Magdalena, Possessed By the Devil (1974)

We’re back for another round of Exorcist Rip-Off Month here at B-Movie Enema, and, this time, this movie had a brief period in time in which it was closely related to a previous entry.

For this week, we go over to Germany for a combo rip-off of The Exorcist/exploitation/sexploitation thriller.  Released as Magdalena, vom Tueful besessen in 1974 in West German, and under the title In der Gewalt des Bösen in Austria, we received an edited version here in the States as Magdalena, Possessed By the Devil in 1976.  As I just mentioned, what we got here was just over 80 minutes in length and there are some pretty mature situations that I’ll be talking about in this article.  If that was the case, and it was edited to be shown here, I wonder what few minutes or so that would left on the cutting room floor that was from the original German language film?

Oh, never mind trying to figure it out because the original cuts in Europe were TWO HOURS LONG.  Again, some of the stuff in this movie gets pretty naughty.  What had to be lost from those to get played over here?  Presumably, when it was imported, it wasn’t so much the content as it was the length since this probably went straight to X-rated theaters along 42nd Street style grindhouses, but still…  I have to imagine somewhere there’s some real saucy Dagmar Hedrich stuff out there because there is some real saucy Dagmar Hedrich stuff still in the American cut.

As far as I can see, Hedrich only had two film credits.  This film, when she was nearly 40, and a film seven years prior.  What’s interesting is that she does NOT look 40.  She plays the titular Magdalena and she, titularly, gets possessed by the devil.  Now, she’s an orphan in this movie that plays to a little bit of her wild change in behavior and I think plays up that exploitation/sexploitation idea of the good girl who is also pretty sympathetic suddenly going balls to the wall and naked.  You’d think she would be, I dunno, considerably younger than almost 40.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m 43.  My tastes in the ladyfolk has started to age up.  That’s just a fancy way of saying that I’m fairly down with the idea of a repressed 40-year old hottie deciding to get a little devil in her and go tits out.

Nope, nothing wrong with that at all.

I just find it interesting that she was a slightly more mature actress playing this part of a seemingly young and innocent orphan.  Anyway, the film was directed by Walter Boos who seems to mostly deal in adult films in his filmography and that’s probably what this ultimately really was overseas – or at least in the softcore variety.  None of the titles really leap out at me, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these are on the shortlists of the rabid Vinegar Syndrome and Severin fans.

Now…  Remember I said this was related for a brief period of time with a previous entry?  Well, for a short time, Magdalena, Possessed By the Devil was found on a double feature DVD with Abby.  Interestingly, these are two very different movies.  There was implied nudity in Abby, but you really didn’t see anything, even when she was at her wildest.  It was all still very tame in terms of skin (which I actually applaud William Girdler for the restraint).  Magdalena, on the other hand, we see all sorts of her.  That’s not really the most interesting element of this connection, though.  I chose these movies for this theme just because I knew they existed.  I did NOT know these two were ever connected like this until I started writing this article.  How’s about that?

Here’s another interesting connection – this film is released through Constantin Films.  The original company with that name went bankrupt in 1977, but would later return and be involved in every Fantastic Four film that has been released since the unreleased Roger Corman-produced movie.  They also had a hand in some of the Paranormal Activity movies and the Resident Evil series.

Our movie begins with a woman leaving a nightclub followed by a very drunk man.  The very drunk man asks, “Now where’s that bitch?”  That’s just so you know that he’s up to no good in his pursuit of a woman who looks like she may be attempting her very own Rocky Horror Picture Show cosplay but couldn’t decide on exactly which character she wanted to cosplay as.  It probably shouldn’t come to no surprise that this lady is set up to have nothing great happen to her.  Sure enough, drunk man offers her money, but hardly enough to get any action.  After being turned down, he just urinates in the alley.  Look, buddy, we’ve all been there.  Drunk off our asses, turned down for paid sex, and urinating on the side of a building.

Anyway, the lady continues on and opens a door to where I presume she lives?  There, she is horrified to find a man crucified.

It holds on this while a slow piano, almost love theme style, score plays for the credits.  I will say that this is definitely a good way to start your movie.  Striking, somewhat gory, imagery that also includes a hooker and a drunken dude pissing on a building.

Smash cut to a coroner studying the body.  He spots an emblem of what appears to be a claw.  However, the emblem isn’t cut into his skin or drawn.  It was burned onto his forehead.  Now, the coppers have to figure out who is behind the murder.  The caretaker of the building explains that this man who was killed was visited late at night from women of dicey repute.  She did say that there was one girl in particular that the old man, who was a widower for several years now, used to take out.  She said she’d always hear this girl call the man “grandpa” and he called her “Magadalena”.

See what I mean? This lady does NOT look 40.

Magdalena has a guy who is often after her attention – Harry.  He’s always groping her, kissing her, you know… the type of stuff that I presume a politician would do.  Oh!  She says she is leaving the boarding school she is staying at when she turns 18 and it’s well-known that she is a virgin.  So, yes, the man she would be seen with every now and then that got crucified was indeed her grandfather.  She was young when her parents died and she went to live at the boarding school.  The headmistress isn’t sure how to reveal the news that her grandfather has passed because the girls are having a party.  A party with booze.  At a school for people under 18.  Oh and there are two girls who are dancing together and they are referred to as “love birds”.

Why is Germany so cool?

“In America you have to be 21 to drink! And everyone loves lesbians in their porno but rail against them and other homosexuals in public! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Germany is so kewl!”

Magdalena is kind of the queen bee of the school or something.  She has a lot of friends, but the two lesbian girls and some of the others make fun of her chasteness.

Anyway, at the morgue, her grandfather’s dead body sits up and you hear the buzzing of a fly.  Then as it slams back down onto the slab, the fly sound starts buzzing around Magdalena and she collapses onto the floor foaming at the mouth and writhing around like she’s in pain.  They were going to get the doctor but he’s not home.  So they just give her a tranquilizer.  Oh, and this tiny little dog in the home that belongs to the headmistress starts growling at everyone.  The headmistress tells her assistant that something strange is going on.

Magdalena wakes up unaware that she passed out.  She says she feels just fine.  She goes upstairs to take a shower.  She passes the two lesbians who are watching on the stairs.  They say something shitty about her living like a nun before going back to making out and fingering each other.  No shit, one of the girls just throws her hand down the other’s panties and goes to town like a horny teenage boy.

Magdalena wakes up in the middle of the night and is found on the stairs kicking at something invisible and screaming “Go away!”  She starts sliding around on the ground and kicking and I even think it sounds like she is kicking something even though no one can see what.  In her terror to try to get away from it.  She decides to tell a door to get fucked and does one of the funniest things I’ve seen today…

After Magdalena trashes the kitchen and says that she’s being chased by dogs that no one else can see, she grabs a knife and throws it almost hitting one of the administrators at the school.  The doctor says that’s probably just a seizure and/or being a woman.  So he tells her that the little dog the headmistress has is hardly a problem and probably more scared of her than she is of him.  He then gives her a shot to knock her out.

While Magdalena sleeps, she starts talking to an invisible person and tears her nightgown open and starts having sex with the invisible dude thing demon dog?  The next morning, the school’s doctor tells Magdalena that her grandfather is dead.  She says she doesn’t really want to go to the funeral because the dead scares her.  When the doc says she has to because she loved him, she says that yeah, she did when he was a live, then she turns and says with a scowl that now he’s dead and she DESPISES THE DEAD!  She then takes off, scales a wall and runs away.

Magdalena is next seen that night hitching a ride.  She gets picked up by a man who has a strict ass, cash, or grass policy.  She falls asleep and he tries to take his payment in ass.  She goes all devilish and she fucks the dude up pretty good before running away again.  She’s found by the police and they take her back to the school.  Though… Not so sure I’d trust them much more than the other guy.

Back at the school, the doctor says that he’s been unable to get in touch with the psychologist, but he’s away at a convention (probably Comic Con International because they have ABSOLUTELY everything there).  Inside shit is going crazy in the attic.  Things are flying around by themselves and there’s crazy ass growling and scary sounds all over the place.  The headmistress believes it is all being caused by Magdalena, but she’s asleep in her bed and has been the whole time.  The next morning, the headmistress’ assistant says Magdalena slept all through the night without incident.  The doc comes the next morning and they show him the attic – but that’s all back in order like nothing has happened.  The only difference is a black cat has suddenly appeared in the house.

When Magdalena suddenly appears in the attic, she takes an immediate liking to the kitty who does not hiss or growl at her.  In fact, everyone notices something bizarre with her eyes…

Those sexy, sexy bizarre eyes…

Shortly after that, they hear some commotion in Magdalena’s room and she’s completely naked and tearing up pictures and showing that she wants to fuck.  She then drops down onto the floor and demands that someone stick something in her.

I can dig it.

You know what, though?  Sure, they get things under control and the doc gives her yet another sedative, but…  This is the sort of thing that is hard to come back from.  Every time in the future when you have a class reunion, people are going to be either trying to tiptoe around that one time that you were naked and begging for someone to fuck her or people are going to hold back a blurted out “Hey!  Remember that time you were possessed by the devil and became a massive slut?”

Meanwhile, I’d be trying to get some digits.

The headmistress lets Magdalena go to church.  It was Mags’ idea to go because she hadn’t been to service for a month.  She goes to see the father, and when she sees the crucifix, she asks the father to let her take communion.  But not in her mouth, in her pussy.  She then asks the father when he’s going to fuck his maid again.  She just laughs and laughs about all this.  She has a good time.  The father and his other guy… Sorry I don’t know what religious people terms are.  Anyway, he locks Mags up and goes forward with his sermon.  Meanwhile, Mags is reading the bible in that little room they locked her in.  She begs to not be tormented by the demon messing with her, but they reassert control and she tears the bible with her bare fucking hands.  She also messes up the little rectory and breaks the heavy lock to run away into the day again.

That night, Mags goes to her grandpa’s grave to speak to him.  He says something about locking her up but she says she will do anything to break free, even murder.

It should come as no surprise that this movie also features a scene at the hospital in which the possessed girl gets tests done on her head bits.  The two doctors working with Mags offers the girl to come out to the house outside of town to let the doctors study her further – knowing that maybe something more is going on with her.  They plan to have her observed by nurses who are pretending to be maids.  The priest thinks she is possessed, but the doctor doesn’t cotton to that diagnosis.

I will be totally honest here.  There’s a whole subplot going on back at the apartment building where Mags’ grandpa lived that I’ve been giving pretty much no attention to.  We have the cops who was investigating the murder at the beginning of the movie.  He keeps returning to interview the landlady and the hooker from the beginning of the movie.  There’s also this mysterious guy who keeps hanging around and at one point even breaks into one of the apartments that leads the two women to believe he is the killer and so forth.  I don’t really give it too much attention because it is not all that well related to the rest of the movie.  I feel like this is here in order to connect something to the Gemini Killer subplot in The Exorcist, but it doesn’t fit here.  There may be something more to this in the longer European cuts, but it’s not really interesting and it plays kind of goofy with this busybody landlady and this kind of low IQ hooker making their own assumptions in the case.

While at Professor Falk’s home where he is watching over her, Mags seems like any normal person.  The younger of the two doctors, Dr. Stone seems to be getting sweet on the girl and she’s reciprocating.  They ride bikes, they play ping pong, they ride horses, she probably gives him the best handies ever.  Well, I don’t know about that last one, but…  Maybe?

this is where it does seem like Mags is being played by an older, more mature woman because she isn’t giggling or skipping around like a teenager.  She’s carries herself like a woman in her 30s.  Dr. Stone is also falling in love with a 17 year old school girl.  Yikes..

Things change a bit as those cops realize that the nails used to crucify old man Winter at the beginning didn’t use tools to hammer them in, and the nails fly around on their own and embed themselves into the floor.  This makes Mags wake up in the middle of the night and go on the town to prowl for the D.  She shows a big fat weird beard a tit through the window at a brauhaus and he comes outside.  He’s a bit confused about why she won’t tell him who she is and that he wants her to wait 10 minutes and meet her someplace else, but… “Whatever, hot girl wants to fuck my facial hair… I’m in!”

Mags similarly teases the man’s brother too.  So that’s a thing that causes some problems between the two men.  She even says that the one was trying to rape her.  She then says she wants to find out who is stronger.  The winner gets that sweet sweet puss.  So one guy kills the other.  She just laughs and laughs and laughs before disappearing.  She has a lot of fun.

Later the next day, Magdalena says she’s thinking about telling Professor Falk that Dr. Stone was trying to rape her which is very confusing to Dr. Stone.  They still play some ping pong later because Stone might be a bit of a loser.  At least he gets to see how Mags wants it if that stupid demon in her stops trying to cocktease everyone.

Dagmar Hedrich is sexy as fuck in this movie, but I like how she plays this.  It’s a little silly that she is switching back and forth from sweet to evil, but goddamn it, I don’t exactly blame anyone from succumbing to her charms.  She probably represents a great example of that humiliation fetish.  She teases everyone.  She makes people do things to win her favor.  She belittles people.  It’s all wrapped up in this sexy, innocent package of a really pretty woman.

I, too, like nude piano-ing.

Alright, so the cops catch the guy sneaking around the apartment, but he’s just there to get something back and says there’s a man in black that killed the guy or something.  Anyway, Mags lures Dr. Stone to her room for a romp in the sack and then runs into the house crying for help from Professor Falk.  With all this, Dr. Stone says he’s leaving in the morning.  Under hypnosis, Falk hears some pretty spooky voices coming from Mags when he asks who she is.  This causes Falk and the priest to discuss how they want to help her with their different methods.

The priest hears some pretty crazy ass scary stuff from Mags and she even flies into a fit and attacks him.  The priest leaves saying that if another episode like that happens, Falk needs to call him and pleads to the professor to think of his youth when he prayed at night to an understanding god.  Anyway, Mags gets super ghost raped by the demon possessing her.  Dr. Stone walks in to see this and Mags saying she will do anything this thing wants and then begs to be killed instead of continuously tortured.

Stone watches as Mags grabs a knife and tries to stab Falk.  He stops her just before she plunges the knife into him.  Mags rips open the straightjacket she was put in and sets fire to the place.  She attacks with a hatchet, but Falk puts her back under hypnosis and he makes her recite the first prayer she ever spoke.  As she speaks it, she vomits up a snake.  Stone steps on it to kill it and it disappears.  Mags thanks Stone for killing the snake by going away with him.  They…

They just walk away.  Like she doesn’t even have shoes on and he has a hatchet wound from her attack and they are just walking off together.  It’s a kind of peculiar sudden end.  But that’s okay because this movie isn’t too bad at all really.  I would be very curious what the missing 30 minutes has.  I earlier joked it probably has a lot more of Dagmar Hedrich’s tits and I’m sure that’s true.  I bet it has all sorts of extra naughty shit.  However, I suspect there’s more with her and Dr. Stone as well as that thief that gets caught by the cops.  That last thing is one more thing that have been, um, exorcised from this version of the movie altogether.

Anyway, this is a movie worth checking out.  It’s on YouTube for you to watch if you so wish.  In the meantime, we have one more rip-off to get to and it will close the circle that started back in 2019 with the first of this trilogy.  Next week, I’m going to wrap up the Exorcist Rip-Off Month theme with Beyond the Door III!  So come back for more round, won’t you?

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