A presidential biopic? No! The Ogre is an in-name only entry in the Demons series, in keeping with the usual mode of confusion when it comes to Italian cinema. You know, Zombi 2 is actually Zombi in Italy…but Zombi is also what Romero’s Dawn of the Dead was called in Italy.
Even more bewildering, The Ogre also goes by Demons III (which is also the other name of Umberto Lenzi’s final film). So, call this one Demons III at your own peril…at least….put “The Ogre” and a colon in front of it.
The Ogre is a kind of inversion of The Shining, but instead of the husband looking for somewhere remote for peace and quiet to get some writing done, it’s the wife.
Cheryl is a horror novelist. She and husband Tom rent out a sprawling Tuscan castle, sending nearby townsfolk into a tizzy. They stonewall the foreigners’ attempts to get directions there, and the hubby, not sensing anything’s wrong opines, “People are strange in small towns.” (Their kid, incidentally, is Bob, but to us, there’s only one Italian horror Bob…and that’s Roman actor Giovanni Lombardo Radice in City of the Living Dead, but we digress)
Soon, Cheryl is plagued by childhood nightmares of the castle’s Gothic paintings heaving and bulging, and of being attacked in the wine cellar by a strange creature, a cheap, hairy, and exceedingly lame- looking one at that.
Here’s what we learn:
You can rent MASSIVE castles in Tuscany, forget apartments and Seinfeld saying you can’t. As adults, we dream that we are kids in our dreams? That’s an odd conceit…there are vipers in Italy (who knew?) and there are several labored discussions about orchids. One character even says, “you couldn’t care less about orchids, could you?”
Fun, silly stuff…and the soundtrack is bomb, courtesy of Simon Boswell, BAFTA nominated British film score composer.
Are Chery’s writing fantasies getting the better of her? Hubby Tom asks her to stop writing…to no avail.
**3/4 (out of 5)