FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Feb 4, 2015

VHS Week Day 3: NUDE FOR SATAN (1974)

No, I did not spend $19.98 on Nude for Satan (although SPOILER ALERT I got at least $19.98 worth of entertainment out of it!). What am I, a rich crazy person? I got Nude for Satan when 20/20 Video went out of business and VHS was 3 for $5 because I'm a poor crazy person.

(Aside: R.I.P., 20/20 Video, I sure bought a lot of crap from you. And while I don't really want to play The Blame Game, maybe if you didn't way overprice stuff like Nude for Satan you could have stayed open for another month or something.)

On a dark and lightning-y night , Dr. William Benson (Stelio Candelli) zips along in his light blue VW Bug on his way to answer an emergency call. The ghostly figure of a woman appears in the road, Benson swerves and crashes, and HOLY MOLY NO LIE it was just like the opening to my film Taste of Flesh, Taste of Fear, where two characters in a light blue VW Bug zip down a dark road and crash when they swerve to avoid the ghostly figure of a woman in the road and I mean "just like" as in the car crash noise was exactly the same even. I guess it must be the Wilhelm Scream of car crash noises or something, I don't know. But I do know that I felt an immediate kinship with Nude for Satan, even beyond my love at first sight with the title and the fact that I was sitting on my couch all nude for Nude for Satan.

Ha ha, that's a joke! It's too cold for nude for Nude for Satan shenanigans. But in my mind I was nude, which is really the only place I ever should be.

Another car crashes behind Benson's, but its driver Susan (Rita Calderoni) is slumped over unconscious. Benson stuffs her into his car and drives off in search of help. Will he find it at the castle down the road? WILL HE? Would your answer change if I told you that the castle belongs to SATAN?

At least, I think it belongs to him. I'm not really sure. The only thing I'm sure about is that shit gets really weird in this movie.

Okay, so shortly after arrival, Benson runs into Susan again. But she keeps calling him Peter and she's all old-timey looking (you can tell she's supposed to be old-timey because she's got a big dress on and her hair is all ten kinds of banana curled).

Susan wakes up and walks around. She finds Benson, but he keeps calling her Evelyn and he's all old-timey looking (you can tell he's supposed to be old-timey because he's got a waistcoat on and his facial hair is all ten kinds of mutton chopped).

Satan appears (you can tell he's Satan because he wears a cape and has a walking stick) and starts with the "What's real? What's not? Good night!" The castle apparently exists outside the confines of space and time, and to represent this a tiny naked Susan is superimposed over Satan's eye. Okay then.

Susan wonders why Satan said "good night" when the sun is still up, but then she's like *shrug* fuck it! and she goes to sleep, only to dream of lezzing out in a room made of white taffeta or tulle or whatever, I don't really know the difference between taffeta and tulle. The women kind of kiss and look at each other while the camera does a kaleidoscope thing and the soundtrack starts "la la LA la la"-ing. It's not a terribly sexy scene, but I guess it's a terribly sexy dream because Susan's eyes are rolling in back of her head.

la la LA la la

Susan wakes up, wanders around, falls into an abyss, and lands in a giant spider web (as you do), only to be almost attacked by a huge spider. By the fakest-looking spider I've ever seen! And I say that as someone who once used a remote-controlled spider in a film! This spider had six legs on each side and it was all some serious pipe-cleaners-and-papier-mâiché shit. In other words, YES it was so great. And to her credit, Rita Calderoni really sold that she was terrified of it, so all the hi-fives to her.

Oh yeah, and this guy shows up every once in a while and laughs:

Benson saves Susan from the web (PHEW). Satan appears again and tells them they're being too noisy and they need to go to bed, but they've decided to escape. But they can't! Instead, they meet their counterparts Peter and Evelyn, and there's some musing about duality and indulging dark natures and the such. Benson is all "No! We must escape!" but Susan is like *shrug* fuck it! and indulges, by which I mean she gets naked and makes out with Peter while some other nudies show up and do a slo-mo frolic around the room.

Then there's an ending that, believe it or not, makes less sense than anything else that came before it.

At this point, I was starting to feel that like Castle Satan, perhaps I existed outside the confines of space and time. What in the hell did I just watch? I'm not sure, but I think I loved it. Nude for Satan has no real violence or even sex in it- the "sex" is basically mouths bumping and hands placed on breasts- and it's nowhere near as sleazy as the title implies. Don't get me wrong, people do get nude for Satan, there's no false advertising here. It's more that the film is sort of languorously gonzo, where I was expecting plain ol' gonzo gonzo.

But who cares? There are worse things in life than watching Rita Calderoni run around naked in a cobwebby, gothic-lite castle while 70s bongo music plays. A worse thing would be not doing that. *shrug* fuck it!


Anonymous said...

And YES, I fell in love with Rita Calderoni during that whole nutty "spider" because she was so emotionally invested in it despite that whole nutty "spider" she was acting opposite of. And can't you imagine some crew guy is sticking it in the camera from just off-screen, like the "spider" is attached to a piece of wood for even further authenticity? Plus the web's made of rope!
And really, Stelio Candelli is really the star of this film, I think, but his inclusion in the credits almost seems like an after thought, or at least, they just remembered he was there for the shoot at some point.
As far as I can tell there's three films that are available on DVD that have the lovely Rita Calderoni in them: this one and two directed by Renato Polselli -- DELIRIUM and THE REINCARNATION OF ISABEL. All three of these movies are really very, VERY weird.
Finally, when I watched your seminal film, TASTE OF FLESH, TASTE OF FEAR, I was certain that you had seen NUDE FOR SATAN because of the opening. But, you hadn't!

Okay, I made up the part about thinking you saw NUDE FOR SATAN after watching ToF, ToF (excuse me, I think I need a cough drop).
But, I do think this was an awesome review.

Stacie Ponder said...

Ha, awesome comment, thanks! And thanks for the heads up on the other two Calderoni flicks...I checked out the trailers and they seem pretty out there, so of course they're added to my "must see" list.

I love what you said about Stelio Candelli, it's so true. I just thought of him the whole time as "Italian Christopher George". I just...wanted him to be Christopher George. And let's face it, the TRUE star of the movie is "random zoom to object or parapet".

The more I think about this movie, the more I love it!

Michelle said...

This seems too utterly perfect for my film buff group's cult movie night. If there's no nudity or Satan in what we watch, we feel a little cheated.

Anonymous said...

As I was reading your comment, I happened to glance over at your various tags and saw "Deborah Foreman fucking rocks (10)" and that completely threw me, because I couldn't figure out why Deborah Foreman would be fucking rocks in the first place, and not only that, but how could such a context happen nearly a dozen times??? Then I realized what you actually meant.
It was disorienting and distracting.

Stacie Ponder said...

cattle...I wouldn't be surprised if someone found their way here by actually looking for clips of Deborah Foreman fucking rocks. The things people search for, I swear...

William Quiterio said...

Not to be confused with its sequel, 'Clothed for Jesus.'

smogo said...

"Nude for Satan has no real violence or even sex in it- the "sex" is basically mouths bumping and hands placed on breasts- and it's nowhere near as sleazy as the title implies", she said.

So I fired it up on my tablet, on the busy commuter train to work.

15 minutes in, the hero opens a door and sees... a woman sucking a man off in explicit hardcore detail!

I suspect your VHS copy may be a different cut.

Stacie Ponder said...

Holy moly! I didn't even think about that...but now with a little research, it looks like there's a DVD cut from the Netherlands that's XXX. The only DVDs I saw were from the same company that put out my VHS, so I assumed they were the same cut. Sorry if I misled!