STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance
Title - Kevin Michael Vance - writer/musician/purveyor of raw materials
STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance
STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance

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Kevin Michael Vance
Writer - Portland, Oregon


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Title: THE DEVILS
Director: Ken Russell
Year: 1971
Reviewed: August 13, 2022

Rating:   Four Course Meal-Highest Rating
[Rating Definitions]

  THE DEVILS

The Devils is one of the most banned films in the world, and it is considered obscene by the catholic church. The strange thing is... it's also fucking amazing.

I stumbled across The Devils purely by accident while perusing the streaming service Shudder. I love Oliver Reed (he has always been my all-time favorite Athos from The Three Musketeers), and once I saw that Vanessa Redgrave was involved I thought why not. Holy crap! Had I known I was going to see such a bat-shit crazy, irreverent, and incredibly well done film as The Devils... well, I don't know what I would have done.

Purportedly, the story is based on actual events. Regardless of whether or not this is true, the movie is stunning and shocking in so many ways. The acting is superb, with both Oliver and Vanessa turning in Oscar-worthy performances. The set design is unique and impressive. The story is crazy and bizarre and like nothing I've ever seen before. And the direction is so over-the-top as to be absurd. But it never loses its sense of self, while being grounded in a mad world of superstition and witchcraft. I loved it!

The Irony here is that the Catholic church finds the film obscene. It does question the religions authoritarianism. It does vividly point out its inherent hypocrisy, its biased and unfair judgement of... well, of everyone, and superlatively exhibits the madness and pernicious quality of men who think they are servants of some higher power. But what is truly ironic is that the protagonist, the priest Urbain Grandier, a man of many flaws, never once loses his faith, even when he is being brutally tortured. The strongest character in the film is a man who has based his whole life in serving his god.

On a side note, and after a little internet digging, it would appear that Warner Bros. owns the rights to the film and that there are two scenes so scandalous, so salacious that the producing giant refuses to release them with any version. Interesting.

The Devils might be difficult to watch for some, however, it deserves a little bit more credit than it has received. With some time and retrospection I believe it to be brilliant. That's why I'm giving it a FOUR COURSE MEAL review.
   



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