The movie world has (and always will) been filled with filmmakers who want to cash-in on successful films. For every huge hit there are a slew of lesser imitators produced in order to score even a fraction of the financial success. The blockbusting success of The Exorcist in the 1970s saw several attempts to mimic that film’s record breaking box office. The Visitor is one of those films, a totally crazy horror–sci-fi hybrid with a cast as odd as the plot.
The plot of this Italian-American co-production involves aliens, evil telekinetic children and Jesus Christ. It’s doubtful that any of it makes any sense to the viewer because I imagine it made very little sense to those who made it. It’s worth watching just to see how incoherent it all is and to see the likes of John Huston, Shelley Winters, Lance Henriksen, Mel Ferrer, Glenn Ford, Sam Peckinpah and Franco Nero on screen.
The Visitor isn’t just content with riffing on William Friedkin’s film, it also sets its sights on The Omen and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, merging horror and science fiction in a way that is so illogical that it makes The Exorcist II seem like a true classic (it isn’t). Director Giulio Paradisi shoots everything with a certain gusto, creating a visually impressive film that appears to have no script (the opening is pretty nifty).
You can’t call The Visitor good – but you can call it a curiosity (look at the cast). Is that a recommendation? I don’t know – go watch it and let me know.
This Arrow release of The Visitor features chats Lance Henriksen and writer Lou Comici. They both state how director Giulio Paradisi was as crazy as the film he directed so it’s little wonder the film seems like the cinematic ramblings of a mad man. They don’t know what the hell it’s all about either.