The Devil's Plaything (1973)

DVD Cover (Retro-Seduction Cinema)
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Overall Rating 48%
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Ranked #9,267
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Nestled in the mountains of Germany, a grim and secluded castle stands - the haunted legacy of the beautiful medieval vampire Baroness Varga. Put to death for her ravenous hunger for female blood, the Baroness uttered a curse that she would one day return to forever satisfy her unnatural lust...and that day has finally come. Four women have gathered at the castle unaware that its darkly seductive housekeeper is a satanic high priestess presiding over a coven of delectable servants who each night perform sensual rituals and profane acts to keep the Baroness' spirit alive. As the women are drawn deeper into the ultra erotic nightmare, it will be the most uninhibited among them who shall serve as the vessel into which the Baroness passes...to continue her unholy reign of terror. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: July 8, 2005
In this 1973 film from sexploitation legend Joe Sarno, we find three ladies who are being forced to stay inside a remote castle in the mountains in order to receive an inheritance from their deceased aunt. This aunt was pretty wealthy, but a clause in her will states that all three of these ladies must stay inside this castle for one year before they receive a nickel of her fortune. Among these three ladies are Helga (Marie Forså, who would go on to star in Sarno's "Bibi"), Monika (Ulrike Butz), and some other lady whose name I missed. The castle is being run by housekeeper Wanda (Nadia Henkowa), and the ladies settle in for what seems to be an easy year. Things change, however, when we find out that Wanda is a vampire lesbian who has cast a spell on the castle inhabitants, a spell which causes them to be insatiably horny. You see, these lesbian orgies are the only method of keeping the spirit of head vampire The Baroness alive until her soul can be reborn through a human. Things get even more interesting when the brother-sister duo of Julia (Anke Syring) and Peter Malenkow (Nico Wolferstetter) show up after being in a car accident down the road. What role will they play in this orgy of violence, witchcraft, and lesbian affairs? Does Julia really like her own brother Peter... like that? Will The Baroness be reborn? Watch the movie to find out.

I'm normally not a huge fan of the sexploitation genre. Sure, it's nice to see hearty helpings of on-screen T&A, but watching what usually amounts to a softcore porn flick for ninety minutes usually leaves me a bit bored by the time the midway point rolls around. This was not the case with Vampire Ecstasy. Sarno is largely regarded as one of the kings of the sexploitation genre, and while I'm not familiar with a lot of his work, that statement may ring true if this movie is any indication. The reason that this film works out so nicely is due to three things: one, Sarno knows how to pick some nice looking leading ladies; two, the actual sex scenes are very nicely done, with obvious inspiration behind them instead of simply pointing to a bed and telling the actresses to go at it; and three, because Sarno can actually tie all of these sex scenes together with a decent storyline.

Now, that's not to say that this is a perfect film. Those of you who are simply looking for a hundred minutes of cheap thrills from your sexploitation flicks may be disappointed, as the storyline plays a much more prominent role here than in similarly-styled films from other directors. On the other hand, fans looking for a straight-up vampire or horror film may be disappointed due to the abundance of said sex scenes. Those who are looking for a good combination of Hammer-inspired storyline and lesbian action, however, really can't go wrong with this one. My only real complaint about the film was the fact that most of the leading ladies had a heavy German accent. This led to a few scenes in which I had no idea what was being said... though to be fair, you'll get used to it after you hear her speak a couple of times. On a personal note, Marie Forså gets a lot of credit for being *the* lady in these types of films due to her looks... but Nadia Henkowa would get my vote on any day of the week. Rawr.

Worth a check-out for that section of fans who dig horror films and enjoy a good sexploitation film. I wouldn't recommend it to those who only like one genre or the other, but it's worth a check-out for the rest of you. For the cheap plug section of this review, I'd like to point out Retro-Seduction Cinema's Joe Sarno Trilogy which contains this movie as well as Girl Meets Girl and Butterflies. It's an excellent box-set that is reasonably priced, and if you're looking to check out this style of film or just want to get some of those classic Sarno flicks, this would be the way to go. 7/10.
Zombieboy #1: Zombieboy - added December 30, 2008 at 10:21pm
I love this little flick. I have it and Devil's Plaything. Wish I had a coven of vampies like that in my wine cellar! Hrrrm.... Wish I had a wine cellar.
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