A British woman visits her husband at the Mexican mine he is attempting to reopen and discovers that the workers refuse to enter the mine fearing an ancient curse. The couple enter the mine...
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C. Courtney Joyner
A British woman visits her husband at the Mexican mine he is attempting to reopen and discovers that the workers refuse to enter the mine fearing an ancient curse. The couple enter the mine to prove there is no danger and inadvertently release a demon which possess people's left hands and forces them to behave in a suitably diabolical manner. The only way for a possessed person to free themselves from this torment is to cut off their left hand after which it scurries away in search of its next victim. Written by
Jennifer Baines, played by the lovely Samantha Eggar, joins her husband Mark (character actor Roy Jenson, in one of the bigger roles of his career) as he attempts to open a Mexican mine. The workers don't want to cooperate because they're superstitious, so he and she go poking around. They mess around with the artifacts laying around, and a cursed severed hand takes possession of him, making him do odd (and profitable) things. The hand is soon free to control a succession of hapless victims, while she teams up with a priest (a grim looking Stuart Whitman) who's having a crisis of faith.
Director Alfredo Zacarias ("The Bees") co-scripted this one, based on his own story, an update of "The Beast with Five Fingers" type stories. (Interestingly, this came out the same year as Oliver Stones' "The Hand".) It sets a tone early on, revealing itself to be schlock of the most priceless kind. If one were to take it seriously as a horror film, it'd be an utter failure, but if one accepts it as tongue in cheek, it's quite funny. The sheer incompetence on display is staggering. The special effects are amusing, the dialogue ridiculous, and the art direction by old pro Robert Burns is effective. Zacarias tries to spice things up a bit with breast shots (in the opening few minutes) and an action scene, but his bumbling misdirection is simply laughable.
Fortunately, Eggar doesn't look *too* serious. Whitman looks appropriately embarrassed. Lew Saunders is hilarious as the cop who pays an impromptu visit to a surgeon, in a memorable sequence. Erika Carlsson ("The Devil's Rain"), Ted White (Jason in "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter"), and Haji ("Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!") co-star.
Good fun for people who want to see characters devise ways to rid themselves of their left hands.
Five out of 10.
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