Tuesday 24 April 2007

Il Miele del diavolo / The Devil's Honey

Watching this 1986 Lucio Fulci film through a beat up English dub, pan and scan VHS sourced print with burnt-in Norwegian subtitles is obviously hardly the best way to experience it, particularly the contribution made by Allejandro Ulloa's cinematography. Nevertheless, The Devil's Honey still has something about it even in this format, as a kind of “perversion story” for the '80s.

While more an erotic thriller than purist's giallo in terms of its dynamics, it makes for an interesting companion piece to Argento's Opera, released the following year, thanks to the sadomasochistic thematics and relationships running through both films and the casting of sisters Blanca and Cristina Marsillach in the key female roles.

With Cristina Marsillach proving one of the most difficult actors Argento ever worked with, it seems that Fulci got the better part of the deal here, Blanca happily submitting to every indignity The Devil's Honey's various writers could dream up.

She plays Jessica, a young woman very much in love with Johnny, a young musician - saxophonist, naturally - who treats her like dirt. When she falls pregnant, he forces her to have an abortion, telling her that the last thing their relationship – and his career – needs right now is a mewling infant. Then Johnny has an accident and needs an urgent operation.

The only man who can perform it is Dr Simpson, nicely essayed by Eurotrash stalwart Brett Halsey. He's got problems of his own, finding it easier to relate to prostitutes than his wife Carol, played by the top-billed but underused Corinne Clery, herself no stranger to this kind of material as her roles in the likes of Story of O and Hitch-Hike testify. With his wife's words ringing in his ears - basically it's me or your job - Dr Simpson fails to save Johnny's life.

Obsessed with her deceased love and the man she holds to be responsible for his death, Jessica then abducts him and takes him to an isolated beach-front house to extract her revenge...


Count Fosco said...

Sounds like an interesting Fulci effort. Am I correct to assume no official release exists of this film on DVD? And that one would have to obtain a VHS or DVD back up bootleg in order to watch it?

K H Brown said...

There's a Hong Kong DVD:


Though the quality may not be all that good:


Count Fosco said...

Thanks for the link. Judging by the comments regarding the image quality I'll wait in the hope a better release sees the light of day. In the meantime I'll have to see if I can trade or loan it from a fellow Italian cinema enthusiast.


K H Brown said...

There are torrent links here:


Dr. Hichcock said...

Hey, and Corinne Clery!!!

Good film.

Count Fosco said...

Thanks again Keith. I'm not too hot on the torrent stuff but I'll give it a go. Always just seems to take forever to download and I've never succeeded in remaining online long enough to get a full download. I guess I've not configured the Bit Torrent software correctly.