Thursday, January 28, 2010

To the Devil....Nastassja Kinski!

Poster Disclaimer: The above scene does not appear in the movie. She is actually naked. I didn't want anyone to be disappointed while waiting for the lingerie scene only to find that she is totally naked. I know that would be such a disappointment...

To the Devil a Daughter is famous for being the last Hammer film. Made in 1976, it was Hammer's last stand, so to speak. Based on the novel of the same name by famed Brit Author Dennis Wheatley, To the Devil is an obvious response to The Exorcist. To the Devil is no Exorcist. But it is a pretty freaky deaky movie that stars the spawn of Kinski...Nastassia!
The film begins strongly. A nervous man approaches a famous author at a book signing. Turns out this author, John Verney (played by the awesome Richard Widmark) specializes in the occult. The nervous man (played by Denholm Elliot-good cast!) asks Verney to retrieve his daughter from the airport. The daughter, Catherine (Kinski) is a nun, and is in London to make her annual birthday visit to her father. Turns out she is not a nun for a regular church. She is a nun for the "Children on God," a group that happens to worship Astaroth (better known as the Prince of Darkness or Old Scratch.) The head of the church, Christopher Lee, has chosen Catherine to be the AVATAR for Astaroth. What this means I am not completely sure. See, Catherine's mother died during childbirth, and Catherine was baptised in her blood. Then, Catherine simulated sex with a statue of Astaroth while Christopher Lee raped a real woman. Then the real woman gave birth to a demon baby, who then rapes/enters/conjoins with Catherine in one of the most disturbing dream sequences I have ever seen. Then, Christopher Lee kills the demon baby for no good reason, Kinski takes off all of her clothes, Widmark kills Lee by throwing a rock at him and the movie ends. I shit you not, this is the whole movie. Oh, and Honor Blackman gets killed by a letter opener.
This film has one of the worst tacked on endings in all of film history. In the "special features" section of the DVD the filmmakers try to explain it, but they fail miserably. Christopher Lee is disgusted by the whole thing. Also in the special features, everyone talks about what an asshole Widmark was.
Obviously I loved this movie. I think everyone should see To the Devil a Daughter. Just be prepared to be totally confused and freaked out. Also: watch the special features. The documentary on making the film is better than the film itself!


The Film Connoisseur said...

Yeah, saw this one a while ago, and I fully agree with your review of it.

The ending was supposed have a bolt of lighting falling from the skies and killing Christopher Lee, but they decided on a different ending because the "bolt of lightining thing" was used in Scars of Dracula. Which is entirely true.

But the thing with the rock? Completely stupid. Also having to see Christopher Lee's bare ass on that sex scene? Completely unecessary!

That VHS cover is such a joke! Gotta hand it to Kinski, she was not of legal age when she did that nude scene, which is actually a very weird thing about that movie.

Tyciol said...

No lingerie? I am disappoint.

What do we hand to Kinski? Legal age for sexual intercourse should have nothing to due with nudity.