Sunday, February 06, 2011


Readers unfamiliar with the strange U.S. distribution history of Mario Bava's LISA AND THE DEVIL (1973) are encouraged to read the appropriate chapters in Tim Lucas' staggeringly thorough and possibly hernia-inducing tome Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark as well as Kevin Heffernan's essay "Art House or House of Exorcism? The Changing Distribution and Reception Contexts of Mario Bava's Lisa and the Devil" (published in Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics, edited by Jeffrey Sconce). In a nutshell, most sources claim that Allied Artists sent LISA AND THE DEVIL directly to TV, while the reworked HOUSE OF EXORCISM cut was released to theaters by Peppercorn-Wormser Film Enterprises during the summer of 1976. Below we've posted a few ads as evidence for a revision: HOUSE OF EXORCISM landed at least one playdate as early as December 1975, while LISA AND THE DEVIL crept out a few weeks later and was still in circulation as of July '77. When Peppercorn-Wormser closed its doors in 1979, Nicholas M. Demetroules acquired HOUSE OF EXORCISM (along with WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOUR DAUGHTERS? and MONDO MAGIC) and extended its theatrical lifespan by a few more years. LISA AND THE DEVIL, meanwhile, had been playing late-night TV since March 1978.

Naples, FL - December 17, 1975

Wisconsin Rapids, WI - January 14, 1976

Stroudsburg, PA - July 16, 1977

Bronx & Brooklyn, NY - October 1984

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It played at one UA theatre in the suburbs of Minneapolis starting 4/30/76 under the title "Lisa and the Devil". Now was this the re-cut, while using the original title?