Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USSR, 1967. Luch, Mosfilm. Screenplay by Konstantin Ershov, Georgi Kropachyov, Aleksandr Ptushko, based on the story by Nikolai Gogol. Cinematography by Viktor Pishchalnikov, Fyodor Provorov. Music by Karen Khachaturyan. Production Design by Nikolay Panasev. Costume Design by Roza Satunovskaya. Film Editing by R. Pesetskaya, Tamara Zubova.
Classic Soviet horror film features an Orthodox monk who travels the Russian countryside and ends up in the house of a witch. After he leaves and goes back to his monastery, he ends up being in her presence again after she dies and her corpse transforms into a beautiful young woman. The church requests that he hold vigil alone in the church with her body in order to rid the village of her evil spirits, subjecting him to three nights of nightmarish visions and loopy horrors. The directors have a great sense of fun in this cheesy thriller, co-scripted by popular Russian filmmaker Alexander Ptushko, but the effects are clunky by today’s standards and the great climax featuring the evil spirit of the title is laughable.