Wednesday, 22 December 2010



That's the international title for this nudey Italian exorcism movie, which doesn't appear to have ever had a regular UK release. The title on the DVD that I saw was Un'Ombra Nell'Ombra, for which Babelfish gives me absolutely nothing, regardless of the punctuation. The US DVD, apparently, is just called Satan's Wife. Which isn't really an accurate summation. One Of Satan's Many Lady Friends That He Knocked Up, perhaps.

The idea behind Ring Of Darkness is that a group of women have all had children by the Devil but it's only now that teenage Daria (Lara Wendel, probably best known for Tenebrae) is accepting and developing her evil powers to destroy all those who stand in her, and Satan's, way. Her Satanist mother (Valentina Cortese) is quickly terrified of the kid's increasingly bad behaviour, and eventually decides to have her exorcised. But are her occult powers, and the faith of priest John Phillip Law, strong enough to complete the ritual and rid the world of the Devil Incarnate? No, and the film concludes with Daria eyeing up the roofs of the Vatican....

In a sense, it's almost Rosemary's Baby 2, when the child embraces its unholy genetic heritage. Ring Of Darkness has a certain sleazy appeal to it: plenty of nudity and an opening dance routine that I guess is supposed to symbolise the women being impregnated by the Devil. Ian Bannen turns up as a chess-playing professor, and Frank Finlay is second-billed but has just one scene (and doesn't sound like he's done his own English dub). And in the earlier sequences it's difficult to know exactly what's going on. Moreover, Daria is such an arrogant little prima donna, so rude, sulky and insubordinate, that you really want someone to take her aside and slap some decency into her. There are some nice moments, but it's not really very good overall.


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