Because of a heat wave, the water level of the lake near a small village is lower than usual. This results in the discovery of a statue in the water. Surrounding the statue is a legend. According to the legend, if the statue is restored, tragedy will befall the village. Despite the legend, Count Montebruno (Claudio Gora) hires Roberto Merigi (Anthony Steffen) to do just that. Merigi is a sculptor.
According to the legend, 200 years ago, a distant relative of the Montebruno family named Maddelina had the statue made in her image. Maddelina was beautiful. Another relative named Belinda hated Maddelina. Belinda was homely. She was in love with a man but found him in the arms of Maddelina. In a rage she tried to push the statue into the lake but ended up going in with it and drowned, but not before putting a curse on Maddelina.
Count Montebruno has been taking care of the estate for the rightful heir, his niece, Harriet (Barbara Steele). Harriet has been away at school since she was five. In a few days she will be of age to take over the estate. When Harriet arrives, Merigi discovers that she is the spitting image of the face on the statue.
Immediately after the discovery of the statue, strange things begin to happen. The day before Harriet arrives two fishermen drown in the lake. Then, something strange begins to come over Harriet. She begins to seduce every man in the village. As if they are bewitched, the men neglect their loved ones and begin fighting over her. Harriet acts as if she is possessed by the spirit of Belinda. Merigi senses that there is something evil going on, but he believes there is something a little more human behind the so-called curse. The villagers, on the other hand, believe Harriet is a witch.
“An Angel for Satan” AKA “Un angelo per Satana” was released in 1966 and was directed by Camillo Mastrocinque. It is an Italian gothic horror movie and one of Barbara Steele’s more obscure films. The film is supposed to be based on a novel by Luigi Emanuele, but that is up for debate.
The movie boasts that Barbara Steele has a dual role as both Harriet and Belinda. That’s basically true but she spends more time as the evil Belinda than as the mild-mannered Harriet. Sometimes it’s not easy to discern which character she is but for the most part she is the evil Belinda. It is considered the last of Barbara Steele’s Italian gothics.
The film has had some nice restoration and is available in both English dubbed and subtitled. As gothic thrillers go, it’s got it all. The weakest part is the twist and turn at the end but it’s not enough to take away from the enjoyment of the film and its atmosphere.