L'ERDE DE SATANA
(Atom Age Vampire/Le Monstre au masque)
Dir: Anton Giulio Majano; Prod: Lyon's Film; S: Piero Monviso; SC: Anton Giulio Majano, Gino De Sanctis. Alberto Bevilacqua; Ph: Aldo Giordani; SFX: Ugo Amadoro; M: Armando Trovajoli; Cast: Alberto Lupo, Suzanne Loret, Sergio Fantoni, Franca Parisi Strahl, Andrea Scotti, Ivo Garrani, Roberto Bertea, Glamor Mora.
B&W; 97 min.
Italian horror movies were still in their developmental stage when SEDDOK, L' EREDE DI SATANA appeared in 1960. Taking a cue from the facial transformation terrors of I VAMPIRI and Georges Franju's French frissons of plastic surgery run amuck (EYES WITHOUT A FACE, 1959), SEDDOK added a concern for the disfigured victims of the atom bomb drop on Hiroshima. American ads highlighted this contemporary slant: "A spine-tingling motion picture only the atomic age could produce!" But in France, where SEDDOK was titled LE MONSTRE AU MASQUE (THE MONSTER IN THE MASK), ads for the film favored a more traditional approach: "More ferocious than Jekyll.... More monstrous than Frankenstein.... More bloodthirsty than Dracula!" Not lost in this mix was the ever-present "dominate and possess" motif running through much of the sexually liberated horror films of the 1960s, which were always given an extra dose of lusty liberation by the Italians. The film is notable for being written by future novelist Alberto Bevilacqua, who would work on two masterful Mario Bava films, BLACK SABBATH (1963) and PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (1965). The female lead, Suzanne Loret, had just appeared in UNCLE WAS A VAMPIRE (1959), Italy's first, though wayward, answer to Hammer's impacting HORROR OF DRACULA (1958).