Byleth -The Demon of Incest / Byleth - il demone dell'incesto

3.5 out of 5

Costume drama gets Heavy on the Magick and steamy petting as a brother, descending into madness, seeks to play hide-the-gargoyle with his sister with plenty of conversation centring around the-love-that-dare-not-speak-it's-name-too-often-in-the-first-five-minutes-of-the-film. There is wonderful use of location and an attention to the little things that make period pieces work. The taboo relationship between the brother and sister played by Mark Damon and Claudia Gravy is one that is highly charged and pretty sexy.

While there is fair bit of nudity and softcore sexual activity the film shows a little more restraint when it comes to handling death and any killings are relatively bloodless and off-camera. In essence Byleth is a giallo type thriller with erotic overtones that may appeal to people who like Hammer style period piece horror films, those who have a passing interest in demonology or even just like watching brothers and sisters shagging. Fans of off-the-wall Euro erotic fare such as Violation of the Bitch should really dig Byleth.

As a sidenote for those wishing to conjure the beastie, the sigil of the real demon Byleth, a fearsome king of hell, looks like the doodling of an eight-year-old goth fan of Prince and the Revolution. It's that good.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics