Lisa and the Devil
Italia, Spagna, Germania – 1972 – 35mm – color – 95’
Direction: Mario Bava
Screenplay: Mario Bava, Alfred Leone
Photography: Cecilio Paniagua
Editing: Carlo Reali
Set design: Nedo Azzini
Music: Carlo Savina
Cast: Elke Sommer, Telly Savalas, Alessio Orano, Alida Valli, Gabriele Tinti, Sylva Koscina
Producers: Alfred Leone
Production: Euro America Productions, Tecisa, Roxy Film
Lisa, an American tourist, is on vacation in Toledo, in Spain, where she is observing a fresco portraying the devil. Soon after, she encounters a mysterious man, whose face is similar to that portrayed in the fresco. Confused and forced to spend the night in a detached villa, after the car in which she had been travelling has broken down, Lisa meets the man again, who turns out to be the butler of the villa, which is inhabited by bizarre characters, in a continuous whirlwind of double between in live, dead and macabre mannequins. And what if it was all a dream?
“Lisa and the Devil is definitely one of the masterpieces of Mario Bava’s filmography. A gloomy and visionary work where the horror (…) it is only a matter of visual atmospheres, sound counterpoints and brilliant setting inventions; while a plot, interwoven of split personality and oneiric escapes, becomes more and more rarefied and aerial. But Lisa and the Devil is also the film that connects, inextricably even though indirectly (it should be mentioned that still lack explicit references …), the Bava’s poetics to the literary experience of a great writer of the nineteenth century: the deacon Charles Dodgson Ludwidge, better known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll, author of works such as Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1871)”.
(Guglielmo Siniscalchi, Mario Bava: Il rosso segno dell’illusione, Sentieri Selvaggi, 2013)