Sunday, November 27, 2011

Premature Evacuation

"You're not leaving NOW are you ... I mean ... you just got me all tied up ... I'm so helpless ... and vulnerable ... you really should take advantage of me!"

This is a vidcap from a 1963 Italian horror flick called "The Demon" and that's the star, Dalilah Lavi, tied up on that bed. It's a minor sort of scene in what the IMDB reviewers say is a very scary movie, except it's unusual in a couple of interesting ways.

In the first place, Lavi's hands are tied behind her back, which is unusual, but not extraordinarily so. She's also lying face down on the bed, which IS extraordinarily unusual, almost always when an actress is tied on a bed in a mainstream scene she's face up, probably because it's easier for the camera to capture her face as she emotes that way. And I suspect that being tied face down also has a sexual submissiveness connotation that may have worked against such scenes as well, though I'm SURE the technical aspect is the one that counts.

A third aspect of the scene: that's a VERY short shift she's wearing, and with the camera going straight up it. Hike that dress up another two or three inches and we'd know for sure whether or not she's wearing panties. That cranks up the sexual aspect of the scene a great deal.

When you combine the behind the back tie, the face down pose and the very short dress with Lavi's look of vulnerability and fear, and her beauty, you get a really powerful sexual image, for its time. It's a really nifty mainstream image in that regard.

The movie itself is said to be a predecessor of "The Exorcist" -- Lavi plays a young woman accused of being possessed by a demon, calling for an exorcism, and a number of scenes from her exorcism, especially "the spider walk" (note: I am going on hearsay, have not seen either film) are VERY much like scenes that appeared later in the Exorcist, albeit in a more horrific form.

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