In the wake of the success (and massive controversy) surrounding Ken Russell’s The Devils, numerous filmmakers rushed to create their own Inquisition horror films, most of them inspired by the true story of satanic possession and torture at the convent of Loudun. THE DEMONS (Les démons) is Jess Franco’s stellar entry in the nunsploitation canon, with a degree of sadism and sexual explicitness that overshadows its competitors
The film begins with the torture and burning of an accused witch who, before the flames consume her, manages to curse the principal witchfinder and his minions. As a result, members of royalty and the religious establishment are caused to suffer (or, some might say, enjoy) a series of human depravities. Franco’s camera lingers over these episodes of torture, sex, and demon possession, and captures them with a sense of tenderness that is both aesthetically pleasing and deeply unsettling.
Previously unreleased on video in the U.S., this Redemption edition has been mastered in HD from the original 35mm negative, and represents the complete, uncensored version of the film.
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