Plot: What’s it about?
Magdalena Winter (Dagmar Hedrich) is an orphan, so she resides within a boarding school for girls in her situation. She is a beautiful young woman, with striking blonde hair and a knockout body, but she remains pure and innocent. The other girls at the school, including the amorous house mothers don’t follow the same line as Magdalena however, which means the house isn’t a good place for such an innocent young woman. All around her, the females engage in lesbian sex and other sexual hijinks, while she remains back from the crowd. But her life is about to be sent into a spin, when she is raped and then invaded by a demonic spirit. The demon overtakes her body and begins to do things Magdalena never would have done. This includes rampant masturbation, shedding her clothes at inappropriate times, and indulging in the pleasures of the flesh with her fellow females, not the kind of things those around her expect to see. At the same time, she speaks out against religion and attacks the parish priest, which leads to the conclusion that something has to be done, as an evil spirit has taken control. As she spirals downward by the second, can anything be done to save the once pristine Magdalena?
The box office success of The Exorcist resulted in a tidal wave of knockoffs, movies produced simply to cash in on the trend. In America, we saw several of these kind of films, but overseas, a massive number of Exorcist clones surfaced. Midnight Video has released a German production, known as Magdalena, Possessed by the Devil. This 1974 film is loaded with sleaze and exploitation elements, but often released in cut & censored editions, when the rare home video versions can be found, that is. Now however, we can see the film as it was intended, in a complete and uncut release that is even in widescreen. Midnight Video’s edition restores ample flesh, sexual hijinks, and violence to this outrageous, rarely seen picture. Also known as Devil’s Female, this movie isn’t much on visual technique, complex storylines, or top level performances, but it knows what its viewers want, which is over the top sleaze and mayhem. Magdalena supplies those elements in ample doses also, with tons of full nudity and sex scenes, including some lesbian schoolgirl antics. At the helm of this movie was Walter Boos, who worked in numerous German erotic productions, so he knew how to handle the high volume of skin needed here. This movie is by no means a good one, but for fans of sleaze cinema, Magdalena is worth a look. You can only purchase this uncut DVD from Midnight Video’s website, which is found at www.Midnight1.com, so be sure to check out this flick, as well as their other merchandise.
Video: How does it look?
Magdalena is presented in 1.66:1 widescreen, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. This looks to have been ported over from a laserdisc or other video source, but that doesn’t mean the result is unwatchable. The image is soft, but the material wouldn’t look all that refined, even in a restored presentation. The print used seems to be in good condition, with only minor grain and infrequent nicks to mention. As I said, the visuals have a soft texture, due to the material and the transfer elements, but detail is decent and the image is never too fuzzy, just not as sharp as we’ve come to expect. I found colors and contrast to be passable, so in the end, this is a more than decent presentation. This release has burned in Japanese subtitles, thanks to the print used, but they never prove to be a serious distraction.
Audio: How does it sound?
Not a lot to praise here, but this is a solid, passable presentation. An English language soundtrack is provided, which means the synch is often off balance, since the film’s original language is German. The audio is never memorable, which means it is never impressive, but also that it is never terrible. All the elements come through in reasonable fashion, with no volume troubles or muffled moments. The material has some worn spots and isn’t always refined, but given the circumstances, I think the audio is well handled. The dialogue is clean and sounds good, even if the dub voices can be laughable at times. So not a dynamic audio presentation, but a reasonable one and in this case, that is acceptable.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a couple of bonus trailers for other films, but no supplements specific to this film are found here.