Sunday, March 15, 2009

Daughters Of Satan (1972)

1972 – Daughters Of Satan (A&S Productions/United Artists Corporation)

Director Hollingsworth Morse Story John [A.] Bushelman Screenplay John C. Higgins Producer Aubrey Schenck Associate Producer Vicente Nayve Music Richard LaSalle Cinematography Nonong Rasca Editor Tony DiMarco Camera Operator Jun Rasca Boom Man “Tinoy”/Florentino Corpuz Chief Electrician Julian Baldonado Wardrobe Vicente Cabrera Set Design & Construction Hernando Balon Set Dresser Mario Carmona Makeup Artist Fred C. Blau Jr. Assistant Makeup Artist Ricardo Villamin Hairdresser Carmelita Sioson Assistant to the Producer Ann Tait Unit Manager A. Corpuz Assistant Director Jose Velasco Sound Recording Levy Principe Sound Effects Editor Gene Eliot

Cast Tom Selleck (James Robertson), Barra Grant (Chris Robertson), Tani Phelps Guthrie (Kitty Duarte), Paraluman (Juana Rios), Vic Silayan (Doctor Dangal), Vic Diaz (Carlos Ching), Gina Laforteza (Andrea), Ben Rubio (Tommy Tantulco), Paquito Salcedo (Mortician), Chito Reyes (Guerilla), Bobby Greenwood (Mrs Postlewaite)

Review from the DVD Maniacs website:

Known the world over as the mustachioed Magnum P.I. and from his stint in Three Men And A Baby, future N.R.A. spokesperson Tom Selleck got an early start in Hollywood as the leading man in Hollingsworth Morse’s Daughters Of Satan. Morse was primarily a television director, having worked on such series as Lassie and Petticoat Junction, and seeing the actor best known Thomas Magnum running around in an exploitation film directed by someone so strongly associated with family viewing is a tad odd.

Selleck plays Jim Robertson, an art expert who is happily married to his wife, Chris (played by Barra Grant, starlet of a few short lived TV series) and living in the Philippians. While out perusing some of the shops in the area, Jim comes across a painting depicting the burning at the stake of three witches. The central witch in the painting bares a remarkable resemblance to his wife, so, being the romantic ladies man that he is, Jim buys it for her and brings it home. Some might think this an odd move for someone trying to impress their wife, but that thought apparently never crosses Jim’s mind, as no sooner has he brought it home and shown his wife than the picture is proudly displayed on the wall of their home.

Chris soon starts to exhibit some strange behavior, and begins to take on some of the characteristics of her medieval doppelganger, allying herself with two other local women that are spitting images of the other two witches depicted in the painting. Together, the three carry out Satan’s wished and attempt to murder Jim, who may or may not be a direct descendant of a famed conquistador responsible for executing the three witches depicted in the artwork way, way back in 1592.

If it all sounds rather goofy, it is. Typical of a lot of low budget seventies occult films, Daughters of Satan is pretty hard to take too seriously. Throw the Magnum P. I. connection into the mix and it gets downright funny (take for instance, the scene where Selleck pulls a gun and announces it as a .357 Magnum, or the fact that the film was written by a ‘Higgins’). Selleck more or less walks his way through the film and doesn’t really appear to be too happy to be there, while the supporting cast doesn’t do much better.

The film does have a couple of good qualities though. The soundtrack is sure to appeal to those into oddball horror themes, as it’s filled with all sorts of those wacky ‘ooooeeeeeooooo’ sounds that are used all too infrequently these days. There are also a couple of nude flagellation scenes involving the lovely Ms. Grant that, while appealing from an exploitation standpoint, feel pretty out of place in what would otherwise be a strictly PG rated outing, with the exception of a strange nude scene where one of the evil women tries to seduce our hunky leading man (hey, People magazine didn’t vote him one of the ‘50 Most Beautiful People In The World’ for nothing).

Daughters Of Satan is presented fullframe and appears to have been shot open-matte, as there weren’t really any instances where I felt that the picture looked cropped. Colors are fairly strong and only appear faded in a few scenes. Print damage, while present throughout, is minor as is grain. The problem is that there is quite a bit of compression artifacting going on and some scenes have trails present during any sudden movement. It’s watchable, but don’t go in expecting much visuals-wise.

The English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack is sufficient. Dialogue is clear and the levels are balanced nicely. There are a few instances where some background hiss is present but other than that this is a serviceable, if not particularly noteworthy, sound mix.

A goofy seventies devil cult film is given an unremarkable digital debut, but fans of Tom Selleck and his ultra-hairy chest should be happy to finally have this on DVD.


  1. great flick and awesome scenery

  2. Boo for coping the review in full but not including the name of the reviewer. It was written by Ian Jane! (I found the review via Wayback Machine).

    Anyhoo, I've just had the pleasure of watching the film for the first time – 17 years after Ian's reviews. Not the DVD release that Ian reviewed, though, but the new blu-ray (2018) from SCREAM! FACTORY. The blu-ray looks great and is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen. Still not much in regard to extras (trailer + still pix).
    I found the film to be wonderfully weird and it does that a very un-American BAD ending!