Father Michael Rayner (Christopher Lee) was excommunicated from the Catholic Church for selling his soul to the devil.  Rayner and his followers start a new church, The Children of the Lord.  Catherine Beddows (Nastassja Kinski) has been a member of the church since she was born.  Her parents, Henry (Denholm Elliott) and Isabel (Anna Bentinck) have also sold their souls to Satan.  During the birth of Catherine, Isabel was sacrificed.  Her blood was used to baptize Catherine. 

Catherine will be eighteen in a few days.  She is being groomed to be an offering to Astaroth and to bear his child.  A couple days before Catherine’s birthday, she is taken from the church’s convent in Germany by Eveline and George de Grass (Eva Maria Meineke and Michael Goodliffe).  They hand her off to Kollde (Constantine Gregory), who takes her to London.        

Catherine’s father, Henry, goes to see John Verney (Richard Widmark) to ask for his help.  John is an expert in the occult and has written books on the subject.  Henry convinces John to go in his place and pick up Catherine at Heathrow Airport.  Henry knows that Rayner wants to use Catherine in a satanic ritual.  He tells John about it and about Father Rayner.  Henry, now sorry that he got messed up in all this, is trying to save his daughter.  John manages to scoop up Catherine and take her to his home to watch over her.

In the meantime, one of the parishioners, Margaret, gives birth to a deformed monster.  The blood of the deformed infant is to be used in the final ritual to make Catherine the avatar of Astaroth, the deity that Rayner believes is the true God.  She will be the personification of Satan himself.  While John tries to protect Catherine from the cult, the cult, using black magic, tries to lure Catherine away.      

“To the Devil a Daughter” AKA "To the Devil ... a Daughter" was released in 1976 and was directed by Peter Sykes.  It is an exploitation horror film produced by the Hammer Studios in conjunction with Terra Filmkunst as a British and West German co-production.  The movie is loosely based on the book by Dennis Wheatley.  It is credited as being the last horror film done by Hammer Studios. 

During a dream sequence there is a sex scene between Rayner and Catherine.  The naked guy is not Christopher Lee but his body double, Eddie Powell.  Nastassja Kinski is the daughter of Klaus Kinski.  Nastassja was fourteen during the filming of the movie.  Her nude scene raised a lot of controversy.

The plot is a little confusing at times, especially when there are flashbacks and dream sequences.  Added in are various sub-plots that don’t always go anywhere.  The complex plot is a major drawback to the film; however, the problems are far outweighed by the fact that the film includes nudity and blood.  Both of which are the main reasons that most people watched the film. 

It’s not one of Hammer’s better films but the cult following is happy with it.

No comments

Leave your comment

In reply to Some User