(AKA 'The Reincarnation Of Isabel' 1973) - Before we go any further, if you're going to watch this flick, please do so in Italian with subtitles, as the English dubbed version is unwatchable. Not that anything will elevate this perverse gem of a sexually-overheated occult oddity to the status of a 'good' film, but those of us who revel in such insanity will be able to enjoy properly, as director Renato Polselli ('Delirium') intended. The blu-ray remastering is decent, but didn't blow me away, as I already owned the earlier Redemption release. But it improves the contrast dramatically, which is a sore spot for many 70's Eurohorror flicks, so I was grateful for that.
This one starts with a woman being burned alive at the stake for being a witch to the bass line and percussion of Santana's 'Soul Sacrifice' while some psychedelic credits roll over Mario Bava-esque colors shining on the faces of the attendant villagers, so we know what kind of a schlocky treat we're in store for from the get-go. Other reviewers seem to take these films way too seriously, as they were never intended to be. The key ingredients were a Eurogothic horror homage to the Universal classics, sex and gratuitous violence that wasn't permissable before 1968 when the codes were revised (usually heaped upon women back in those days for not staying at home + rearing kids while keeping working dads liquored up after a tough day at the office), pervasive nudity, drug use prevalent at that time, and more nudity. 'Gotta love it for what it was, not is - know what I mean?
Five centuries later, we're witness to a black magic ceremony involving a naked woman chained to an altar while some dudes in red leotards and black capes invoke Satan to reincarnate the soul of Isabel (the burnt witch) who gets a chance to be reborn every night of the 25th moon. You see, Count Dracula was the lover of Isabel the witch, who petitioned the powers of Darkness to become the first vampire, and presides over the reincarnation rituals.
That's the extent of the ridiculous plot; the rest of the flick is all about naked women. Euro babes, to be exact, and we see them being tied up, burnt alive, fondled, scantily clad, buried alive, tortured, in cages, beaten with tree limbs, losing their virginity, getting felt up by vampires, sacrificed, groped by their doctors, pursued by priests and superstitious villagers, in lesbian trysts and all the hysteria and melodrama we've come to expect from these Italian psych-horror sleaze fests. REJOICE or RUN AWAY! (2 stars for the flick, 4 stars for the rest...).