VIJ (viy, or spirit of evil) (1967 SOVIET UNION) D/W: ALEKSANDR PTUSHKO/GEORGI KROPACHYOV W: KONSTANTIN YERSHOV
A drunken philandering Russian priest (Leonid Kuravlyov, who looks kinda like an unshaven Edward Norton) encounters a witch who rides him through the sky, before turning into a beautiful young woman when he strangles her. He is then summoned to a wealthy landowner`s ranch on the wishes of his recently deceased young daughter. The daughter turns out to be the witch in disguise, but the priest must spend three nights with the body in a makeshift church/crypt. He prays, terrified inside a sacred circle while the witch floats and tries to get at him for the first two nights. On the third night a skeleton walks, hands emerge from the walls ans some truly bizarre demons break the circle (Ptushko was also responsible for the FX). A great colour fantasy made even more fascinating by the period detail unfamiliar to non-Soviet viewers. The same story (by Nikolai Gogol) was the basis for Mario Bava`s classic THE MASK OF SATAN. A double-bill would be immense!

BACK TO MAIN LIST

BACK TO GENKAN