Demons of the Dull: “The Devil’s Hand” (1962)


Commissioner Gordon goes rogue as a leader of a voodoo sect in the silly but enjoyable “The Devil’s Hand”

     This Satanic cheapie moves the mystery of voodoo cultism from the usual Caribbean climes to a pasteboard backdrop of urban America. Robert Alda plays Rick Turner, a completely charmless man who for some inexplicable reason is desired by almost every woman he encounters despite the fact he spends the entire film either grimacing or smoking enough cigarettes to give an entire West Virginia town black lung. Though engaged to a hapless Ariadne Welter, he is sleeplessly possessed of nocturnal visions of Linda Christian doing a very poor imitation of Isadora Duncan supposedly suspended in clouds but actually on a barely invisible Formica floor. She, of course, is inextricably woven into the supernatural cult led by TV’s Commissioner Gordon, Neil Hamilton, who is immediately identifiable as the chief meanie as he, by far, has the most sinister hairline.

The cultists worship the devil God Camba (an altered reference to Ganga Bois?) who apparently brings riches to followers asking only they show their loyalty by being unempathetic with the world around them. (Sounds like an average crowd in any movie house lately.) Members of the cult sit around a rather tacky basement watching pseudo Alvin Ailey dances accompanied by the most lethargic bongo player in the history of cinema, while a suspended Wheel of Fortune armed with obviously rubber daggers hovers over seemingly randomly chosen members who are “tested” for loyalty by spinning the wheel in a game of Swiss Army Knife Roulette and then dropping it on them to see whether they are skewered by an actual blade. None of it makes a great deal of sense and a great deal of the film depicts Hamilton as the cult leader Francis Lamont officiating the satantic rituals behind a podium that is clearly a hostess desk from a Chinese restaurant and gleefully dispatching his membership roster with the use of voodoo dolls.

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in 1960's movies, Drive-In Movies, Film Reviews, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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