Thursday, March 24, 2011

Daughters of Satan (1972)

Daughters of Satan

Written John C. Higgins
Directed by Hollingsworth Morse

James Robertson...Tom Selleck
Chris Robertson...Barra Grant

Art writer James Robertson purchases an antique painting from a kooky shopkeeper, not because it's a particuarly tasteful piece, or even particularly good.  But the scene that it depicts--a small group of witches being burned at the stake--for some reason speaks to him.  And not just because he's some closeted sadist (I'm only guessing here), but also because the beautiful witch at the center of the painting looks strikingly similar to his equally beautiful wife Chris.

James presents it to Chris as a gift, but she is just as repelled by it as he is attracted to it.  Defying her wishes to get rid of the damned thing, James instead hangs it proudly on the wall, and a short time later, very strange things begin to happen.

New household help shows up at the front door, although it's unclear if either James or Chris actually placed an ad.  A vicious dog named Nicodemus appears, and wants desperately to make mincemeat of James' hindquarters.  Figures in the paintings, corresponding with these new arrivals, begin to fade from the canvas, as if they were leaving the past in favor of the present.

Silly bastard.  He should have bought a nude.

It's all slow-paced, and really rather silly.  There's not a lot of logic to be found amongst the goings-on, only a few literary and religious allusions that seem just out of reach.  Some of the costuming was ridiculous, so much so that the Grand Poobah of the Daughters of Satan (or whatever) seems like she would have been right at home next to Adam West on TV's Batman.

This is cheesy camp, pure and simple, tame by anybody's standards.  In fact, if it weren't for the occasional glimpse of nudity (we get nipple within the first 45 seconds!), this could easily have passed for a particularly ballsy, but particularly ineffective, made-for-TV movie.

All in all, everything that is bad about this film are the same things that make it enjoyable.  At least moderately so.  Whether or not you'll want to sit down and watch it will probably depend on how big a fan of Magnum P.I. you are.

Rated R
90 Minutes
United States/Philipines

"A secret cult of lust-craved witches torturing with fire and desire!"


  1. thanks for the review, almost forgot about this one... oh i wish i had that mustache..

  2. Mustaches = Awesome.

    Now that is just scientific fact.

    Zombies With Mustaches = Awesomer.

    And if you're a fan of mustaches, might I suggest that you check out Bare Knuckles?


  3. Seems to me I enjoyed this one the first time I saw it - had a bit of a Dennis Wheatley feel if I remember correctly.

    There also seems to have been something about a torture chamber/dungeon that I quite enjoyed, but I might be confusing that with an old Christopher Lee movie or even Witchfinder General.

    At any rate nice article and thanks for the memory refresh.

    - Aaron


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