Saturday, 6 June 2020
DAUGHTERS OF SATAN
Director: Hollingsworth Morse
I've seen a lot of Filipino flicks but I must admit never to have come across DAUGHTERS OF SATAN before. Made as a US/Filipino coproduction in 1972 and directed by some guy called Hollingsworth Morse. The name did not ring a bell with this reviewer! A quick gander at IMDb makes me think this is probably his most interesting work. He made episodes in various TV series but nothing that stands out I'm sorry to say. I reckon this is his only horror film.
An American businessman (played by Tom Selleck!) living with his American wife in the Philippines buys a painting from a mysterious antique dealer (played by Vic Diaz of course). The painting is 300 years old and shows three witches being burned alive. Charming picture to hang next to the dinner table! One of the witches looks exactly like his wife. The wife isn't too pleased with the purchase. She suffers from mental problems so having to look at herself being torched at the stake every day probably isn't her idea of cool interior decoration.
At some point while the husband is at work she encounters an evil dog, and an evil housekeeper turns up at her doorstep. Later there's another witch, more evil evildoers engaging in evil practices, and women getting flogged and hung over deadly iron spikes.
DAUGHERS OF SATAN is odd and maybe it doesn't make too much sense but, hey, when was that a problem in horror movies!? I think the film is wonderfully odd and I much disagree with Ian Jane's 17 year old review from DVDManiacs (also copied by Andrew Leavold on his blog). He didn't think it was all that entertaining. Personally, I didn't look at the clock one single time throughout the film.
Ian Jane reviewed a UK DVD release in 2003 but I got the new (from 2018) blu-ray released by SHOUT! FACTORY. It doesn't mention if this release is sourced from a film negative or a 35mm print but it looks fabulous in any case. In contradiction to the DVD this release is in 1.85:1 widescreen. There's hardly any extras, a trailer and some still photos. The disc is subtitled in English.
Final word: Highly recommended! (and I'd advise you get it sooner rather than later. These things have a tendency to go out of print fairly quickly these days).
Apparently, the film played at US cinemas on a double bill with another US/Filipino production, SUPERBEAST. The trailer is for this double bill and SHOUT! have released both films on blu-ray (I own a terrible shit looking, censored bootleg DVD from ZDD. Needless to say, I have ordered the new blu-ray of SUPERBEAST but I reckon it's most likely stuck somewhere in traffic as so much stuff seems to be during these weird times we live in).