Directed by Michele Soavi
Starring Herbert Lom
A weak offering from director Michele Soavi (the genius behind "Cemetery Man"), "The Devil's Daughter" delivers a certain amount of style, which is what we'd expect from a Soavi film produced by his mentor, the great Dario Argento.
It even opens fairly strong. In "South California," as it puts it, in 1970, a fun-loving band of hippies runs into a mysterious, Charles Manson-like stranger who loves to rave about how wonderful The Rolling Stones are, with particular emphasis on their song "Sympathy for the Devil." Naturally, the stranger turns out to be a satanist who kills the hippies. Cut to the present day. A woman is murdered. Her heart's ripped out. The attacker drops the heart on a subway and is immediately pursued by crowds of people and then police.
From here, the story gets murkier and murkier. Kelly Curtis plays a school teacher who nearly runs over a homeless man (Herbert Lom), so she decides to let him stay at her place. One night, while she's sleeping, he places a strange bug up her nose. Then he dies.
Things get even more confusing from there. One of Curtis' friends goes crazy and attempts to have herself murdered by a trucker. Naturally, no Italian horror film would be complete without a doorway from hell. Unfortunately, there are no zombies in this film. There is, however, a satanic rabbit that watches television and knows how to use the remote control (!). A pretty gruesome satanic ritual also takes place during the last part of the movie.
In a nutshell, this out-of-print film lacks a story, but it does make for a pretty interesting, surreal ride, thanks to the style Soavi injects into it. As we all know, Soavi is one of horror's big talents. But he needs a good story if he's going to make a good movie. Unfortunately, this film didn't have one.
The best Soavi films remain his debut, "Stage Fright", and his masterpiece, "Cemetery Man."
-- Review by Lucius Gore