Known as Evil Clutch in the U.S., this film translates as The Forest 1, with the number referring to the proliferation of sequels in its native Italy at the time. Written and directed by Andrea Marfori, it’s the story of an American student and her Italian boyfriend on vacation who run afoul of a female hitchhiker who is truly a demon.
It’s pretty much an even lower-budget version of Evil Dead, with the demonic witch having googly eyes, an exposition spouting horror author who speaks with a crazy voicebox, a town where monsters are coming back because we’ve forgotten about them, as well as decapitations and hand removals that would give George Lucas a mitachlorian-rich wet dream.
You’d think I’d like an Italian movie filled with blood and body organs that makes no sense more than I like this movie, but even I can recognize when something is coming together at all. It’s the kind of movie that probably sent Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni back into the loving arms of Argento films, happy for their comparatively high level of narrative cohesion.
You can watch this on YouTube.