Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 9th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1972
Director: Paolo Lombardo
Writer: Paolo Lombardo
Cast: Rosalba Neri, Edmund Purdom, Spartaco Conversi, Francesca Lionti, Carla Mancini, Maria Teresa Pietrangeli, Massimiliano Roy, Maria Vianello, Bruna Olivieri, Giovanna Di Vita, Laura De Benedittis, Robert Woods
DVD released: October 13th, 2009
Approximate running time: 77 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: A trio of friends visit a castle supposedly inhabited by the Devil. While being shown around the castle they convince the caretaker to let them stay the night. Later that night one of the women while she sleeps reconnects with one of her past lives when she was the Devil’s lover.
Lucifera: Demonlover was written and directed by Paolo Lombardo, whose filmography is limited to a few films. Lucifera: Demonlover was produced by Dick Randall a prolific film producer, whose diverse filmography includes French Sex Murders, The Girl in Room 2a, The Clones of Bruce Lee, Challenge of the Tiger and For Y’ur Height Only. Lucifera: Demonlover is one of many titles that this film has been released under over the years. The film is most known under the title Ceremonia Satanic. The Italian language title “L’amante del demonio” roughly translates into “The Demon Lover”.
From a production stand point the film looks cheaply put together and the director’s lack of experience is immediately evident. So it should also comes as no surprise that Lucifera: Demonlover is an extremely pedestrian film when it comes to the films lack of visual style. If any moment in the film comes close to being slightly memorable, this moment would be the film’s finale in which a woman is tortured by Helga who is portrayed by Rosalba Neri, while the devil who is portrayed by Edmund Purdom watches. Another area in which the film is lacking is its lethargic pacing and inability to build tension. The plot is mostly made up via a flashback / nightmare that Rosalba Neri’s character experiences while she sleeps in the castle which she is staying the night in with her two friends. One of the more interesting plot devices that crops up during this film includes a character who is pretty good sword fighter and he fearlessly takes on all challengers.
Also there really is not anything overtly erotic that happens in this film besides a drawn out orgy scene where abducted women are giving to a female vampire for consumption. Even the main attraction of this film Rosalba Neri spends all but one scene fully clothed and when she does disrobe she is quickly covered by the devil’s cape which he drapes over her before they make love. The film’s stand out performance comes from Edmund Purdom in the role of the devil, while Rosalba Neri does a good job with a character that is severely under developed. If this film has any area where it works, it is the scenes in which Edmund Purdom and Rosalba Neri appear in together. Ultimately Lucifera: Demonlover is a rather dull film that would be all together forgettable if it weren’t for the performances of its two leads Edmund Purdom and Rosalba Neri.
Lucifera: Demonlover is presented in a 4:3 full frame aspect ratio. I was unable to find a definitive answer as to what this films proper aspect ratio is. There are a few shots for this DVD that look cramped or where some actors are partially off frame when speaking. Judging by these shots and how the bulk of the film is framed, it would appear that this film was most likely composed with the intention of a 1.66:1 aspect ratio. The source used for this transfer has noticeable print debris and other source related damage like damaged frames. Colors fluctuate throughout and details tend to look overly soft. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian and removable English subtitles have been provided. The subtitles are easy to read and follow with no typos or grammatical errors. For the most part background noise is mild, there are a handful of instances where the audio sounds noticeably distorted and this is most evident when the damaged frames occur during playback.
There is no extra content on this DVD release. Overall Lucifera: Demonlover gets a lackluster DVD release.