Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 16th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1981
Director: Bruno Mattei
Writers: Bruno Mattei, Claudio Fragasso
Cast: Franca Stoppi, Carlo De Mejo, Francesca Carmeno, Susan Forget, Franco Garofalo, Paola Montenero, Ornella Picozzi, Andrea Aureli
BluRay released: April 11th, 2017
Approximate running times: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: LPCM Mono English, LPCM Mono Italian, LPCM Mono French
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: When a few nuns die under mysterious circumstances, a priest is sent to a convent to uncover the truth.
The Other Hell was shot back to back with another Nunsploitation The True Story of the Nun of Monza and both of these films were directed by Bruno Mattei, an Italian filmmaker known for making some of the most outlandish films that borrowed heavily from whatever was popular in cinema at that time. Some of his more notable films include, SS Girls, Hell of the Living Dead, Women’s Prison Massacre and Rats Night of Terror.
The other creative force behind The Other Hell was Claudio Fragasso (Zombi 3, Troll 2). His collaborations with Bruno Mattei began with the Mondo film Libido Mania and he would become a director in his own right with his official directional debut being Difendimi dalla notte.
The score for The Other Hell was compiled from music that Goblin had composed from other film projects and album’s. The Goblin tracks featured in The Other Hell include, Dr. Frankenstein, Notte, Le cascate di Viridiana and music that appeared in the film Beyond the Darkness.
The Other Hell’s narrative is filled with fantasy elements that often defy logic and yet what unfolds is a transfixing assault on the senses that never disappoints. Pacing is not an issue as there are plenty of surprises always lurking around the corner to ensure there is never a dull moment. The gore effects well executed and there is never a shortage of sleazy moments.
When it comes to the performances, though the majority of the cast are just mere props to keep the narrative moving. There are few performances that leave a lasting impression. Most notably, Franca Stoppi in the role of Mother Vincenza. Other notable performances include, Carlo De Mejo (Terror Express, City of the Living Dead) in the role of Father Valerio, the priest given the task of uncovering the truth behind several nuns deaths and Francesca Carmeno in the role of Elisa, the child that born because of an unholy union with Satan.
Though there is no denying the limitations of this film due to its anemic budget. There are a handful of moments that far exceed exceptions. And these moments include, a scene where the caretaker is attacked by his dogs who are being controlled by Elisa who has telekinesis powers. A flashback sequence which reveals the truth behind the evil responsible for all of the carnage and the film’s all hell breaks loose finale which provides a very satisfying conclusion.
The Other Hell comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The transfer for this release was created from a 35mm print and the end result is a noticeable upgrade in every way, when compared to Shriek Show’s previous DVD release. It should be noted that there is some minor print related damage that crops up throughout this presentation.
This release comes with three audio options, a LPCM stereo mix in English, a LPCM stereo mix in Italian and a LPCM stereo mix in French. The audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout. Included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles that are a translation of the English dub.
Extras for this release include, reversible cover art, a trailer for the film (3 minutes 34 seconds), an interview with actress Franca Stoppi titled Sister Franca (13 minutes 13 seconds, in Italian with English subtitles), an archive interview with director Bruno Mattei and actor Carlo De Mejo titled To Hell And Back (11 minutes 22 seconds, in Italian and English with English subtitles) and an audio commentary with co-director / co-writer Claudio Fragasso and moderated by Freak-O- Rama’s Federico Caddeo.
Topics discussed in the interview with Franca Stoppi include, how The True Story of the Nun of Monza and The Other Hell were shot back to back and used many of the same locations / sets, her thoughts about The Other Hell, animal cruelty in films, the cast, Claudio Fragasso, her process as an actress and why she left acting.
Topics discussed in the interview with Bruno Mattei and Carlo De Mejo include, the genesis of the film, Claudio Fragasso’s contributions to the film, how The True Story of the Nun of Monza and The Other Hell were shot back to back, location, the cast, Goblin and the score and their thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, how he wrote the screenplay, what was his other contributions to the film, locations, the cast and information about them, how The True Story of the Nun of Monza and The Other Hell were shot back to back, Bruno Mattei, how Carrie inspired the genesis of The Other Hell and their thoughts about the film.
Overall The Other Hell makes its way to HD via a solid release from Severin Films.
Note: This film is also being released by Severin Films on DVD.