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LiamCasey

"The Devil's Possessed" (aka "El Mariscal del Infierno") (1974)

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The Devil's Possessed (aka El Mariscal del Infierno) (1974)

w/ Paul Naschy, Norma Sebre, Guillermo Bredeston, Mariano Vidal Molina, Graciela Nilson and Eduardo Calvo. Directed by León Klimovsky. And written by Paul Naschy.

Can I get away with just writing "Ugh!" at this point so we can all go on to something else?

In 15th Century France, Barón Gilles de Lancré (Paul Naschy) returns home after failing to be rewarded by his king for his military victories on that king's behalf. And, therefore, turns to alchemy in order to obtain the Philosopher's Stone so he can use that to achieve his goals instead. But the price of that stone, as per his friendly neighborhood alchemist Simon de Braqueville (Eduardo Calvo), is the blood of damsels (among other things). A price which, after very little prodding by his sexy (of course) wife, Georgelle (Norma Sebre), he agrees to pay which leads to a reign of terror in his barony. Which, of course, leads to a peasant uprising. Which is eventually led by our generic hero and the baron's former comrade in arms, Gaston de Malebranche (Guillermo Bredeston).

Considering how many of Paul Naschy's movies hearken back to the Universal movies of the 1920s through the 1940s, it should come as no surprise that one of them would be reminiscent of Tower of London (1939). Up to and including the fact that all the horror in it is man made. Matter of fact, if Paul Naschy wasn't in this movie, it would probably have been simply classified as an action adventure. And then I probably wouldn't have wasted my time watching it and writing this. And then you wouldn't be wasting your time reading this.

And, as an action adventure, this movie is a stew with meats and vegetables pulled not only from the aforementioned Tower of London, but also from Macbeth (naturally with a wife like this) and Robin Hood (extremely so with rebel peasants fighting from the woods and with our hero physically proving himself to said peasants and with the robbing of the baron's second-hand man himself and with the rebel leader secretly participating in the baron's tournament and with, of course, a damsel to rescue from the baron's dungeon) plus comic swordplay as per the then recent duology featuring The Three Musketeers (albeit a poor imitation of that choreography) and even (yes, I am going totally tongue in cheek at this point) Monty Python (simply because everyone expects the Spanish Inquisition!). But a very bland stew nonetheless.

Random comments:

1.) This is the third of five movies in The Paul Naschy Collection II Blu-Ray set.

2.) And, of the Naschy movies that I've watched (or rewatched) during this go around, I would rank this one last as follows:

a) Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (1974)
b) The Hunchback of the Morgue (1973)
c) Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973)
d) A Dragonfly for Each Corpse (1975)
e) Night of the Werewolf (1981)
f) Count Dracula's Great Love (1973)
g) Human Beasts (1980)
h) Vengeance of the Zombies (1973)
i) The Devil's Possessed

Matter of fact, if this was the first Paul Naschy movie that I had ever seen, it would probably have been the last Paul Naschy movie that I had ever seen.

3.) A literal translation of the Spanish title for this one is "The Marshal Of Hell".

4.) This is the only movie that the second billed Norma Sebre, the third billed Guillermo Bredeston and the fifth billed Graciela Nilson have in common with Paul Naschy.

5.) As for the fourth billed Mariano Vidal Molina, he also appeared with Paul Naschy in Curse of the Devil (1973) (a Waldemar Daninsky movie), A Dragonfly for Each Corpse, The Cantabrians (1980) (a sword and sandal movie) and Howl of the Devil (1987) (where Paul Naschy plays everyone!).

6.) And, as previously mentioned, this is one of the sixth billed Eduardo Calvo's ten movies with Paul Naschy with the others being Disco Rojo (1973) (a crime movie which translates as "Red Light"), The Killer is One of the Thirteen (1973) (naturally another giallo with a title like that), Curse of the Devil, Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll, A Dragonfly for Each Corpse, The Mummy's Revenge (1975), Cross of the Devil (1975), Inquisición (1977) and Human Beasts (albeit only vocally in this last one).

7.) And, again as previously mentioned, this is one of eight movies with Paul Naschy that was directed by León Klimovsky with the others being The Werewolf Versus the Vampire Woman (1971), Dr. Jekyll vs. The Werewolf (1972), Vengeance of the Zombies, A Dragonfly for Each Corpse, Death of a Hoodlum (1975) (a crime movie), The People Who Own the Dark (1976) and Secuestro (1976) (another crime movie which translates as "Kidnapping").

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