Director: Andrzej Zulawski. Cast: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen. 124 min. Rated R. France/West Germany. Horror.
A horror movie, paradoxically exploring severe marital problems during the first half. But then you've already seen the name Carlo Rambaldi (E.T.'s creature designer) in the opening titles. And it's famous for being 'the one where Isabelle Adjani copulates with an octopus'. And it's the artistic equivalent of The Exorcist, where someone gets possessed, but you're really not sure they're possessed ... until things really go bonkers. It's one of Sam Neill's earliest roles, and a film for which Adjani won Best Actress at Cannes. Need I say more? Not for mainstream movie lovers; not for the faint of heart.
PS: Some IMDb trivia:
- Reportedly, writer-director Andrzej Zulawski has said that he penned the film's screenplay during a divorce he was going through at the time.
- The film was initially banned in the UK. The BBFC approved it in 1999.
- According to Halliwell's, "it was released in the US in a 97 minute version". As such, the film was cut by about half an hour from its full running time of about 127 minutes. According to Yuri German at Allmovie, "the version originally released in the U.S. had 45 minutes chopped out".
- Isabelle Adjani told a French magazine that it took her several years to get over playing Anna. She also said that she'd never take on a similar role.