Fright Pack: The Devil Made Me Do It

Satan's love affair with horror has always been an attraction for fans of the genre. Despite a lot of the films merely relying on the Prince of Darkness as an easy draw for audiences, there have been some great, and some dreadful, films. The Devil Made Me Do It packs in six very different films that flirt with the devil's dark powers. Unfortunately, four of the films fail to use Lucifer's influence efficiently, making this collection a rather disappointing one. The Antichrist is simply an abomination, but surprisingly not the worst of the bunch. An unabashed rip-off of The Exorcist (which came out a year before), the film is a messy telling of a paralysed young woman who becomes possessed when she's put under hypnosis to cure her handicap. It lacks, well, everything that made Friedkin's film a classic — that is unless you want to see a woman ritually lick a goat's arse, which she does. The Church is one of the finer films, but the fact that it's a Dario Argento production is largely responsible for that. Starring his then 15-year-old daughter, Asia, the film is an arty shocker centred on a church built over the corpses of devil worshippers. Things go awry when a crypt is opened and blammo, everyone gets possessed and Argento's patented gore takes over! Curse of the Devil is by far the atrocity of the pack, even though it stars Spanish legend Paul Naschy. A haphazard werewolf flick, its tie with Satan is a curse placed on Naschy when he kills a coven of witches. Though provocative at the time, now it's simply dated schlock. Fear No Evil and Hell Night are more teen-oriented, yet they fail to capitalise on the formulas that make teen horror flicks so tasty. Fear is an Omen pastiche that despite some exaggerated moments of genius (the peculiar shower kissing scene and the dodgeball death) fails largely in part due to its foolish ending. The Linda Blair-starring Hell, on the other hand, has nothing to do with Satan whatsoever, and instead simply follows the age-old haunted house formula, minus any thrills. Easily the best of the bunch is, no surprise, a Hammer film (the last one ever made) starring, again no surprise, Christopher Lee. To the Devil… a Daughter still manages to uphold the shock it had 29 years ago. Also starring an underage and scandalously nude Natassja Kinski, To the Devil finds Lee playing a Satanic priest who kidnaps Kinski to fulfil his sexual pact with the dark lord. The film best represents the idea behind The Devil Made Me Do It, which if assembled with more care would have been a nice tribute, but instead it gets lost in this slapdash job. (Anchor Bay)