Joe Dante on

Lisa and the Devil

Released 1976
Distributor Peppercorn-Wormser Film Enterprises

A career high– and low– point for director Mario Bava, who was finally allowed to create a film entirely to his own taste with no interference from above, only to see it discarded when his original version proved too offbeat to attract a distributor. He never lived to see his cut rescued from the ash heap, believing it would be forever replaced by House of Exorcism, heavily revamped and recut with an added framing story ripped off from the much-imitated Friedkin film. But thanks to home video Bava’s original is now in circulation, though usually offered in tandem with its crass counterpart.

About Joe Dante

Joe Dante is a lifelong film buff who turned his obsession into a career. He got his start cutting trailers for Roger Corman and later directed the hit movie Gremlins, as well as Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Innerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Piranha, Matinee, The ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in Action, The Hole (first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival) and the zom-com Burying the Ex. His TV directing work includes: Police Squad, Amazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, Indiana, CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0, Witches of East End, Legends of Tomorrow and Salem. His latest big screen credit is an episode of the upcoming Nightmare Cinema.