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Regarded as Mario Bava's most personal and unconventional film, LISA AND THE DEVIL (Lisa e il diavolo) is a diabolical thriller flavored with the dreadful imagery and tormenting logic of an endless nightmare. Elke Sommer stars as a tourist in Spain who, upon seeing the image of a bald, grinning devil in an ancient fresco, wanders away from her group and finds herself drawn into a confounding labyrinth of mystery — lured ever deeper by a mysterious figure (Telly Savalas) who may in fact be the fresco's Satan made flesh.
After some distributors found LISA AND THE DEVIL too mystifying for release, producer Alfredo Leone (with Bava's uncredited assistance) hired veteran actor Robert Alda, shot additional scenes, and transformed LISA into THE HOUSE OF EXORCISM, capitalizing on the popularity of demon possession films. While sharing much of the same material, the films have come to be looked upon as two distinct entities, beautifully illuminating the stylistic diversity of the Bava/Leone partnership.