Oct. 19th: To The Devil…A Daughter (1976)

to-the-devil-a-daughter-1976

Hammer’s last horror film may quite honestly be the least Halloweeny film on this list, but it takes place around and on Halloween, so dammit, that’s enough. Plus it’s all awesome and Satany. What more do you need on Halloween?

Christopher Lee stars as excommunicated priest Michael Rayner. Seems the Holy Roman Church didn’t cotton to all his Astaroth worship and told him to pack his shit. No matter, Rayner just sets up his own heretic order, The Children of The Lord (ambiguous) in the middle of some lake in Bavaria.

Prized amongst these children is one Catherine Beddows, played be a very young (perhaps too young, given the nudity) Natasha Kinski. Catherine is given the special privilege of traveling home once a year on her birthday to see her father Henry. Her birthday, as it happens, is All Hallo’s Eve, which we’re told is the most important date in the Satanist’s calendar.

This year, however, is her 18th birthday and that’s got her pops all spooked. So, he contacts occult author John Verney to whisk her away for this particular visit. Seems strange, even to Verney, whom has only recently meet Beddows and only for this specific reason.

See Beddows is a member of Rayner’s satanic order, and is anticipating a rather sinister 18th birthday for Catherine, should Rayner get his hands on her. So it’s up to Verney to deduce the plot and protect Rayner’s special child, before his evil designs can be fulfilled.

As I mentioned, the movie itself is not terribly Halloweeny, but it is jammed packed instead with tons of crazy Satanic rites and ritual, with Christopher Lee creepin’ up the whole damn screen any time he’s there.

It may flounder a bit in it’s 3rd act, but this critically maligned Hammer offering is an awesome addition to the Satanic 70’s catalog, and one of my favorites of the sub-genre.

If you’re into crazy Satan movies, enjoy weird scenes of strange rituals, love hearing blasphemous heretical dialogue and are looking to add a whole lot of that to your Halloween this year, than To The Devil…A Daughter is the one to do it with.

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