends, either as Lisa's tragic damnation - or a sick joke depending on your point of view.

Savalas's Leandro, the butler who may be Satan, is the undoubted highlight of the film.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
...don't bother with 'The House of Exorcism', it's terrible! but it is interesting to see how it was altered to be more "commercial", with awful results. 'Lisa and The Devil' is one of my favorite Bava films. It has a great cast, Elke Sommer is beautiful as always, Telly Savalas is fantastic with his lollipops and clearly enjoying his scene stealing role as a (satanic?) butler who tinkers with a heap of mannequins (or are they?) and eventually, dead bodies. Alida Valli and the gorgeous Alessio Orano are perfectly cast as mother and son, and Alessio's performance of a lonely, love sick, insane man is one of his best. I wish i knew why he wasn't in more films. Anyway, this is a surreal horror film with a twisted family and some unfortunate people who wind up at their estate, one bearing a striking resemblance to a woman who caused this family to fall into misery and madness. It has a beautiful soundtrack and is visually beautiful as well. The blu-ray quality is excellent, no complaints on that from me.
If you are a Mario Bava fan, this is one you should definitely check out!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Mario Bava's Lisa and the Devil is, out of the 7 or 8 Bava films I've seen, my favorite. It casts Elke Sommer as a young American tourist who is visiting a busy Spanish town with a friend. After encountering a mysterious man in a shop, who it is suggested is the devil, she suddenly finds the town practically uninhabited. After she hitches a ride with a rich couple and their chauffeur, the car breaks down outside a mansion. After this point, the film becomes increasingly enigmatic; however, it is mysterious in a way I find fascinating and not frustrating. In addition, the film's considerable visual beauty, haunting ending and the charismatic presence of Telly Savalas (as the devil) add to its appeal for me. The Blu-ray looks very good overall, with some speckles I noticed occasionally being the one negative. I haven't watched The House of Exorcism (also on the Blu-ray), which is reportedly a butchering of Lisa and the Devil made to capitalize on the success of the then-popular The Exorcist.
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Format: Blu-ray
"Lisa and The Devil" (1973) was one of Mario Bava's last films and is one of his best, although "The House of Exorcism" (1974) which the producer Alfredo Leone made by re-hiring the cast and shooting additional footage to re-edit into "Lisa and the Devil" to make the film a kind of European competition for "The Exorcist." It was a very poor decision, and one that seems insulting to Bava's superior knowledge of art and film-making. And it is truly a testament to those misunderstood artists who are continually prompted to re-edit or change their works to suit a modern age that is shortly outgrown and a newer or wider audience is still on hand to appreciate one's initial rendering. Elke Sommer and Telly Savalas star, Savalas used to peak effect, Alessio Orano, Sylva Koscina, Alida Valli and Gabriele Tinti star in the beautiful color film photographed by Cecilio Paniagua with a wonderful music score by Carlo Savina. The excellent Blu-ray by Kino Lorber presents many extras for both films and is part of the International Media Films, Inc. Mario Bava Collection. You couldn't ask for more. Haunting.
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