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The Touch of Satan (1971)

PG | | Horror | 23 August 1971 (USA)
A young man meets a farm girl who is actually a witch.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Michael Berry ...
Emby Mellay ...
Lee Amber ...
Yvonne Winslow ...
Jeanne Gerson ...
...
Lew Horn ...
Deputy John Mason
Sharon Crabtree ...
John J. Fox ...
Attendant
Hal K. Dawson ...
Mr. Gentry
Frank Jansen ...
Ellen Bailey ...
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Storyline

On his way to California, Jodie decides on a whim to make a brief side trip to a farm, where he meets and falls in love with Melissa, the proverbial farmer's daughter. Or so it seems. In between the overlong dramatic pauses, we learn that Melissa is in fact a 120-year-old witch, and her remarkably spry "great-grandmother," Lucinda, is actually her sister, who has been pitchforking people to death in her spare time. When Lucinda murders a local policeman, things start to get real complicated for Jodie. Written by Leo L. Schwab <ewhac@best.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

witch | farm | murder | handcuffs | fire | See All (20) »

Taglines:

To Love Her Is To Be Cursed! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 August 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night of the Demon  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1979) (video)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Members of the film's crew play the villagers who try to burn Lucinda. See more »

Quotes

Deputy: We ain't found nothin' yet, not even a suspicious lookin' cow chip.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the version of this film that appeared on Mystery Science Theater 3000 there is a brief negative flaw in the closing credits. The cast begins to scroll up when suddenly the bottom of the credits drop and reappear. See more »

Connections

Edited into Out of this World Super Shock Show (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

A touch of ridiculousness
26 October 2002 | by See all my reviews

How is this film stupid? Let us count the ways:

1) It centers around the two most lackadaisical characters to ever be the subject of a film. Jody and Melissa spend half the movie sitting in uncomfortable silence, and the other half trading dialogue in accents that never reach any level of emotion, not even when Melissa's loony "grandmother" Lucinda starts skewering people with farm implements.

2) Melissa and Lucinda live out in the middle of nowhere, on what Jody insists on calling a "walnut ranch." Note to screenwriter: ranches usually raise livestock. Walnuts are more likely to be found in an orchard.

3) Besides Melissa and Lucinda, the ranch is also home to Luther and Molly. We assume they're Melissa's parents, until circumstances prove that impossible. Who they really are is aparently none of our business.

4) Melissa insists she's possessed by the devil. Jody refuses to believe her. This will persist, with no variation, for most of the film.

5) In a flashback, we learn Melissa and Lucinda are really sisters, and that Lucinda was nearly burned at the stake for witchcraft by an angry mob (more on them later) until Melissa sold her soul to Satan to save her. This scene, we later learn, takes place sometime in the 19th century. Blaming witches for everything had pretty much gone out of vogue by that time, although blaming minorities was pretty popular, if I remember my history.

6) Satan apparently is inconsistant in his deals. Melissa is allowed to remain young, while Lucinda ages. Then again, Lucinda in her youth looked something like Frida Khalo, so she didn't miss much.

7) About that angry mob--okay, angry isn't the best word for them, since they have about the energy and enthusiasm of a checkout line. How are we supposed to feel about them? They arrive with torches to burn Lucinda for witchcraft, but then it seems Lucinda really is guilty of the crime. It's one thing to portray Christians as narrow-minded, superstitious, and hypocritical, but what happens when they're actually right?

8) During the burning, the mob breaks out into "Amazing Grace." Aparently they only know one verse to the song, since they repeat it endlessly.

9) To save Melissa from the Devil, Jody must sleep with her. We're not sure why this is.

10) Once freed from the clutches of evil, Melissa begins showing her age, which is around a hundred and twenty. Most films would allow Melissa to die, so that her tormented soul may finally be at rest, but nooo--Jody has to sell his soul to the Devil to get her back. This might be a harrowing statement on the powers of darkness, until I recall that having people like Jody and Melissa in the camp isn't exactly an asset for the forces of Hell.


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