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dwatts
05-24-2003, 01:14 AM
To the Devil a Daughter

Iím a sucker for Hammer films, and since this one was their last, it really has something to live up to. Having seen the excellent documentary that comes as an extra here, there can be no doubts that the film was saddled with poor organization, poor relations with the lead actor, and lack of funds.

I have also read horrible things about the film from elsewhere. Basically, nowhere have I seen kind words about this film. Anyway, no matter, Iím a Hammer fan Ė so no doubt I needed to get this!

Guess what? This film is actually quite good! Oh sure, they totally blew the ending. The climax to this film is such a screwed up mess that you gotta shake yourself to figure out if what you saw really happened. But the ride until that point is quite good.

Just so you know, the documentary clears up the questions we might have about why this film is a little strange. For one, they wrote the script as they made the film! Thatís right, the writer would work in the evening, and the actors would get the script the morning after. Not a recipe for success.

The ending is screwed up because the original filmed ending emulated (okay, appears to have copied) the ending to Scars of Dracula (it is even Chris Lee suffering in both films!) So they panicked and made an alternate ending. Obviously, their money had run out by this time, and inspiration was at an all time low. We also learn that the writer had forgotten a scene where all the blood was drained from one of the characters into bags. Reminded that this had happened, he hastily wrote a bit at the end to explain what the blood would be used for. It is hilarious factoids like this that make me laugh.

Iíve got to tell you though, I DID enjoy the film itself. There are three things that stick out as strange Ė first, films usually start with a big event, and then build up to a climax. This film has no big bang at the start Ė the suspense and mystery grows from the first frame to the last. It feels like something is missing, but I think itís just that Iíve been conditioned to expect a big beginning. Secondly, there is virtually no music on the soundtrack. So a lot of the scenes are a bit hollow. Thirdly, this film is set in modern times, and Hammers style just is not suited for it. Their gothic work was brilliant, but whenever they did modern time movies (well, letís not forget it was the 70ís!) they seemed to fall on their face every time.

The tacked on frontal nudity of the young (apparently early teens!) Nastassja Kinski is intact. Sheís as cute as they come, but I disliked her dubbed voice (at least, it sounded dubbed to me).

I have the AB release. The main extra is the documentary of almost 40 minutes length. Brilliant stuff on the film. Widescreen, nice picture, not reference but quite good.

So Ė did I enjoy the film? Yes, yes I did! Would I suggest other Hammer fans get it? Yes, definitely. You already know some pitfalls, but in the genre of Hammer flicks, this one belongs. The ending is completely fumbled, but I really enjoyed watching it all unfold, and I will certainly watch it again.

hell ya!
05-24-2003, 04:24 PM
Great review! Sounds like a interesting movie i will surely put it on the list. :)

Grim
05-24-2003, 05:05 PM
If Nastassja Kinski was in her early teens couldn't that be considered child pornography, geez Anchor Bay better watch it.:lol:

dwatts
05-24-2003, 05:22 PM
Guess not. It's not a sexual scene.

Not sure how accurate IMDB is on these matters. Accroding to it, she was born 24 January 1959. The film came out in 1976. Oldest she could have been then is 17 - I am sure I had read somewhere that during the filming she was only 16.