August 17th, 2004



Roger Corman Presents
H e l l f i r e

A.K.A., Bloodsong, Haunted Symphony; Starring Ben Cross, Jennifer Burns, Beverly Garland, Doug Wert; Directed by David Tausik

A delightful film about a composer who becomes possessed by the spirit of another composer named Octave Barron, who was writing a symphony dedicated to Satan until his untimely death. And so the empath, Marius Carnot {Ben Cross, who also played the charming continental Vampiric gentleman Barnabas Collins in the Year XXV A.S adaptation of Dark Shadows} experiences morbid visions of torture, hellfire, and sacrifice as he begins the Devil's work, also receiving a superb invigoration and touch of "insanity" which portends genius.

There was a humorous scene in which, after saving Gabriella who is actually the niece of the deceased composer, from being raped, is challenged to a duel scheduled for the next morning. At first, he seems a cowering weakling, being virtually herded along through the grounds and the mansion at sword-point until he finally hears the strains of the nefarious composition echoing through his mind, and proceeds to take the upper hand, finally driving the sword through the heart of his opponent. And to top off the victory, he shoves an apple in his gaping mouth while laughing ecstatically, relishing his conquorance.

From here on out, he assumes a rather Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde demeanor and carouses with whores and drink, until he dissappointingly stops in mid-act, and asks them to sing. At this point, he is fully possessed by Octave Barron, who had a penchant for murder as motivation, and dispatches them in various bloody methods. But it is not until one of the whores falls out a tavern window that he becomes the suspect of the local constable who thereby sets out to prosecute him in any manner possible.

Marius is accompanied by a witch-hag named Carlotta who acts as his maid and aids him in several instances in order to keep him alive and free to compose The Devil's symphony. Gabriella has a dream in which she follows the maid to her witchly activities which included the sacrifice of a rooster, all awash in a combination of black and red lightning, which always adds that certain eerie and mystical embience conducive of Sorcery, as it resembles a ghostly Inferno. Earlier in the evening, while again beginning the composition, he stated he necessitated "inspiration" in order to finish, so a maiden was called for who, while singing the stanza, is killed as a sacrifice to bring the spirit of Barron unto manifestation. So during the particularly passionate working, is transported into the center of a masquerade ball in which Octave Barron, the veritable incarnation of Satan, presides to hear his symphony being played for all of his demonic admirers.

Most of the film's dynamic deals with possession, as even Gabriella was possessed of the spirit of Carlotta for the promise of immortality, but is instead relegated to the fires of The Abyss, thus liberating Gabriella who does love Carnot with all of her heart, despite the abuse Barron in his guise, inflicts upon her in his own states of possession. And so the Magistrate comes looking for the missing girl last seen at his residence, but Carnot will not be taken alive, bids farewell to the lovely Gabriella, and dives headlong into the fireplace. In a surprising twist, the corpse of Barron rises from the crypt and returns to the house but is finally destroyed by the immolation of the manuscript itself.

The chapter in Mga. Barton's book "The Church of Satan" which included descriptions of the true natures of many of the Classical composers of the day as being in league with Lucifer came to mind, which increased the appreciation of the movie's plot manifold, placing certain aspects into perspective.

The aesthetics of the film are quite appealing; I especially enjoyed the lighting, which reminds Me of My own Noctuary Chamber.

Rating: 3/5.

Draconis Blackthorne, shadowgram, Dracomet

Nefarious Newsletter V.140

Table of Contents

I. Quotations: Ralph Waldo Emerson.
II. Nefarious News: Police Attempt to Finish Botched Robbery, Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ear, Shine On Harvest Moon, Those Crazy Canucks 1 & 2, Super Bowl Stunt Backfires On Nashville's Cops.
III. Interesting Facts & Foibles: Real Books... Unreal Titles!
IV. Hell's Bar & Grill: Deviled Ham Spread, Pork Loin Chop, with Mushroom Gravy, Mashed Potato Casserole, Marinated Cucumbers, Pecan Shortbread.
V. Wicked Words: hiemal, chef-d'oeuvre, polyglot.
VI. Satan-O-Vision: Ed Gein, Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Linda Blair, Jack Nickolsen, Superstition in Salem.
VII. The Devil's Web: C2C Friday the 13th Gallery, beauty angel, Truth Seeker TV, Satanic Bibles.
VIII. The Shadow Gallery: Precious Lifeforce by K. Nosifer.

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