Devil in the Flesh (1986) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Also known as Il Diavolo in Corpo

I guess I won't have to worry about writing a spoiler for this film, because I have no idea what the ending means. Indeed, that would normally have disappointed me, but I didn't take it too hard because I didn't really get the point of the middle of the movie either.

And the middle was a model of simple narrative clarity compared to the beginning.

It's not that I didn't know what was going on, but rather that I just didn't have any idea why anyone would make a movie in which those things happen.

A high school student forms an attraction to a woman whose window overlooks the school. He follows her. They have some sex. She tells him that she is about to be married to a terrorist who is now on trial. The lad wonders why a terrorist's girlfriend has such a bourgeois apartment, and she replies that the terrorist's mom helped her pick it out. I guess terrorists get wedding presents, too. Makes sense if you think about it. Suppose your kid became a terrorist and then got married. You'd still have to come up with a wedding gift, right? But what? It's not like they register their favorite weapon pattern at a local army surplus store. An apartment seems to be as good as anything, because terrorists always need a hide-out. Anyway, her fiancé seems to be a semi-reformed terrorist who has apparently turned states' evidence against his fellow terrorists, and it appears that he may get off scot-free. The woman takes her high school aged lover to the terrorist's trial, where they build many wonderful and loving shared memories while they evaluate the pictorial evidence of innocent people massacred by terrorism.

This turns them on so much that they have some more sex.

The kid is really happy about the sex, but other things confuse him. For example, if he initiated the relationship with the woman when she was a complete stranger, why is she also having sex with his psychiatrist father, or at least trying to. For another example, what's to happen to him when Mr. Hard-as-nails Doesn't-respect-the-value-of-human-life Terrorist gets out of prison and finds out that some wimpy high school kid is banging his hot fiancée? That could get ugly.

In fact, the very thought of all that ugliness turns them on so much that they have sex. 

To avoid repeating myself further, let me cut to the chase and point out that the film continues to follow the "lather, sex, repeat" formula ad infinitum, and ends up with about twenty minutes of footage of sexual horseplay and nudity.

So it's got that goin' for it.

Not much else.

Not only does the point of the movie escape me, but I don't even understand the special features on this DVD. One of the main features is an interview with two terrorists! I didn't watch it, but I presume they are discussing the accuracy of the film's terrorism portrayal. Or maybe they are just sharing their favorite seafood recipes.

If the film is considered memorable at all, it is for the fact that Maruschka Detmers fellated her co-star on camera in real time, marking the first time that a mainstream actress had done that deed in a major release. For that, and for the twenty minutes or so of nudity from the beautiful actress, the film is worth a watch, albeit with a thumb on the fast forward button.



  • "Stolen Years, Hidden Lives" interviews with former real life Red Brigades Adriana Franda and Mara Nanni
  • "In Bellocchio's Flesh" interview with director Marco Bellocchio
  • Poster & Still Gallery
  • Collectible Booklet including liner notes, essay on Red Brigades history and Marco Bellocchio's bio
  • Widescreen anamorphic (16x9). Beautiful transfer remastered from the original vault negative.


Maruschka Detmers shows it all.

Federico Pitzalis shows his bum, and a bit of his balls from the rear.

The Critics Vote ...

  • Roger Ebert 1.5/4

The People Vote ...

  • It grossed $500,000 in the USA in arthouse distribution.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C-, a cult movie which is only worth renting if you care to see Maruschka Detmers naked in good light from every possible angle, and/or if you'd like to see her swallowin' the shillelagh on camera.

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