Devil’s Honey, The (Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Nov 28, 2017
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Devil’s Honey, The (Blu-ray Review)

Director

Lucio Fulci

Release Date(s)

1986 (September 26, 2017)

Studio(s)

Producciones Cinematográficas Balcazar/Selvaggia Film/Bellparaiso S.A. (Severin Films)
  • Film/Program Grade: C-
  • Video Grade: B+
  • Audio Grade: B
  • Extras Grade: B+

The Devil's Honey (Blu-ray Disc)

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Review

Lucio Fulci’s rarely seen sexploitation oddity The Devil’s Honey (aka Dangerous Obsession) was released in 1986 but never made it to the United States initially. A wickedly erotic tale about a woman and her affair with a sexy saxophone player named Johnny who suddenly dies, leaving her behind pregnant and seeking mad revenge for the doctor who allowed it to happen, was somewhat of a comeback film for Fulci who was recovering from a bout of hepatitis at the time. One of the sleazier films he ever made, it has finally been given its due by Severin Films in what is surely to be one of the most memorable genre mash-up discoveries of the year.

The bizarre premise of a woman looking to torture the doctor of the man he couldn’t save while simultaneously finding disgust in some of her memories of him surely makes for occasionally head-scratching viewing. To say the least, she’s a complicated individual; highly-sexualized, a bit nuts, and completely obsessed with her boyfriend Johnny. It’s also incredibly twisted that she finds pleasure in torturing her victim, yet desiring to have sex with him as well. To say the least, The Devil’s Honey often finds the line of logic to be crossed and leaps over it with little to no abandon. Filled with heaps of nudity and a leading performance approaching Possession levels of acting, The Devil’s Honey is a wildly entertaining piece of sexploitation that must be seen to be believed.

Severin Films presents The Devil’s Honey on Blu-ray with a new 2K scan of the original camera negative. Although released in various lengths over its existence, the version included here is 83 minutes, which is the length that it was apparently released at in Spain. An organic presentation from beginning to end, it’s also quite grainy with a bit of softness to it. Clarity isn’t always top of the line, but the grain itself is mostly even from scene to scene. Some mild instability and film damage is leftover, including scratches and speckling, while texturing and detail are both abundant. Color reproduction is strong and, despite not being an overly colorful film with hues that don’t really pop, they’re well represented with good skin tones. Black levels aren’t thoroughly deep due to the grain, but overall brightness and contrast levels are pleasing. For the audio, two options are provided: English and Italian 2.0 DTS-HD. Dialogue reproduction on both tracks is strong with the English overdubbing being much more obvious, but sound effects and score have some decent life to them. Leftover hiss can be heard throughout with occasionally light crackle, but both tracks are satisfactory on the whole. Subtitles, or rather closed captions, are also provided in English.

Extras include a multitude of new interviews, including The Devil’s Halsey, an interview with actor Brett Halsey; Wild Flower, an interview with actress Corinne Cléry; Producing Honey, an interview with producer Vincenzo Salviani; The Devil’s Sax, an interview with composer Claudio Natili; and Stephen Thrower on The Devil’s Honey. There’s also Fulci’s Honey, an audio essay on the film by film journalist Troy Howarth; an alternate opening; and the film’s theatrical trailer.

A considerably non-horror effort from Lucio Fulci who often attempted to go outside of traditional genre whenever he could, The Devil’s Honey is a real trip of a movie, one crammed full of WTF moments. Mostly unseen on home video for many years, Severin Films’ release is certainly one that, if you’re a fan of the director’s style, you’ll want to check it out.

- Tim Salmons

 

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