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Devil Within Her, The

Review by: 
Monkeyman
AKA: 
Beyond the Door
Release Date: 
1974
Studio: 
Code Red
Genre: 
Supernatural
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
0 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.85:1
Directed by: 
Ovidio Assonitis
Cast: 
Julet Mills
Gabrielle Lavia
Movie: 
4
Extras: 
0
Bottom Line: 
4

 
Sample dialogue-conversation between two teens as they discuss their fathers erratic behaviour.
 
Gail-"Holy shit, Ken, did you get a load of that crap? When they carry on like that I swear to God, kiddo, it makes you wanna puke. I'll tell you something man, there are times when bringing up parents is a real pain. When dad starts trying to get all sexy and with it, that's a real bad scene. Hey, remember that crazy nickname you gave him? What was it?"
 
Ken-"Asshole"
 
Now I'm no cunning linguist, but I suspect that if you listened to the original Italian soundtrack of The Devil Within Her the above dialogue wouldn't be an exact literal translation!
 
One accusation that you couldn't level at the producers of low budget Italian exploitation is that they were late leaping aboard any passing bandwagon, and in this case The Exorcist is the "inspiration" for The Devil Within Her(better known to our transatlantic chums as Beyond The Door)
 
Despite what you may have read elsewhere, The Devil Within Her is easily the best of all the pasta-land Exorcist rip-offs, despite having a plot that could best be described as "Illogical". The film is introduced by the Devil himself, setting the tone nicely for the madness to follow.
 
A young woman, Jessica (Juliet Mills, daughter of John, sister of Hayley from any number of Disney kiddy classics), runs away from a black magic ceremony presided over by Dmitri (genre favourite Richard Johnson). The Devil is annoyed to say the least at Jessica's escape, and shows his displeasure by sending Dmitri over a cliff in his car, only to freeze time in order to give him a second chance. He orders Dmitri to track down Jessica and her unborn child, and implies that he may allow Dmitri to live a few years longer if he succeeds.
 
We then move forward to a blissful domestic scene, as Jessica takes her two children Gail and Ken on a shopping trip after lunch. In a scene that shows some subtlety, Jessica wipes a small sliver of pea soup from her mouth-she will have no such qualms a bit later on in the film when the pea soup hits the fan!
 
After a visit to the doctor, it appears that Jessica is three months pregnant, despite her protestations to the contrary, and when she gets home her behaviour becomes rather erratic, including deliberately smashing her husband Roberts fish tank, and writhing around in a heated sexual state on the bed while gazing at a picture of Dmitri (who is apparently also her ex-lover).While her husband watches all of this with no little bemusement, footprints appear on the carpet in the bedroom and Jessica then floats up into the air and across the room.
 
Robert is now understandably rather concerned, and realises he can't pin all the blame for these events on a difficult pregnancy. Things take a turn for the worse when Robert spots Dmitri hanging about outside the house (although he now looks like a contestant from "Bum Fights")
 
The next night Ken starts shrieking like a banshee in the kids bedroom, and Gail unsuccessfully tries to calm him down with the phrase, "Man, if you don't calm down you'll have a real bad trip. For Pete's sakes get under the blanket and cool it will ya?"
 
Robert knocks on the wall and Gail shouts, "Christ, what now!". Bite marks appear on Kens chest and the family doctor is called out. Jessica kisses Ken full on the lips and then belts Robert across the room for no reason whatsoever."What's gotten into you?",moans Robert.
 
Jessica asks for an abortion, but when her doctor agrees she bellows, "Get out of here you filthy piece of shit", calls him a "filthy murderer", and then proceeds to pick up a banana skin from the pavement and eats it.
 
Things take a turn for the supernatural when the toys in the kids room start moving around on their own, jellies are hurled across the room by an invisible force, the whole room rocks from side to side and demonic laughter fills the air. Characters still act as though all this is just a minor inconvenience, although they do get a bit concerned when Jessica's head spins round the requisite 180 degrees and she shouts "Get out of here you piece of shit" to her husband, followed by "Come on you filthy pig, lick the vile whore's vomit" after she has just puked about a gallon of green bile.
 
Medical tests are ordered by the doctor, and after a brain scan he announces that Jessica is brain dead (an affliction apparently shared by the screenwriter).
 
A race against time ensues involving the doctor, Dmitri and Robert who for different reasons are trying to stop/accelerate the birth, and it all ends in a suitably amusing finale.
 
This has always been one of my favourite Italian rip-offs of a substantially better film, and it actually received a cinema release in both the US and the UK. It featured an audio system called Vibrasound when made the seats shake in cinemas.
 
The Devil Within Her is all over the place plot-wise, is shabbily directed, and has some of the wackiest dubbing ever to be heard inside a movie theatre, but the whole enterprise has an overriding sense of fun that makes the whole affair immensely entertaining.
 
When I saw this on a double bill with Black Christmas many years ago, one of the characters comes out with the line "What's going on?", to which a drunken wag in the audience bellowed, "I've not got a fucking clue mate....", which probably puts the entire film in a better context than I ever can with this review.
 
 
The Devil Within Her is all over the place plot-wise,is shabbily directed,and has some of the wackiest dubbing ever to be heard inside a movie theatre,but the whole enterprise has an overriding sense of fun that makes the whole affair immensely entertaining.
 
When I saw this on a double bill with Black Christmas many years ago,one of the characters comes out with the line"Whats going on?", to which a drunken wag in the audience bellowed,"Ive not got a fucking clue mate....", which probably puts the entire film in a better context than I ever can with this review.
 
As yet its not available on DVD, but can be found on numerous VHS releases if you look hard enough. The version I have reviewed is the UK release on the Arcade video label.

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