Sunday, February 1, 2015

Devil's Hand - 1961

You know I didn't intend to review every movie I watched.  In fact, I was only going to review certain movies, there was even going to be a criteria they had to fit into.  I wanted to review movies that I thought deserved followings and fans, I was going to review movies that I had lined up to watch.  I had Microwave Massacre, I had Tetsuo II: Bullet Man...I had like 6 movies to review.  But something happened.  I liked writing these reviews too much.  That and I am on a streak right now of good movies.  Broken only by Stanley (grrr) I have seen nothing but good movies recently.  Seriously!  Check out my entries!  The last thing that got bad marks was probably Rodentz.  That feels like a long time ago now.

I'm going to review every film in my Gorehouse Greats collection, for you, the nonexistent fans.  Then I might review every film in another two collections I have:  some Grindhouse collection that sinks so low as to even contain an Emmanuelle movie, and the Sci-Fi set that started it all, which I got about 10 or so years ago back when Suncoast was still around (Wikipedia tell me most were closed in 2006).  So wow that was 10 years ago.  That's insane.  Anyway, I saw this Sci Fi collection at Suncoast for 10 bucks and I figured, why not.  You have that to thank for this Devil's Hand review.  Essentially.

There's something about the feel of a black and white film that just makes it feel different.  Just those tones make me feel like I'm watching a classic film, and thus pay a little bit more attention.  It's such a short time from 61 to the mid 70's which is the era of the last few films I've seen but there is so much of a difference between them.  In the 60's black and white films, everyone was in a fuckin suit and tie and slept in separate beds than their spouse and smoked in hospitals (that one was hilarious to see in this movie).  Devil's Hand feels like before it's time, saying that even though it early 60's.  It feels and looks 50's to me.  Except it's not as ridiculous as a lot of 50's horror.  It's like a perfect middle ground between the 50's fresh new take on horror, and the later 60's and 70's psychological horror.

There's a line in it I completely hated though, so I'm going to start with that.  The setting: Donna has been taken to the hospital for some heart problem.  She is young, so this is very odd.  Anyways, her fiancee (Rick Turner) comes to the hospital to visit her.  The nurse goes in to tell the hospitalized woman about her visitor and says: "You mustn't get excited," warning her because of her heart problem.  Donna:  "But I always get excited when I see Rick!"  Nurse:  "Well, I don't blame you, he's quite a man!"   Ummmm, WHA?  What the fuck?  Is the nurse complimenting her choice in men, is she saying she's attracted to her fiancee?  Um, sorry, nurse, but do we KNOW you or something?  Or are you just being really, really weird?  That is the sort of dialogue that just bugs the fuck out of me.

That aside, the rest of the The Devil's Hand is your very average drama/thriller from the 60's, it's got a guy who is haunted by visions of a woman, and so one day he finds this doll shop that has a doll that looks like the woman in his visions.  Turns out she is a member of a religious cult that worships some evil god, and sometimes this god calls for human sacrifices.  One of the things I thought was weird about this movie is that it's never made clear if the main guy Rick actually believes in the cult shit or not.  He does join, and we're given hints both ways, and of course we believe as an audience our main character would not believe in this cult.  But it seems his only problem with the cult is that they want to kill his now ex-fiancee Donna.  (He shacked up with the girl from his dreams, see)

It's a short movie, 71 minutes long, and at the end I can't say it was great or anything.  I was interested at first but gradually it just got less and less good.  Can't say I'd recommend it.  It does has Bruno VeSoto from Attack of the Giant Leeches in it though!!  Oh, and absolutely zero blood.  Good job, "Gorehouse".  Fuckers

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