The Devils, 1971 – ★★★★★

Absolutely demented. A hallucinogenic masterpiece of a fever dream that revels so deeply in its blasphemy that it may have come out all the way on the other side. Having grown up Catholic, but long since renounced the faith, some of the imagery on display here is still amazingly shocking, especially the convent’s orgy upon (and with) the crucifix. It feels epic and shakespearian, calling to mind the religious epics of the 50s and 60s as well as the bacchanals of Caligula and utter trashiness of John Waters. It is truly unlike anything I’ve seen before, and it has left me wanting more in every sense of the word. I want to see documentaries of its making, hear commentaries of the whys and hows, see artwork from fans and the production alike. Oliver Reed deserves special mention here, as he gives one of the most intense and sublime performances I’ve ever seen, running the gamut from lecherous, pious, devoted, loving, sarcastic, amused, judgmental, and regretful. I would love to see this on a big screen as nearly every frame is a work of gorgeous heretical art. I absolutely loved this film.

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