Arcana (1972)

Man, this movie just hit me right in the brain.

Lucia Bosè (Something Creeping in the Dark) plays Ms. Tarantino, a widow who practices spiritualism. As her son grows older, he learns that the parlor tricks his mom uses to get money out of the marks hide what she can really do, so he forces her to give him the power of magic. Before long, he’s stringing all sorts of objects around their apartment building, putting live frogs into a woman’s mouth, creating a voodoo bread man and fondling torn-off chicken legs.

He’s also obsessed with Tina Aumont from Torso and you know, who can blame him?

Director Giulio Questi was the screenwriter for The Possessed, as well as writing and directing the berserk Django Kill… If You Live, Shoot!, which starts with its hero clawing his way out of a mass grave and ends with people being messily melted down by molten gold. He also was behind the equally strange Death Laid an Egg before the failure of this movie ruined his directing career. It would be nine years before he had the chance to make another picture.

This movie starts with these words: “To the viewers, This film is not a story. It’s a card game. This is why the beginning is not credible nor is the ending. You are the players. Play well and win.”

From what I’ve found online, people either absolutely love this movie or hate every single minute of it, much like the other films that Questi made. That means that — you guessed it — I loved this mess of a movie. I can’t wait for people to reply just how much they disliked it.

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