Not to be mistaken with Deliver Us from Evil, the 2014 possession film from Scott Derrickson, this lost classic is about a pair of girls who are more than content to be left in the company of Satan. Written and directed by Joël Séria, Don’t Deliver Us from Evil was so controversial upon its release, it was banned in its own country. And when an intensely religious country is shown a film about two teenage girls who kill, seduce, and generally sin up a storm, all in the name of the Devil, it seems pretty clear the movie was going to ruffle some feathers. But France’s loss is our gain, because Don’t Deliver Us from Evil has gone on to garner well-deserved cult status and enter the annals of film as one of the most balls-out insane summer vacation films ever made.
Take THAT Griswold Family.
The Story: Anne and Lore are two young girlfriends who attend the same convent/boarding school. However, the girls discover that Jesus just isn’t their bag, and they’d rather devote their free time to worshipping Satan and strangling parakeets. Inspired by the Parker/Hulme murders (which would later go on to inform the Peter Jackson film, Heavenly Creatures), Don’t Deliver Us from Evil is less about religion and more about what can happen when two teenage girls are allowed to descend entirely into a world of their own making.
Despite all of the furor over the religious themes in Séria’s movie, Anne and Lore’s devotion to Satan is less relevant to the story than their devotion to one another. In fact, most of the Satanic worship in the film seems more like the girls trying to behave as they imagine “bad girls” would. At its core, Don’t Deliver Us from Evil focuses more on what happens when the coming of age of two girls turns deadly, and their spoiled upbringing teaches them that their needs and desires are more important than anyone else’s.
However, what makes Don’t Deliver Us from Evil so deeply memorable is how shockingly violent it was given the story and timeframe. Played by Jeanne Goupil and Catherine Wagener, Anne and Lore only LOOK like children (thank Godzilla), but there is still something so unsettling about watching these two baby-faced women commit increasingly unspeakable acts. By the time we reach the final act, inevitable but still totally shocking, you find yourself both rooting for Anne and Lore to meet their maker, and still somehow feeling a tinge of sympathy for these twin devils. It’s a testament to both actresses and the script that you will never fully get this movie out of your head.
After lingering in limbo for years, Mondo Macabro released an uncut special edition of Don’t Deliver Us from Evil. So if you’re feeling brave, bring Anna and Lore home…
Just make sure to hide your pets first.
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