Sukkubus – den Teufel im Leib (Sukkubus – The Devil In the Body) is a Swiss/German co-production that takes you into the snow and ice-covered mountains as three men — Senn the leader (Peter Simonischek), Hirt (Giovanni Früh) and teenage Handrbub (Andy Voß) — as they drive their herd through the treacherous Swiss Alps, starting the story by finding the ravaged and frozen bodies of a past team of farmers just like them that didn’t make it. As they melt in the sun, birds land on them and begin feasting on them.
The three men pray for protection as their journey continues.
This journey has no women and all work, which leads Hirt to non-stop obsession about pleasure, starting with bothering young Handrbub, which is dealt with swiftly by Senn. Then, after a day in which the boy finds a piece of wood that looks like a face, Hirt and Senn get drunk and assemble a body around the face, conducting rituals through their words as Hirt mounts the straw doll they have made and basically thrusts it into life, revealing the titular Sukkubus nearly halfway through the film.
Played by Pamela Prati (Lith in Ironmaster and Aracne in The Adventures of Hercules, as well as Transformations, another film in which she plays a succubus) the doll becomes a bright blue eyed living creature in front of the men’s eyes, ominously inching toward Handrbub who can only scream in horror. And while he and Senn want to avoid this demon as she appears in their weakest moments, Hirt wants to feel her touch.
Mondo Macabro, who keeps putting out movies that shock and surprise me, says, “This film is the real deal, based on a gruesome and ancient story, much retold by people who live in the Alps – the huge mountain range that spans six European countries.”
I agree. This just feels odd in the best of ways, showing the isolation and madness of the men while they face death every single step of their journey, all while living in lust, fear and some sadistic combination of the two as the epitome of male desire stalks their every move.
Based on the fable The Guschg Herdsmen’s Doll, which was also filmed in 2010 as Sennentuntschi: Curse of the Alps, this Mondo Macabro release features a 1080p presentation from a 4K restoration of the original camera negative, a German audio track with optional English subtitles, an exclusive interview with actor Peter Simonischek and the film’s trailer. You can get it from Mondo Macabro.