Vinegar Syndrome’s ‘MalaBimba’ (1979) Uncensored 2k Restoration DVD/Blu-ray Review

It’s Vinegar Syndrome time again! For March/April 2020, we were a bit spoiled, getting 4 separate Blu-rays to review from the film restoration company. We started with a review of Vin Syn’s Deadline (1980) 2k restoration DVD/Blu-ray (you can read that review here), then we went with James Bryan’s scenery-chewing romp, Hell Riders (1984 – read that review here) with Ulli Lommel’s 1981 sleazy thriller, Olivia (1983 – AKA Prozzie and Double Jeopardy. Read that review here) third. Last but not least, we have Andrea Bianchi’s sex-fueled thriller, MalaBimba – The Malicious Whore (1979).

From the Vinegar Syndrome website:

This special limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Earl Kessler Jr.) is limited to 2,000 units and is only available here at VinegarSyndrome.com!

Bimba (Katell Laennec) lives in a gothic castle with her parents. However, when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances while involved in a seance, Bimba begins acting in increasingly strange and perverted ways. With her father at a loss for what to do, he invites a beautiful nun into the castle to try and get her under control. However the sister soon suspects that Bimba has become possessed by an insatiable, sex starved demon which will stop at nothing, including murder, to fulfill its depraved and unholy desires.

From the warped and deranged mind of one of Italy’s foremost purveyors of top quality sleaze, Andrea Bianchi (Burial Ground, Strip Nude for Your Killer), comes one of the most shocking and blasphemous pieces of sexploitation cinema ever made: MALABIMBA. Co-starring Giancarlo Del Duca (Giallo A Venezia), Patrizia Webley (Play Motel), and Mariangela Girodano (Patrick Still Lives), Vinegar Syndrome is proud to give this notorious, hardcore Exorcist riff its worldwide Blu-ray debut, newly restored in 2K from its original 16mm camera negative and presented here in its fully uncut and uncensored, 100 minute version.

Directed by: Andrea Bianchi (as Andrew White)
Starring: Katell Laennec, Enzo Fisichella, Patrizia Webley, Giuseppe Marrocco, Elisa Mainardi
1979 / 100 min / 1.85:1

Special features:

• Region Free Blu-ray/DVD combo
• Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 16mm original negative
• “Malabimba Uncovered” – interviews with actress Mariangela Giordano and cinematographer Franco Villa
• Brand new audio commentary with film historians and authors Samm Deighan, Heather Drain, and Kat Ellinger
• Theatrical trailer
• Reversible cover artwork
• SDH English subtitles

What Works

Malabimba – The Malicious Whore is what would happen if The Exorcist (1973) and Behind The Green Door (1972) had a baby. It’s a sexorcism, if you will. In this uncensored version of the film, blasphemous, hardcore sex is on full frontal display. The script leaves behind plot and character development to show money shots even Ron Jeremy would be proud of. If the movie had been rated, it would have taken the X without a doubt.

The possessed Bimba (Laennec) goes from a naive, protected young girl to a sex-starved sadist who kills her Uncle Adolfo (Giuseppe Marracco) with a blowjob. Nothing is safe from her wandering fingers. Even though Laennec was only 19 at time time, she performed all of her own “stunts,” even those starring her favorite teddy bear, a Christmas elf with quite a large, bulbous nose or her uncle’s penis.

Luckily for her, Sister Sofia (Mariangela Giordano), the nun/nurse living in the castle to take care of Adolfo, won’t rest until she’s found a way to help the young girl.

I do wonder if Malabimba – The Malicious Whore is a straight up exorcism film or if it’s more of a coming-of-age flick with horror and sex like Ginger Snaps (2000). She’s an innocent, obedient young girl who has never been away from her family’s castle (oh, yeah, they live in a giant castle) because her father wants to protect her from the evils of the world. After the seance and her possession, Bimba becomes obsessed with sex and pissing people off, a change comparable to a teenager going through puberty.

Malabimba – The Malicious Whore has a few Giallo characteristics, with standout colors in shades of dirty yellow, lime green and blood red. As a matter of fact, the opening scene of a group of people holding a seance is quite similar to the beginning of City Of The Living Dead (1980). However, there’s no real mystery here, and I only saw one giant knife (it was used to jimmy open a locked door). Just a sprinkling of Italian Yellow.

What Doesn’t Work

Malabimba – The Malicious Whore in Italian, so you have to watch subtitles to follow what’s going on. This isn’t my issue, however. What bugged me was that the audio did not match up to the video. Mouths were moving to words I heard a second before, which is distracting to say the least.

Everyone in Malabimba – The Malicious Whore is despicable… except Sister Sofia.While I understand why Bimba changed, there’s no excuse for her aunt (Webley) walking around half naked and throwing herself at every man in the house… well, except her actual husband, Adolfo, who’s paralyzed from the waist down. Bimba’s recently widowed father (Enzo Fisichella) is no saint, either, kissing his own daughter in the garden like he’s been dying to do it for years and letting his sister-in-law seduce him despite his recent loss. Even Bimba’s grandmother wants her son to marry her other son’s wife, even though he’s still alive, just so they can get their hands on his money.

They are all terrible, and I hated each one of them. I didn’t care about their stories or who did what to who. I know it’s supposed to be the spirit possessing Bimba that’s making them do all these things, but I just couldn’t get past my feelings and enjoy myself.

Like I mentioned before, Malabimba – The Malicious Whore is more of an exploitation flick than an actual horror film. There nothing as far as blood and guts, and only one person dies in the entire 109 minute runtime. They’re not even murdered, if you want to get technical. A bit disappointing, to be honest.

Final Thoughts

Malabimna – The Malicious Whore is a true sexploitation film. The plot and characterization are thin, but if you want to turn off your brain and watch a possessed young girl seduce everyone around her who’s old enough to be her parents, then this one is for you.

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of PopHorror.com, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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