Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies and many more at Trailers From Hell. This week’s trio of films are a hell of a good time to watch. There are appropriate wine pairings for each, of course.
Demons is a 1985 Italian horror film, which we know because nearly everyone involved with the production has a name ending in a vowel. The story concerns a movie theater full of people who were invited to a free screening. Inside the cinema they are attacked by horrible creatures – let’s just call them demons. It’s a case of life imitating art, as the real demons seem to spring forth in the same way as those in the movie.
Demon zero is a girl who was scratched by a dangerous relic on display in the lobby. Let’s all go to the snack bar, indeed – just don’t get too close to that graveyard artifact while you’re buttering your popcorn. One moviegoer after another gets infected by the attacks until the only remaining safe place to hide seems to be the balcony. What a way to spoil a good make-out session.
Lamberto Bava directed the pic, which earned well over a billion Italian lire at the box office. That’s about four dollars and 98 cents in US currency, so cash those residual checks in a hurry.
For Demons, we could drink some Casillero del Diablo wine. However “Diablo” is Spanish for “devil.” There is a winery in New Mexico, Vivac, which makes a rather expensive red blend called Diavolo – the Italian word we are seeking. It does have the Spanish grape Tempranillo in it, but there is also Aglianico, an Italian variety. Vivac is a good place to hang out, by the way, if you find yourself south of Taos with some time on your hands.
The director of Demons had a family history of horror, as his father Mario Bava directed Lisa and the Devil in 1974. The elder Bava was known as the master of Italian horror, a nickname that had to be hard to live up to. Imagine you are a CPA and people went around calling you the master of Earned Income Tax Credit. You can see how quickly that might turn from an honor into a burden.
Telly Savalas and Elke Sommer star in the film, which actually had several different lives and titles. New scenes were even shot for a version which was released in an attempt to cash in on the success of The Exorcist. After The Exorcist, everybody wanted some projectile vomiting in their movie.
Lisa and the Devil is a convoluted tale involving a pretty traveler in Spain, a haunted house, a crazy matriarch, a weird butler, gaslighting, gruesome deaths and just about any other horror movie trope in existence. Reactions to the film have run the gamut from “unwatchable” to “required viewing.” Let us know where you fall in on that scale.
The wine pairing here is for Patagonia’s Bodega Noemia and their A Lisa Malbec, equally suitable for Noemia, Lisa and the devil.
The Exorcist III came out in 1990, written and directed by William Peter Blatty. The story follows the investigation of a serial killer who is tying in his murders with the late Father Damien Karras, the priest from The Exorcist. It’s no shock that the devil from that movie is behind it all, of course, still pissed about being exorcized and looking to get even with someone – anyone.
George C. Scott does a nice turn as the investigator and Brad Dourif plays the serial killer as someone straight from the cuckoo’s nest. Praise ran hot and cold for the movie, which was a bit of a box-office flop due to the stink-bomb known as The Exorcist II. Blatty has said that he begged the studio not to name it after the previous sequel, but they did it anyway – then acted surprised when III fell over dead.
Here’s a nice devil-bashing wine pairing for you – a vino that got its name through exorcism. Italy’s Scacciadiavoli Wine Estate – it literally means “cast out the devils” – was derived from a 16th century case of a girl being possessed until the priest had her drink some of the local wine. That did the trick. There was no word about how it worked on the altar boys.