20 April 2024
Damned in Venice (1978)
100 min.
Directed by Ugo Liberatore.
With Renato Cestiè, Rena Niehaus, Yorgo Voyagis, Fabio Gamma, José Quaglio, Ely Galleani, Angela Covello, Olga Karlatos.
Intriguing Italian horror mixes equal parts Rosemary's Baby with The Omen.

Blind young Mark (Cestiè) experiences disturbing visions: a strange man in black with a cane...a dog lapping at a severed hand...

When he and his sister move in with his aunt and uncle, the nightmarish illusions seem to be turning to reality.

Soon, his relatives are dying off mysteriously...and the man in black has come to live with he and his sister. Has the devil descended upon Mark and what could his dark plan be?

This offbeat entry is competently shot and (thanks in part to its Venetian locale) maintains interest throughout, even if ultimately its plot becomes too convoluted for its own good. Best scene: the surprising babysmack-on-a-spiked-sculpture moment. With a good score by Pino Donaggio.

Also known as Venetian Black. Italian: Nero Veneziano.

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