Magdalena, Possessed by the Devil (1974)

What would a German ripoff of The Exorcist look like? That’s an important question to ask. And when I describe ripoffs of said film, I always say, “You know how in The Exorcist, it’s still somewhat of a classy movie. What if it wasn’t? Wouldn’t that be awesome?” Most people, sane people, at that point say, “No. I had no interest in seeing that at all.” For the rest of us, there are films like this.

In fact, Bill from Groovy Doom texted me late one night, asking if I had seen this film, knowing that it would be a movie that I would fall in love with.

Director Walter Boos is better known for his Schoolgirl Report exploitation films. But man, this movie…

We start with a prostitute arguing with several men in the streets before coming home to find a man crucified to the wall of her apartment building. I should also mention that her clothing is hideous, even for a prostitute character in a 1970’s German exploitation movie.

The dead man had visitors all hours of the day and night, including a woman with a giant dog and has only one living relative, his granddaughter…the titular character of this film. We find Magdalena in school, where they delay telling her the news until everyone can have a party. Again, as you do.

Magdalena elicits a Pavlovian response, as every time you hear the sound of flies buzzing, something completely maniacally insane is about to happen. Like the dead body of a man sitting up in the morgue. Or Magdalena frothing at the mouth and tearing her clothes off. Or a tiny dog losing its mind.

Actually, I live with a dog this angry all the time.

For the rest of the film, Magdalena alternates between being a virginal high school girl and being a complete lunatic. And would you really have it any other way? She goes from smashing dishes in a kitchen and kicking her way through doors to having sex with invisible demons in a no time at all.

Magdalena is fine and has to go to her grandfather’s funeral, who she loved when he was alive, but now that he’s gone, she yells, “I despise the dead!” She hitchhikes there, but when a driver tries to molest her while she sleeps, she kills him. And then goes back to school, where things get crazier. Of course.

Magdalena has another fit, during which she tears up a photo of her parents and tries to have sex with all of the old women who run the school before beating the shit out of every single one of them. Then she runs out of steam and the women slap her around way too many times for this to be comfortable.  Oh and I forgot — she’s naked the entire time.

That’s when Dr. Stone gets involved and runs tests on Magdalena because you need a scene in an Exorcist film where science can’t solve what faith can. That said, not many of these films have the doctor fall in love with his patient. Obviously, the rules about this kind of thing are much different in Germany.

Even though she’s found true love, that doesn’t mean Magdalena isn’t going to stop being possessed. She even appears nude to two brothers, making them fight one another in a bowling alley as she lies naked on a lane, begging for them to kill one another for her. Spoiler warning: one of them stabs the other and she disappears.

The rest of the film alternates between good and evil Magdalena, who even gets Stone to have sex with her (I mean, it wasn’t much of a stretch) and then claiming rape. Finally, the forces of good are able to get the evil of her grandfather out of her body. And how does that happen, you may ask? Well, she vomits up a snake and Stone steps on it.

Wow. Yeah, not since Enter the Devil have I watched a film so unafraid to be completely and utterly unhinged. Dagmar Hedrich only appeared in one other film than this and she goes utterly batshit lunacy in this, just a tornado of a performance. If you love possession films — and really, you should — grab this ASAP.

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