What happens when the nightmares of your childhood suddenly become reality?

Directed by Lamberto Bava

Reviewed by Deep Red

The Ogre (1988) aka The House of the Ogre aka Demons 3: The Ogre was the third in a series of four films in an Italian cable television series called Brivido Giallo. All four films were directed by Lamberto Bava. The other three films in the series were Graveyard Disturbance (1987) aka A Night at the Cemetery, Until Death (1987) aka Forever and Dinner with a Vampire (1987).

Watched this on YouTube as I can’t get this on DVD for love nor money. The quality of the video was abysmal, complete with unwanted subtitles, but I’ve wanted to watch this film for so long, not least because it’s one of the films that have claimed to be Demons 3 at one point or another; the other two being Michele Soavi’s The Church (1989) aka Demons 3 and Umberto Lenzi’s Black Demons (1991) aka Dèmoni 3 (not even on YouTube that one). OK, I know it’s only a title thing but I’m a bit of a completist, plus it’s directed by Lamberto Bava himself who directed Demons (1985) and Demons 2 (1986) and it’s, as I said, part of his Brivido Giallo series so, whoever uploaded it, thank you.

The story is about a horror writer called Cheryl (Virginia Bryant) who together with her husband Tom (Paolo Malco) and young son Bobby (Patrizio Vinci) goes to stay in a villa/castle in Italy. Cheryl has been plagued by nightmares since childhood. In the nightmares young Cheryl (Alice Di Giuseppe) is in an old castle with a fearsome ogre. She meets Anna (Sabrina Ferilli) who offers Cheryl her sister Maria (Stefania Montorsi) as a babysitter so Cheryl and Tom can go round for a drink. As Cheryl explores the castle it becomes apparent it is the castle from her nightmares. Cheryl and Tom leave Bobby with Maria and while they’re out Maria is attacked by the ogre.

I really liked the score by Simon Boswell who also did the music for the Lamberto Bava directed Demons 2 (1986) and Delirium (1987) aka Photos of Joy and I must mention the cinematography by Gianfranco Transunto which although largely lost due to the quality of the video would clearly be superb on Blu-ray, I can only hope that’ll happen sometime soon and I can enjoy this film in its Sunday best.

I just really like it. I like the story, the way it unravels, I like the settings, I think the characters are OK and I enjoyed it and will watch it again. I thought it had atmosphere and what special effects there were worked for me. Of course there is no connection to the Demons films story-wise, it’s certainly not gory like the Demons films either, but it’s a great example of what Lamberto Bava was doing for Italian cable television in the 80s and a further example of this legendary horror director’s work. It’s obscure and I love obscure, sometimes that’s where our worst nightmares come from.

Also stars Alex Serra as Dario the artist and David Flosi as The Beast.

A couple of pictures showing just how bad the quality was, but a film worth checking out I thought:

Demons 3 The Ogre (1988) (Original Title: La casa dell’orco)