HORROR HALF-WEEK, Day 1: The Devil’s Hand (1961)

Welcome to TMP’s annual Horror Half-Week, a celebration of horror films in the four days leading up to and including Halloween! Today we begin with a review of 1961’s The Devil’s Hand.

Rick Turner (Robert Alda) is engaged, but his fiancée (Ariadne Welter) isn’t the only woman in his life. There’s another (Linda Christian) who has been visiting him in dreams.

One night, Rick finds himself mysteriously drawn to a doll shop, where he finds a doll that looks exactly like the woman from his dreams. Who is she, and what does the creepy doll shop have to do with her?

(Image via Movie Poster Shop)

(Image via Movie Poster Shop)

Rick searches for answers in 1961’s The Devil’s Hand, directed by William J. Hole, Jr.

The Devil’s Hand seems to be a barely-surviving film. I watched it on Hulu and the print was of horribly low quality — very washed out and fuzzy. If the print was in better condition*, it would be a nice-looking film. There are some cool special effects, including (of course) the portrayal of Rick’s ghostly dream woman.

*Let me know if you’ve seen/know of a better release of this film! I’m sure Hulu just put up what they could get for free or dirt cheap, haha.

The film has a fascinating premise and the story is, in general, quite well-executed. Rick becomes obsessed with the woman in his dream. “You’re a she-devil. You’re evil. But beautiful! Fascinating!,” he tells her.

The mood is very creepy, and there’s an unexpected cult-ish element to the story, which always makes things more interesting. Spooky dolls, human sacrifice, devil-worshipers… this film’s got it all!

Adding to the strange atmosphere, “surf rock”-style music is used… though most of the film takes place indoors, in the back room of a doll shop.

The Devil’s Hand isn’t a perfect film and would greatly benefit from some restorative work, but it’s a fun little watch. I enjoyed it. The score: 3.5/5 

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4 thoughts on “HORROR HALF-WEEK, Day 1: The Devil’s Hand (1961)

  1. Todd Benefiel says:

    Hey, you liked it! I thought it was pretty cool, too…a neat surprise for such a little-known B movie. And I thought it had some smarts, too, and I loved how Robert Alda always kept his wits about him, even with that hot babe tempting him at every turn. And at the end, did you get the feeling that maybe things were left open for a sequel?

    And to answer your question: Mill Creek includes it on two sets that I own, the Gorehouse Greats collection and Drive-In Cult Classics Volume 2. The latter states that the print is a ‘new transfer from a new fine grain film print’, and after checking it out just now…it looks really good. In any case, it has to be better than the Hulu print!

    Like

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