In London in the 1970s, Scotland Yard police investigators think they have uncovered a case of vampirism. They call in an expert vampire researcher named Van Helsing (a descendant of the ... See full summary »
A cabal of American industrialists, all fifth-columnists intent on sabotaging the war effort, are methodically murdered by the malevolent Monsieur Colomb. It is only until detective Dick ... See full summary »
In a 15th-century feudal village, a woman is accused of witchcraft and put to death. Her beautiful older daughter knows the real reason for the execution lies in the lord's sexual desire ... See full summary »
Strange things are happening in Riverdale, Illinois. A huge, seemingly alien structure has been found jutting out of the earth. Sent to investigate the origin of the mysterious object, ... See full summary »
Alan Jay Factor,
Based on H P Lovecraft's tale, "The Shunned House," presents the stories of three people who all died within the confines of the dark and isolated chateau. Each story is taken from a ... See full summary »
Creepy, Effective, Low Budget "Twilight Zone" Era Shocker
"Devil's Partner" is one of the few movies I have seen in a long, long time that actually managed to creep me out. The way to see it is all alone in a darkened house in the middle of the night when you can really let it's atmosphere sink in. There's one scene in particular where someone turns out to not be whom he originally said he was, and under the right circumstances it will send shivers up & down the spine of even the most hardened horror movie fan.
It's also deceptively tightly plotted. Turn away at the wrong critical minute and you might lose track of the plot as it arcs it's way in and out of what now seems to be familiar material. The film even gives away it's big secret within the first fifteen minutes but still manages to hold viewer interest for another hour as it unfolds like a nightmare. And one with a creepy musical score played on what sounds like one of those Ondes-Martenot electronic keyboards.
True the low budget & television stock acting probably works against the overall effect, but if you look beneath it you'll find a very demented little study on Southwestern American supernatural horror that would be revisited again & again: "Race With The Devil" (1975), "Brotherhood Of Satan" (1971), "Enter The Devil" (1972), "The Devil's Rain" (1974) all took a cue from "The Devil's Partner". Which was made just as the Italians were exporting their Gothic horrors from Mario Bava, Riccardo Freda, and Antonio Margheriti. The Europeans had their Gothic castles and misty cobweb filled catacombs, we had the equally Gothic arid, barren Southwest. It would be interesting to trace where the American horror tradition of Southwestern settings began.
Others have summed up the plot elements well enough: A youngish, super-slick and super nice guy drifts into a Death Valley town looking for his ne're do well uncle and everything goes straight to hell, and quickly. What makes it work is the way the film was constructed, including the sharp black & white photography making the night scenes lit by the stark lighting more unsettling than it would have been in color. I also mentioned "Twilight Zone" in my header because the pacing of the film is very reminiscent of that show, as are the themes of urban satire, ironic vengeance, and ironic justice.
Just watch the movie. It's only 72 minutes long and a public domain title so you can probably see it online for free. It's turned up on budget line $.50 cent DVDs at the dollar store (under the title "Enter The Devil"; somebody screwed up) and on those ridiculous 50 movie bargain sets. Worth it just to be completely freaked out for those precious few minutes, if you let it.
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