The Visitor (1979 Italy)

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The Visitor (1979 Italy)

Post  BoG on Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:14 pm

Strange and confusing sci-fi film which comes across as a horror effort for much of it (copying The Omen/1976), but involves an alien visitor (John Huston) who is here to confront an 8-year old girl who has the genes of an ancient evil being. Many viewers find the plot and story tough to follow, but most of the story elements are explained in the 2nd scene by the character of Jesus Christ (!) (Franco Nero), who relates the tale of the evil conqueror to a group of bald children (who all look like cancer patients).  He explains that this legendary evil being passed on his powers to female offspring - that's about all you need to know.

But, the style and execution of the story is indeed baffling, not helped by a very inappropriate music score (sort of standard light action comedy), perplexing characters and strange turns to the plot: at the girl's birthday party, she is gifted with a handgun, which she tosses at her mother, who gets shot in the back. The girl shrugs as a reaction and the film seems like a dark comedy for those few moments. The tone shifts back to horror afterwards - but not for long. Anyway, all this was supposedly meant to prevent the mom from giving birth to the girl's brother, which a secret cabal (headed by Mel Ferrer) wanted to happen. Glenn Ford shows up as an investigator, but he is soon disposed of by a bird (as in The Omen, birds are a lethal force here - see the 2nd Omen film). However, as explained by Jesus, birds were supposedly a weapon of the good guys.  confused 

In any case, Huston spends most of the film just walking around and looking on, and not really doing anything. The real star is Lance Henrikson in an early role, right after his supporting role in the 2nd Omen film. He's the girl's father and is very well off. Then, Shelley Winters shows up as the new housekeeper after the mother is crippled. As with a few roles here, she has no real purpose in the film; it's as if the producer found out he could get her into the film and created the part just before filming began. As the girl, the child actress isn't too bad - I can't recall her name at the moment. There is one startling scene at an ice rink when the girl takes care of a few boy skaters who tried to harass her. But, mostly it's on the slow side. It does seem to get better with a 2nd viewing. BoG's Score: 5.5 out of 10

Visit Trivia:
Sam Peckinpah, the famous director, shows up in one scene acting as a doctor - again, because the producer could get him, I suppose.
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