L'ossessa (1974), or its bizarre English-language title, The Eerie Midnight Horror Show, is part of a genre of Italian cult cinema of which I am very fond: post-Exorcist possession flicks. Some of these films are reverent towards the source material, like L'anticristo (1974), while some are more sensational and sleazy, like Malabimba (1979). L'ossessa definitely falls in the middle of this spectrum. It’s totally uneven in entertainment value, suffering from primarily poor characterization despite its casting of actors of note, but it does have some marvelous set pieces and sequences.
Despite its adept casting, L'ossessa fails to draw memorable performances from its actors. For example, the extremely-talented and handsome Tinti is sorely underused as Love’s lover. He performs the one fuck scene with her and appears later in one scene where Love rebuffs him (as she apparently feels guilty for her behavior after Dani becomes ill). Rassimov is quite good and he has the fun role as the Devil: he’s given the opportunity to let go and be indulgent and grasps the opportunity mightily. Carnacina and Love appear to be cast for their seductive charm (and it works, as both are incredibly sexy). However, Carnacina really transcends her cosmetic casting and devotes real emotion to her character, despite the weak screenplay. Pistilli would have been a perfect cinematic exorcist in another movie. He’s a wonderful actor with an emotive face, like Tinti, and with richer characterization, his performance would have been better.
L'ossessa is truly an average movie in the sub-genre of post-Exorcist films which places it fairly high on the obscurity scale. However, I know that there are fans like me who will be attracted to it. If one can appreciate its imaginative and sensational moments, then it’s worth seeing. Otherwise, give this one a miss.