Thursday, October 13, 2005

To the Devil a Daughter

(1976) ****

(refer to Octo's summary/review)

By the mid 70's, Hammer films looked positively foolish compared to their American counterparts. While Hammer was still rehashing the same classic monster movies again and again, American horror was thriving thanks to films like the Exorcist. To the Devil a Daughter is Hammer's last ditch effort to remain relevant and it turned out to be the last movie the studio released. Does it hold a candle to the Exorcist? Of course not. Is it an obvious attempt to cash in on what the kids were into at the time? Most certainly. Is the ending an unforgivable textbook letdown? Sure is. Do I care, even slightly? Not at all.

Neither did Christopher Lee, who treated us to the performance of his career. Never has he been more menacing and unconditionally evil. Satan's power provides him with an unholy bag of tricks at his disposal. Not that he needs them. The intense look in his eyes is more than enough. A good example of Lee carrying this movie on his mighty shoulders is when the nasty devil baby is born. The poor special effects are enough to crush most movies but Lee's diabolical grin instantly overcompensates. He then faces the mother and with a calm, matter-of-fact determination he states "Margaret, you shall die now" before slitting her throat. Priceless. Like the title, the film is a mouthful. But I'll gargle that shit any day.

Note to self: Get tattoo of Asteroth

1 comment:

Octopunk said...

I looked at my review of TTDAD after reading this one and bumped my rating up half a star. You're right, Christopher Lee does an outstanding job in this. Such evil confidence. He should play priests in more movies, it's creepy.