EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|DAUGHTERS OF SATAN (director: Hollingsworth Morse; screenwriters: story by John A. Bushelman/John C. Higgins; cinematographer: Nonong Rasca; editor: Tony DiMarco; music: Richard LaSalle; cast: Tom Selleck (James Robertson), Barra Grant (Chris Robertson), Tani Guthrie (Kitty Duarte), Paraluman (Juana Rios), Vic Silayan (Doctor Dangal), Vic Diaz (Carlos Ching); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Aubrey Schenck; United Artists; 1972-USA/Philippines)|
and talky occult thriller is inert."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The plodding and talky occult
thriller is inert. Veteran TV director Hollingsworth Morse ("Lassie:
A Christmas Tail"/"
Justin Morgan Had a Horse") shows
us why he's a hack, as the film remains lifeless, senseless and
humorless throughout. It's based on a story by John A.
Bushelman and is written by John C. Higgins.
The pic opens with the
leader of a coven of satanic witches torturing a woman to death for not
behaving like a witch.
The next scene has hotshot NYC
Robertson (Tom Selleck,
his first starring role) is in Manila, Philippines, and at the request of sleazy
antique store dealer Carlos Ching (Vic Diaz)
buys from him a tapestry for the NYC museum. While browsing his store,
Jim discovers a 16th century painting depicting
burning three women and a dog at the stake in Manila and he buys it
since one of the supposed witches looks like his
wife Chris (Barra
When Jim shows
the painting he just bought for $90 to Chris, she can't stand to look
at it and knowingly tells him that it records the
burning of the Duarte Coven in 1592. That night wifey can't sleep, as
she's disturbed by the painting and hears her name called but in the
morning convinces herself she only imagined hearing it (just like I
thought I only imagined seeing this flick and tried convincing myself
that I didn't actually see it).
Warning: spoiler in the next paragraph.
the set-up for a series of frightening incidents that threaten Chris's
life, as the hateful Rottweiler
burned at the stake appears at the park where she takes a stroll and
she automatically calls the dog Nicodemas and then looks at its collar and spots the number
666 and the name she correctly called the demonic dog. Then the two
other women burned at the stake with her appear and later the dominatrix
leader of a coven who was in the opening shot appears, as Chris takes the personality of
the witch burned at the stake and has to deal with the possibility that
she's reliving the nightmare scene of the painting. The film's gimmick
has images from the painting disappear only to reappear in real life.
This all happens because the bland hunky hubby hangs the pic on his
home office wall and is so dense that he can't understand the painting
is the cause of all his recent problems. Someone that stupid probably
deserves a knife in his back from his wife (which is what he gets in
This cheesy hokum film might only suit Selleck fans who want to be completists or those who get their kicks from bad films that are so fatuous they can be enjoyed because they are so bad. As for me, I just call this one a junk-house second-rate thriller that has no redeeming value except for some attractive location shots of the Manila scenery.
REVIEWED ON 10/3/2010 GRADE: C-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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