Inquisición Film Details
Overview: Period piece set during the Inquisition about a witch-finder general who falls in love with the village beauty, who has made a pact with the devil to seduce and condemn the man who is killing off Satan’s servants.
Review: Inquisicion is a revenge tale set in Inquisition Era Spain loaded with shocking sexually exploitative imagery (despite the b-rate special effects)- and obviously a remake of Witchfinder General. There is something subtly profound about this film. It sure made a lot of concepts click for me personally. Particularly regarding misogyny and “deviant” forms of sexuality (like S&M)- of which are running themes in the film. We begin by following a Catholic judge named Bernard, as he makes his way across the Spanish countryside, cleansing all forms of witchcraft and paganry, which the devil might exploit to seduce the local populace. In a more realistic sense, though, he and his crew are engaging in institutionalized torture and state sponsored murder- brought to you by your (not-so) friendly neighbourhood religious zealots. Essentially, they go into a town and look for snitches with the wildest claims and loosest tongues- kidnapping, imprisoning, torturing and murdering the accused (usually women) in most extreme fashion- without any due process whatsoever. Justifying it all in the name of their perceived God, of course. It must be noted that all of these atrocities are being carried out by men, who are exploiting their institutionalized power to target liberated women who dare speak their mind or fall in love whom they so choose. The local (rapist and) snitch, Renover, falsely accuses a number of young women of being involved in witchcraft. An action arising from his hardline misogyny. He loathes the young women in town, because he lusts after them and they refuse to sleep with him. He’d rather see them burn, than enjoy life and love with anyone else. The Judge becomes reliant upon the claims made by Renover- to make it seem like he is doing an effective job in the area. And as such, he ironically becomes devil manifest, himself. Clearly indoctrinated by anti-sex rhetoric, the Judge’s repression of his own sexual urges begin to expose themselves in deviant sexual forms: mainly flogging. He attempts to subdue his “unwanted” sexual urges (brought on by the succubuses of the world, in his opinion) with pain. But this has forced his unconscious to combine the two concepts into what Freud would certainly classify as a grade A perversion. His attempt to quell his own perceived perversion has actually morphed it into a sexual perversion in it’s own sense. Hence his misogyny (being consequential of his cognitive dissonance). The plot thickens when a couple of sisters- whose father is on their deathbed- witness the atrocious acts carried out by the Judge and his men. To protect themselves, one of the sisters joins a coven and adopts a life of witchcraft (which the film subtly implies is both a form of women’s healing and liberation). Not only does she seek to protect herself from what may come, but she also seeks answers pertaining to the murder of her beloved. To achieve this, she imbibes a witch’s brew meant to make her dream vividly. Through her dreams, she is to take part in the Sabbat and find the answers she has been looking for. It turns out, the Judge is responsible for the murder of her lover- and she wants vengeance. An earlier spell gone awry has made the Judge fall deeply in love with the young witch…and she plans to exploit this for her own ends…even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice. Intriguing content matter aside, what makes this film so great is all the philosophic concepts that are dealt with subtly in the film: from the nature of misogyny; to women’s liberation; the hierarchy of demons; political exploitation under the ruse of legitimacy; healing philosophies (ie psychological (main witch) vs scientific (surgeon)); challenging authority; and, of course, the nature of evil. The acting is solid. The scenery is incredible. The special effects are basic but effective. While the story and plot have a mythological quality that keeps you intrigued. What’s most important, however, is how it engages you as a viewer; along with the message it leaves you with: Don’t be afraid of liberated women. If you are, and this tends you toward misogyny. You are on a fast track to become the devil manifest. An underrated and all-around profound film. Highly recommended. 9 out of 10.
Duration: 90 min
Also known as: Inquisición,Inquisition,Inquisição