HTF REVIEW: "To The Devil...A Daughter" (Hammer Collection) (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    46,414
    Likes Received:
    4,372
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    [​IMG]

    To The Devil...A Daughter




    Studio: Anchor Bay
    Year: 1976
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 93 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.66:1)
    Subtitles: None



    Long known to fans the world over as "The Studio
    That Dripped Blood," the House of Hammer produced
    a distinguished collection of horror and science
    fiction films that helped define an era and made
    international stars of actors Christopher Lee and
    Peter Cushing.
    With the early 70s successes of films like THE
    EXORCIST
    and ROSEMARY'S BABY, the British
    based Hammer Films was beginning to take a
    backseat in the horror genre. Trying to ride the
    coattails of these huge releases, the company
    released it's last theatrical horror feature, TO
    THE DEVIL...A DAUGHTER. Unfortunately, the
    film was not a success.
    To The Devil...A Daughter arrives on DVD
    as part of Anchor Bay's The Hammer Collection.
    For the first time, the film is presented completely
    uncut and uncensored, including restoration of
    the film's violence and Natassja Kinski's controversial
    full-frontal nudity.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    As the film opens we learn that Father Michael
    Rayner (Christopher Lee) is being excommunicated.
    So what does he do? He starts his own church and
    has one of its members sign over his daughter's
    soul so that she can become the devil's daughter -
    and this his representative on earth - upon her
    eighteenth birthday.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    The daughter, Katherine (Natassja Kinski) is now
    nearing her eighteenth birthday. Her father has
    second thoughts about this devilish pact, and
    enlists the aid of an occult novelist, John
    Verney (Richard Widmark) to stop the black magic.
    I have to be honest -- I never watched a Hammer
    Film in my entire life, but since Anchor Bay sent
    me a screener, I figured what the heck. You know
    what? This film wasn't too bad. There are great
    performances all around as well as enough flesh and
    blood to satisfy any horror fan. Though the film
    may be a bit pale in comparison to Rosemary's
    Baby
    , it still holds its own as a well done
    occult thriller.
    How is the transfer?
    The transfer looks decent, but is a bit uneven.
    The biggest problem is that the film looks dated,
    having that familiar 70s look to it. Knowing the
    era from which this film is from and the fact that
    it was a low-budget picture, you can appreciate just
    how good this looks on DVD. There are problems with
    noticeable amounts of film grain appearing and
    then disappearing throughout, and whites sort of
    look dirty here, but the film manages to remain
    very clear with minimal amount of blemishes.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    The mono soundtrack is clean and distinct, though
    audio is a little on the high end resulting in a
    little bit of shrillness. There were a few seconds
    here and there where the audio suddenly became
    muffled, but for the most part, this film sounded
    decent.
    Special Features
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Anchor Bay has released this DVD with an included
    poster card in the insert of the case as well as
    a few added supplementals. Let's look at them...
    [​IMG]
    To The Devil...The Death of Hammer is
    a 24-minute documentary that begins with Christopher
    Lee talking about approaching Michael Carreras
    to do a film based on Dennis Wheatley's
    book. Wheatley was an absolute authority on the
    subject of Black Magic, and Lee was interested in
    doing a sort of propaganda film. With such big
    American releases as Rosemary's Baby and
    The Exorcist, combined with the fact that
    British audiences were deserting them, Hammer Films
    was looking for a hit. It's interesting to note
    that 50% of the financing for the film came after
    Nat Cohen (the head of EMI) saw The Exorcist.
    After going through a list of high-profile directors,
    Peter Skyes was selected, even though he thought
    the film was, well...unfilmable. It was Skye who
    brought aboard Nastassja Kinski, whom he felt was
    a remarkable young talent. It also sounds like
    nobody has a very high opinion of actor Richard
    Widmark who was extremely difficult through the
    entire filming.
    A poster and still gallery holds about
    65 production stills, poster art and even past
    video release covers.
    Talent bio gives us some thorough background
    on actors Richard Widmark and Christopher Lee.
    The film's original theatrical trailer is
    also included.
    I also need to note that Anchor Bay still continues
    to ignore the hearing impaired community for not
    providing subtitles in their features. Shame!
    Final Thoughts
    [​IMG]
    If you are looking for a decent horror/occult film,
    you can't go wrong with To The Devil...A daughter.
    It certainly has some of that uninhibited shock
    value (and nudity) that was so prevalent in the 70s.
    Worth a look!
    Release Date: Now
     
  2. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2000
    Messages:
    15,545
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    London, England
    Real Name:
    Steve Christou
    Thanks for the review (and the screenshots) Ron.
    To the Devil... isn't as good as Hammer's The Devil Rides Out, another Dennis Wheatley adaptation, but still worth having in any serious horror collection.
    Some effective scenes, Christopher Lee is great as always, plus you get Natassia Kinski full frontal nudity (again?), I think she was only 16 years old in this.[​IMG]
    I'll be interested in picking this up and seeing the restored bits, I didn't know it had been cut until I read your review Ron, interesting...
    I've read all of Wheatley's satanic novels and IMO this was not one of the best,
    The Devil Rides Out,The Satanist and Strange Conflict are my favorites of his work.
     
  3. Mike Heenan

    Mike Heenan Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2001
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Natajassa Kinski's full frontal nudity was on the video version, so is there more of this restored?
     
  4. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 1999
    Messages:
    3,279
    Likes Received:
    769
    Real Name:
    Peter Apruzzese
    Thanks for the review, Ron. While this isn't top-drawer hammer, it's nice to see AB has treated it well.
    This is your first Hammer film? It's not very representative of what the studio was capable of in their heyday. You should check out Horror of Dracula, Curse of Frankenstein, Revenge of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Devil Rides Out, and Quatermass II if you ever get a chance. If you can, come up to Jersey City this Saturday night for a big screen presentation - the first in over 30 years - of Horror of Dracula in 35mm IB Technicolor! Info available here: www.loewsjersey.org
     
  5. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    3,594
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've already got it on pre-order at DVD Empire. Thanks for the review.
     
  6. michael deakin

    michael deakin Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Warrington
    Real Name:
    Michael Charles Deakin
    Hi Ron.
    Thanks again for the review. I recommend that you try "Quatermass and the Pit" also released by anchor bay. This is one of hammer's best.
    Mike[​IMG]
     
  7. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Messages:
    3,380
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Thanks for the review Ron. Good to see Hammer get a review here. Hammer made so many films that you may find that you have seen some and just didn't realize that they were Hammer films. I also recommend you take a look at:

    Horror of Dracula
    Dracula, Prince of Darkness
    Curse of Frankenstein
    Frankenstein Created Woman
    The Devil Rides Out
    The Mummy

    These are all available on DVD and much more representative of Hammer at its best.
     
  8. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,478
    Likes Received:
    9
    Real Name:
    Zen K. Butler
    I saw this at Randy's house on an awful VHS. The colors looks great compared to the washed-out tape that we watched. Nice to see a Hammer review, I actually thought Denholm Elliot's performance a highlight.
     
  9. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for another great review, Ron.

    After seeing WICKER MAN, FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, and ATTACK OF THE CLONES all within one year, I have become CRAZED for Mr. Christopher Lee. I've been picking up some of the Hammer DVDs, Horror of Dracula, Curse of Frankenstein, Hound of the Baskervilles, plus one of the Dracula sequels that came with a bonus Chris Lee disc, and I plan on getting this title. What other films of his can you folks recommend?
     
  10. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 1999
    Messages:
    3,279
    Likes Received:
    769
    Real Name:
    Peter Apruzzese
    Rob:

    For Christopher Lee films, I'd pick up Horror of Dracula, Hound of the Baskervilles, City of the Dead, Scars of Dracula (not a good movie, but the bonus disc is worth its weight in gold), Horror Express, Rasputin the Mad Monk and, when they get remastered, The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers. Be warned, Lee made a *lot* of movies, well into the hundreds.
     
  11. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Messages:
    3,380
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Rob
    For Hammer movies with Christopher Lee that are available on DVD and that you didn't already mention I recommend:

    The Devil Rides Out
    The Mummy
    Dracula, Prince of Darkness
    Rasputin-The Mad Monk
    Satanic Rites of Dracula (a so-so Hammer film but good for Chris Lee)
     
  12. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    1,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    I love SCARS OF DRACULA. I know it isn't the best, but it has always been my sentimental favorite. I think it is because I caught an uncut TV showing back in the late 70s as a kid and never forgot it. It is lots of fun, and the DVD is fantastic.
     
  13. michael deakin

    michael deakin Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Warrington
    Real Name:
    Michael Charles Deakin
    Hi guys.
    I agree with "Peter". The bonus disc That comes with "Scars of Dracula" is a must have. Also the running commentary with the film is one of the best.
    Im holding out from buying "Horror of Dracula", Until someone releases it the way it deserves ie special edition.
    mike.
     
  14. Brandon Gantt

    Brandon Gantt Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    0
    I never thought I'd see the day when a HAMMER film was reviewed at the HTF!
     
  15. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for all the suggestions!
     
  16. Jeff_A

    Jeff_A Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,454
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  17. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    12,251
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ron, thanks for the review. I'll probably pick this up if I can find it cheap enough.
     

Share This Page