I have never seen a movie so controversial that the film industry has done their damnest to sweep it under the rug, dump it in a well and cover with ten feet of concrete. Ken Russell's "The Devils" has literally vanished but thanks to a large group of film fans the film has lived on, in circles of unauthorized releases on DVD and video. What's amazing is that this wonderful, truly provocative and shocking motion picture was financially backed by Warner Brothers, one of the leading film studios. This is not some little, independent film that shook the pillars of hell with the censors. This is a grand scale production with A list stars, production values and filmmakers that truly deserves to be re-discovered by open minded film lovers.
Though the film is mostly known for its shocking imagery, the characters are also darkly complex and in turn make the story truly engrossing. Oliver Reed begins as a corrupt priest only concerned about his own indulgences before truly falling in love and thus his character arc flip-flops. One truly despises him in the beginning only to have their emotions turned to feel pity for the horrors the Catholic Church judges him by. Oliver Reeds performance is the best of his career and one of the most monumental performances I have ever seen and it's a damn shame the controversial nature of the film got him overlooked for a potential Oscar nomination. Vanessa Redgrave also turns in a performance for the ages as the jealous hunchbacked nun that will do any heinous act in order to get her love convicted.
Written By Eric Reifschneider