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Lisa And The Devil (1973)

Tourist Lisa Reiner (Elke Sommer) loses herself in an old Spanish town and takes refuge in a mysterious house owned by an old blind lady (Alida Valli) and her weird son, Max (Alessio Orano). She discovers she is the double of Max’s former wife, Elena, and that a ritual of revenge and murder is to be replayed.

Director Mario Bava’s subtle and sophisticated spellbinder is his most personal movie, one putting into focus his own dark obsessions and fears of manipulation. But for years the only available version of this movie was titled The House of Exorcism – the jumbled concoction it became when it was extensively recut and new footage added in a post-Exorcist (1973) frenzy.

Yet Elke Sommer gives one of her most endearing performances as the luckless tourist stumbling into a house filled with all manner of depravity, in this demonic possession case history.

Incidentally, because this was released after Kojak hit TV screens, everyone assumes Telly Savalas was sending his cop persona up by constantly sucking lollipops.

He wasn’t – Bava gave him the idea which he later recycled in the hit show.

Telly Savalas
Lisa Reiner/Elena
Elke Sommer
Sophia Lehar
Sylva Koscina
Max’s mother
Alida Valli
Alessio Orano

Mario Bava