Saturday, October 20, 2012

Maleficarum - Dean Andersson's View

As requested, here's horror writer *Dean Andersson's take on Maleficarum! (Contains Spoilers!)
 "Amy—I downloaded Maleficarum and just finished watching it. That fan I talked to at the convention—he did not praise the film enough. It was so much more than even I had expected. I’m not a filmmaker, so I’m not sure just how Jac pulled it off, but one thing I do know is that you and Mila totally sold it. Incredible. Look, I’m sitting here with tears drying on my face. That is impossible. I’ve watched so many films. They almost never strike that deeply. You two and Jac’s direction made the women’s plight so horribly believable, so real, and yet heroic. 

Several scenes are going to keep replaying in my head. The moment when Mila’s character was looking up at you, and she almost said okay to the confession, then turned and spit at the Inquisitor instead, I felt like cheering, even though I, and she, knew it was going to mean even more horror. And the scene where your character was over the fire while Mila’s character kept begging, “Enough!” with her face twisted by anguish for you, but the men, like statues, ignoring her, painted a perfect picture of impersonal authority that unfortunately doesn’t stop in our world with the historical Inquisition. And the scene where they allow her to sit and you crawl to her and she strokes your hair, there was such love in that scene, how could it help but tear at a viewer?
 And then your agonizing crawl to her after your rape, you made each movement seem so hard, so painful, but your wounded character was so heroically determined, I felt like shouting “Somebody HELP her, damnit!” I guess you could say that by then I felt very “involved.” And your character’s prolonged burning—have you seen Oliver Reed’s death by burning scene in Ken Russell’s THE DEVILS? I always loved Reed’s work, but I swear you could have taught him some new tricks. Really. I kept hoping someone would rescue you in time. But it went on and on as the flames slowly grew—then the surprise ending, very satisfying, and even though your character was scarred and crippled, the two women survived! And triumphed. Excellent.  
You mentioned that the director’s cut had uninterrupted torture scenes, but I think having the torture scenes interrupted by the “reality show” testimonies and flashbacks kept the viewer from becoming numb to the brutality of what was happening. Still, yes, I’d like to see Jac’s director’s cut sometime to compare them.  
But if he feels as I do about the insanity of the Inquisition, and I’d guess from the film he just might, you can tell him that in my opinion he drove that message clear through the wall and out the other side. Obviously, everything about the film (even that incredible choice for music during the tortures…sweet piano chords? Brilliant contrast! And their repetition became a little like Chinese water torture to the ears) left me very impressed! Thanks so much!"

When you get this kind of feedback for a movie it's fabulous. I am so very pleased that this movie affected Dean in this way. Films should be like mirrors to our souls, so each person will see and feel something which is deep inside of them. They will react and respond, and I love every minute of that. Each time someone sees something unique in a movie in which I have participated, I feel that the great cultural dialogue becomes more and bigger than all of us.

*Dean Andersson, also known as C. Dean Andersson, is a prolific horror writer of such novels as I Am Dracula, and Torture Tomb. You can find out more about him and his books RIGHT HERE! And here on

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