To The Devil...A Daughter
Studio: Anchor Bay
Film Length: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.66:1)
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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...
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
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
I also need to note that Anchor Bay still continues
to ignore the hearing impaired community for not
providing subtitles in their features. Shame!
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