Have you ever watched a horror film and wondered what would have happened if the characters had taken a different road, had they turned left instead of right? I have, quite often as a matter of fact. Devil’s Nightmare is such a film. It would make a nice double feature with Vampire’s Night Orgy as it opens with a bus full of travelers who instead of ending up in a village full of Vampires; they end up in a castle with a devil worshiping succubus running loose.
Berlin, 1945. A Nazi Officer witnesses his wife dying while giving birth to a baby girl. Having wanted a boy, he takes the child down out of site and stabs it with a bayonet.
Flash forward 25 years. Seven travelers get lost while on their way through Germany. The group is made up of people who would probably never be caught dead in the same place otherwise. Along with the driver are a bitchy older man named Mason (Lucien Raimbourg), Albin, a student priest (Jacques Monseau), a married couple that seems to hate each other , Howard and Tanya Foster (Lorenzo Terzon of Lady Frankenstein and Colette Emmanuelle in her film debut), and a couple of sexy euro tarts Regine and Corinne (Slinktastic Shirley Corrigan, from Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf and Ivanna Novak, of The Big Bust Out).
They stop to ask directions from a creepy gaunt man on the side of the road (Do yourself a favor, If a stranger looks like Gollum, don’t stop). Lurch says that they can travel no further tonight and directs them to a nearby castle where they can take refuge for the night. They take Gollum’s advice and backtrack towards a castle he spoke of. Once there, they are greeted by the worst room salesman ever (trust me, most people wouldn’t stay in a room shown by him).
Before dinner we spend a little time with our travelers to get to know them. Not very interesting at first but then we get to a couple of scenes that put the TRASH in EUROTRASH. The Fosters argue yet again. Howard can’t keep it in his pants and wants an Italian meat sandwich and Tanya isn’t invited to dinner! She accuses him of marrying her for her money and he doesn’t exactly deny it. Moving on to the source of trouble on the bus, Corinne uses one of the all-time great pick-up lines to hook up with Regine (I’m scarred to sleep alone in this big old castle, shall we share a room?) Well they waste no time, we find Regine laying in her undies on the bed in front of Corinne who watches her intently before offering to help her undress and segueing into a little girl on girl action.
After working up an appetite in one way or another, our guests get to dinner where they meet the Nazi Baron von Rhoneberg (Jean Servais) once again. He engages his guests with stories of his family and the curse that follows them. Every first born female born to the Rhoneberg family will become a succubus. Just as he is explaining his story, in walks the always off the hook Erika Blanc wearing an almost not there kinda gown. She finishes telling the story of the succubus and how she uses her sexuality to kill. But wait, she kinda fits the bill right? An alluring female that is known to the home but unwanted. Who is this beautiful creature with an insatiable love for the dead? Well it’s not living dead girl. You get the idea.
The Devil’s Nightmare came out in 1972 and is the finest example of Eurotrash Cinema, and I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Erika Blanc owns this film as she does most films she appeared in. She is however given stiff competition from Shirley Corrigan, who really looks like an Italian precursor to Brittan’s Natalie Dormer.
I know what you’re thinking, hey, what about Jean Brismée, doesn’t he get any credit? Well, I have to admit that I don’t know his work well and found him very hard to research. He definitely didn’t do a bad job here but nothing stands out either. This film really relies on sex and mild gore to carry it. The cast are really only there as plot devices, after all, Erika needs reasons to walk around and be sexy/deadly. And though she does get some competition from Corrigan, Novak and Emmanuelle, they are not really given anything to do after the first 30 minutes.
On the upside, the score is a high point for this exploitation classic, being composed by Alessandro Alessandroni , of Sergio Leone fame and the set pieces are adequately spooky especially the Iron Maiden set.
Like I said in the beginning, it’s a nice film to watch with Vampire’s Night Orgy and explore the possibilities. Ya never know how different your life will turn out if you take that other road.