Is Bathos a movie magazine?
Among other things, yes it is. This may not be your all-consuming interest.
But I seriously doubt that you never go to the movies, at least in the privacy of your own living-room. Furthermore, if you even consider buying BATHOS, you are probably not a great admirer of Neo-realism.
Oh, so you’ve already seen all those old movies? Well have you seen this one?
Of course, this is not a review that you will find in BATHOS – we would never ask you to pay for something you’ve already read. Still, the turn of this decade was extremely interesting to a film historian (or just a fan, like you and me).
It marked the end of the science fiction boom and the humble beginnings of Hammer. Soon visitors from the stars would be replaced by vampires and werewolves and the (extremely) odd psycho.
Well, that would be BATHOS #39! Sounds interesting?
THE DEVIL’S HAND (1959) ****
D: WILLIAM J. HOLE JNR.
There really isn’t any hand, you know, whether disembodied or not – maybe ROBERT ALDA (Alan’s dad) imported that one from his previous success THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS. There is however a naked goddess, who may not be entirely naked (or a goddess) – still, we’ll settle for her trudging around in clouds and the peignoir she always wears.
Bob dreams about her, which is hardly surprising, considering that his bride-to-be is such a dog. As soon as he arrives at her apartment, answering her nightly summons, she informs him that he must be “conditioned” (now we’re getting somewhere) and although this really doesn’t amount to anything more than a couple of martinis and a saxophone solo on the soundtrack, he is soon kissing her cheek passionately.
One can understand the reluctance of the actress, even counting the style with which Robert removes his sunglasses. He is now ready to be introduced to the local satanic cult and its leader, who has all the demonic charisma of a Rotary member.
Still, it has a floorshow and an African drummer, who only seems to know “Bah, Bah, Little Sheep”. Oh yes, and that devilish contraption, an inverted chandelier with knives instead of candles, one cold steel, and the rest rubber.
Rotated before descending on its intended victim, it tests the loyalty of the “Great Devil-God of Evil” GAMBA (maybe he should get a better press agent) who of course has the final say in the matter – so guess who’s going to be perforated by it in the climax!
While utterly taken in by the “evil beautiful witch” (maybe she should get one too) he still goes to rescue his former sweetheart, who has suffered a literal heart-attack after a run-in with a voodoo doll (probably an evil, devilish witch-doll) which does not go down well with the management.
He breaks in where the dolls are kept – in a doll-shop serving as a front for the cult, which would be rather like using a bomb-shop as a front for a terrorist group, removing the pin and camouflaging it with scotch-tape (that’ll fool them!)
Finally, when the African Satanists (who? what?) endeavour to sacrifice plain Jane (who is really called Donna!) their lair accidentally catches fire (after all those movies these guys should have learned to use electric candles for their black masses) resulting in stock footage from the London blitz.
There, I spoiled it for you! But don’t worry – there’s a surprise ending, the evil beautiful witch going “That’s what he thinks!” to the audience!
Well, this is a great movie – you know what I mean. It really tries its best, the result being absolutely hilarious.
Then there’s Linda Christian (with some experience as one of the SLAVES OF BABYLON) who is pretty irresistible, not to mention all those lovely inconsistencies that you should be allowed to discover for yourself.
From the main titles with its African tribesmen and let’s-do-the-twist score, you should know what you’re in for!