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Les Demons (The Demons)

by on Jan.11, 2010, under Daily Review

Jesus Franco’s tale of witchcraft, desire and lust. Beautifully filmed with a host of beautiful actors, this is one of Franco’s better movies. Although released shortly after Ken Russell’s The Devil’s, Franco has long had an interest with the Witchhunts and has a host of other films on the subject. Kathleen (Anne Libert) and Margaret (Britt Nichols) are nuns with a desire of the flesh. Their mother was burnt as a Witch and they are out for revenge. Margaret, using her witchy skills has a ‘kiss of death’ trick, which turns her victims to skeletons which is a most impressive skill. Her revenge leads her to the terrible Judge Jeffries (Cihangir Gaffari) the Wichfinder General and leader of the inquisition.

The majority of the film is made up of scenes which are either torture or lust, given the subject, works very well. The print is crisp and colourful and very well shot, apart from the out of focus moments notably on zooms (a signature of Franco movies). It’s a good pace too and the film actually flies by at quite a pace. This is by far Franco’s finest moment and unlike other films of the same subject matter, ‘The Bloody Judge’ and ‘Witchfinder General’, we are in full support of the Nuns who are actual real Witches. Some glowing performances too, especially Gaffari who is underused, but Nichols steals the show with grace and character.

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