01 October 2014

To the Devil...a Daughter (1976)
89 min.
Directed by Peter Sykes.
With Richard Widmark, Christopher Lee, Nastassja Kinski, Honor Blackman, Denholm Elliott, Anthony Valentine.
One of Hammer Films' last outings was this weak variation on Rosemary's Baby. (Well, if Rosemary's tot were all grown up and about to turn 18, that is.)

Based on the Dennis Wheatley novel published in 1953, this concerns a young nun named Catherine Beddows (the beautiful Kinski) who arrives for her annual visit to her father Henry (Elliott).

But there's trouble brewing.

You see, evil Satanist Father Michael Rayner (Lee) wants to get his hands on Catherine. Seems she's about to turn 18 years old - and that's the optimum time for using her an instrument of Astaroth, one of the dark lords of Hell!

Meanwhile, Henry implores occult novelist John Verney (Richard Widmark) to intervene on his behalf, and protect his innocent daughter from the diabolical machinations of Rayner.

Woven with themes similar to another Wheatley novel - The Devil Rides Out - this one fails to cut the mustard.

The plot is muddled, and director Sykes (he also did 1972's Demons of the Mind for the studio) never injects the outing with any kind of urgency or tension.

Lee's last film for Hammer.

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