The Devil’s Wedding Night (1973) reviews and overview [updated]

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[Total: 30   Average: 2.9/5]

Devil’s Wedding Night, The (Il Plenilunio delle vergini _ Full Moon of the Virgins) (1973, Italy) - 01

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‘Satan is coming!’

The Devil’s Wedding Night is a 1973 Italian-American supernatural horror feature film directed by Luigi Batzella (Nude for Satan; The Beast in Heat) from a screenplay written by Walter Bigari (as Walter Brandi, the fanged protagonist of The Playgirls and the Vampire). The movie stars Rosalba Neri (Lady Frankenstein) and Mark Damon. American producer Ralph Zucker also produced Bloody Pit of Horror and Terror-Creatures from the Grave. Original Italian title: Il plenilunio delle vergini “Full Moon of the Virgins” –

Aristide Massaccesi [aka Joe D’Amato] was the cinematographer.

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Plot:

The 1800s: scholarly Karl Schiller believes he’s found the ring of the Nibelungen, which holds great power. It’s at Castle Dracula. His twin, Franz, a gambler, asks if vampires frighten Karl; Karl shows him an Egyptian amulet, which may protect him. Franz takes the amulet and sets out ahead of his brother, arriving at the castle first. There he finds a countess who invites him to dine.

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Later that night, Karl arrives. Coincidently, it’s the Night of the Virgin Moon, a night that falls every fifty years and draws five virgins from the surrounding village to the castle not be heard from again. Can Karl protect his brother, find the ring, and rescue the virgins?

Reviews [click links to read more]:

‘It’s formulaic, to be sure, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable particularly when it’s shot as well as it is here thanks to some slick cinematography from the late, great Joe D’Amato. The castle makes for a great and macabre set, the women are all lit quite seductively and while there isn’t as much atmosphere as, say, Castle of Blood or Black Sunday there are still some very memorable visuals and sets.’ DVD Talk

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“Stealing the show, as usual, is the supremely sexy Rosalba Neri of Amuck! and Lady Frankenstein. Her over-the-top performance combined with her propensity for nude scenes makes Neri’s presence a boon for this flick. There’s also Lara, the Contessa’s servant (and lesbian lover), who is played to perfection with a dichotomously somnambulistic and bug-eyed craziness by Brazilian actress Esmeralda Barros.'” Doomed Moviethon

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“It’s no overlooked masterpiece of gothic horror; with its fits of pure silliness, but Damon doesn’t look down at the material, Neri is gorgeous (especially nude), and Joe D’Amato’s atmospheric cinematography is often stunning.” Basement of Ghoulish Decadence

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“Rosalba Neri doesn’t get to have as much fun as she does in Lady Frankenstein but she still turns in a watchable performance. Mark Damon, who plays twins Karl and Franz, does so with equal commitment on both sides and in doing so pays tribute to Barbara Steele who played duo roles in Black Sunday, in which he also stars. They really do seem like two different people even though still playing with the good twin / bad twin cliché.” Sinful Celluloid

“Unlike films of this type made for today’s video market, it also takes its horror elements rather seriously and manages to have some fun along the way. It’s hard to dislike any movie in which one of the male leads seduces a peasant girl out of her knickers by slyly reminding her that Count Dracula is only interested in the blood of virgins. Though hardly a classic, it’s not bad…” Bloody Disgusting

“While he’s certainly not cut from the same cloth as Mario Bava, Batzella manages to create an eerily erotic gothic atmosphere, highlighted by a fog-bound scene of undead women gathering for a blood orgy, and — especially — scenes of Rosalba Neri bathed in blood and rising naked from her crypt.” Tomb of the Headless Werewolf

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Retitled The Devil’s Crypt for a 1975 re-release by Dimension Pictures

Cast and characters:

Mark Damon … Franz Schiller / Karl Schiller
Rosalba Neri … La Contessa Dolingen de Vries (as Sara Bay)
Esmeralda Barros … Lara – Zombie
Enza Sbordone … Tanya – Innkeeper’s Daughter (as Francesca Romana Davila)
Xiro Papas … The Vampire Monster (as Ciro Papas)
Gengher Gatti … The Mysterious Man (as Alexander Getty)
Carlo Gentili … The Innkeeper (as Mort Baxter)
Giorgio Dolfin … First Villager at Inn (as George Dolfin)
Stefano Oppedisano … Second Villager at Inn (as Stephen Hopper)
Cristina Perrier … Virgin (uncredited)

Filming locations:

Piccolomini castle, Balsorano, Italy

DVD release:

After a number of pan-and-scan releases that were typical of the redundant VHS format, the film was finally released widescreen on DVD by Shout Factory in September 2006 with optional comments by Elvira although the print used has obvious wear.

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Trivia:

A more risque Italian ‘cineromanzi’ magazine was issued to tie-in with the film’s release.

The film was retitled The Devil’s Crypt for its 1975 US re-release by Dimension Pictures.

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