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The Devil's Partner
The Devil's Partner
Actors: Edgar Buchanan, Jean Allison, Richard Crane, Spencer Carlisle, Byron Foulger
Director: Charles R. Rondeau
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
NR     2003     1hr 13min


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Movie Details

Actors: Edgar Buchanan, Jean Allison, Richard Crane, Spencer Carlisle, Byron Foulger
Director: Charles R. Rondeau
Creators: Hugh Hooker, Edward Cronjager, Howard Epstein, Laura Jean Mathews, Stanley Clements
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Alpha Video
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 06/24/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1962
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1962
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 13min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Unusual enough to be fairly entertaining
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 07/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Devil's Partner features what has to be the worst deal with the devil ever made. If you're as old as Pete Jenson, the old codger in this movie, two years may sound like a long time - but, come on, the guy agrees to sell his soul to the devil for just two measly years of youth and life? Old Scratch may be a hard bargainer, but surely a guy could work out a better deal than this one. After all, Pete's "nephew" moves into Pete's filthy, old one-room shack, ends up working as a mechanic, and still has to resort to his own personal ritualistic magic to try and get the girl he obviously likes. If I were to sell my soul for just two years of borrowed time, I'd better be rolling in tons of money, surrounded by Misty Mundae, Jenna Dewan, Rose McGowan, Shannon Elizabeth and a bunch of other fiendishly hot women in various states of undress. This guy is bleeding himself in bizarre rituals just trying to get a kiss from a pretty average looking lady.

In terms of the plot, young Nick Richards shows up in Furnace Flats (where, as the characters will continually tell you, it's really hot) four days after his uncle's Pete's death. He seems like a nice enough guy who makes friends easily enough - especially with Nell Lucas (Jean Allison), who seems to be the only woman under fifty in the entire town. The local service station owner, David Simpson (Richard Crane), has designs on Nell already, but their engagement is threatened after David's German Shepherd turns on him and does a number on his face (oddly enough, the dog obviously attacks him on the left side of his neck, yet he comes up bleeding from the right side of his face). Anyway, David gradually turns into a hateful sourpuss, thinking his newly-scarred face will drive Nell away. Meanwhile, as all of this is going on, Nick is playing the old trusted friend card as hard as he can play it. Were it not for a few minor details (namely, a series of violent, suspicious deaths), Nick's master plan might actually have worked, too.

I have to say, though, that this is really quite an interesting little film. It's rather formulaic, yet it goes about its business in its own special sort of way, especially when it comes to the film's few deaths (let's just say the killer doesn't leave any direct, physical evidence at the crime scenes). Ed Nelson is pretty good in his dual role of Peter/Nick, but there are a number of unusual things about several others among the cast of characters. First, you have Edgar Buchanan, best known as Uncle Joe on Petticoat Junction, playing Doc Lucas, the town's doctor and time of death determiner extraordinaire (he can just glance at a body face down in a ditch and tell you exactly when the victim died, yet he can't determine a cause of death to save his life). Then there's the local sheriff, Tom Fuller (Spencer Carlisle), who has trouble tying obvious clues together but excels at the art of hunches based on utterly fantastic, reason-defying ideas. And we can't forget the increasingly whiny, defeatist David, who is only a shadow of Rocky Jones, the hero Richard Crane played in a series of cheesy science fiction B-movies in the mid-1950s.

While it was not released until 1962, The Devil's Partner was actually filmed in 1958. I can't explain the delay, but I can say that this film is worlds better than a lot of low-budget stinkers that passed under the bridge during those four years. All things considered, I would definitely say that this film is worth a look. Horror fans won't see any gore to speak of (the goat sacrifices, for example, take place offscreen), but there's just something different and compelling about this film. A word of caution, though: don't go getting your hopes up of seeing some half-naked blonde riding a centaur during the film - in the case of The Devil's Partner, the DVD cover is decidedly misleading."
A hoot
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | 07/19/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This late 1950's very obscure black and white movie is usually referred to quite highly among horror fans (at least what i've read about this film). So I purchased this cheapie budget DVD.
Well the print quality leaves something to be desired. I know this particular DVD company does NOT restore it's films before releasing them, but then again to be fair, few budget DVD companys do. I have quite a few films released by this company and most of the prints are better than what we get here with "The Devils Partner". In general though I have to recommend buying from this company only if you can't get a better print elsewhere and this version is taken from an old film print in not too good condition (it seems that most of it's films are in public domain which means anybody can release them). However, they so far are the only company to release the early 60's curisoity-and personal favorite-"The Sound Of Horror".
Anyway back to the "Devils Partner". Well it seems like Satan decides to come to earth in the form of a human being to do, well something or other. There's one or two decent scenes as I remember (I last watched this several months ago so i'm doing this from memory)but after the start of the movie where Satan manages to bring himself back into our world things come grinding to a hault.
It seems Satan's "plan" involves taking a job as a gas station attendent in some cow-poke town (I believe somewhere in Texas, if i'm remembering correctly)where he becomes the ultimate customer service gas station jockey, treating all the regular customers with respect and quick service. Wow, what a plan. If this is all Satan is capable of we might discover we no longer have the need for organized religion.
The movie is slow moving for sure. Eventually Satan is discovered (maybe he didn't fill someones tank up all the way and they discovered his secret identity)and he is dispatched. But this is a hard film to stick with, even for fans of older black and white horror movies-a group I am most certainly A part of.
I don't recall ever seeing this on TV growing up as a kid in the 60's oddly. But I can assure you it's certainly not for the shocking content of the movie. And no, this movie is not done tongue in cheek.
If you're in the mood for a "so bad it's good" movie though, well, it doesn't rank up there with "Plan 9 From Outer Space" that's for sure, but it is good for a hoot if seen in the right state of mind (or mindlessness)..."
The Adventures of Maddie, the Crime Solving Wonder Dog
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 08/31/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I was drawn to The Devil's Partner (1962) by one thing, that being the artwork on the DVD cover. In case you can't see it, the Alpha Video DVD release features a half nekkid woman brandishing a torch, riding on the back of seemingly angry centaur (one of a race of monsters having the head, trunk, and arms of a man, and the body and legs of a horse), through a spooky looking graveyard during the night. Well, I watched this film last night, and there wasn't a scene anywhere in the feature that even remotely resembled that which is depicted on the DVD case. Directed by Charles R. Rondeau, whose primary work seems to include directing certain episodes on various television shows like "77 Sunset Strip" (1958), "The Wild Wild West" (1965), and "Kojak" (1973) to name a few, the film stars Ed Nelson (Attack of the Crab Monsters, Night of the Blood Beast, The Brain Eaters), Jean Allison (Edge of Fury), and Richard Crane (House of the Damned). Also appearing is Spencer Carlisle (The Girl in Lovers Lane), Byron Foulger (The Magnetic Monster, High School Big Shot), Claire Carleton (Unwed Mother), and Edgar Buchanan (The Desperadoes, Shane), probably best known for his role as 'Uncle Joe' on the mid 1960s television series "Petticoat Junction".

As the film begins we see a crusty, old hermit outside his shanty picking up one of the goats milling about and taking it, I don't think I like where this is heading...once inside the man performs some sort of sacrificial ceremony (at least that's all he did), to which we cut to credits played over scenes of a Greyhound bus traveling along the road. The bus stops at a place called Furnace Flats and a man, whom we later learn is named Nick Richards (Nelson) gets off and inquires at the local diner about his uncle, who turns out to be the crusty, old hermit we saw in the beginning. Anyway, Nick learns from the sheriff his uncle died under mysterious circumstances and proceeds to move into the now vacant shanty where he meets Nell (Allison), daughter of the local doctor (Buchanan), who has come around for some goat's milk as apparently her father uses it in his practice. Nick takes a liking to Nell, but she's going with the local gas station owner named David (Crane). Once settled in, Nick begins performing odd rituals that apparently result not only in the death of various individuals, but also David getting mauled and disfigured by his dog (he sure ain't gonna win no beauty contests now). Anyway, while David's on the mend (David turns into quite the drama queen after his `accident'), Nick offers to run the filling station, allowing him to horn in on David and Nell's relationship, all while causing a couple more bizarre deaths. Eventually the sheriff, through the aid of his Yorkshire terrier named Maddie, turns up some interesting clues (seriously, the dog uncovered more in five minutes than the mentally deficient sheriff did in five days) possibly implicating Nick in the recent negative population trend, along with the notion he may not be who he appears...

While I was disappointed at the lack of scantily clad women and centaurs in this film, as depicted on DVD case artwork, I did think this was an interesting, albeit slightly discordant, feature. The story may have lacked a sound structure and a sense of continuous flow, the film did possess some menial charms and an overall sense of oddness, both of which helped keep my interest throughout. The acting is decent enough for this kind of film (Ed Nelson reminds me of a low rent Robert Vaughn), as is the direction and production values. I did learn quite a few things from this film, including the following...

1. People who live in hot climates sure like to complain about the heat (one would think at some point they'd either get used to it or move).
2. A cleaned up shanty is still a shanty.
3. Goat's milk has medicinal purposes but sours quicker than cow's milk due to its richness.
4. Back in the day you could get six and a half gallons of gas for under three bucks.
5. Transubstantiation takes a lot out of a body.
6. Every town has a boozehound.
7. Drunks like oversized women who operate diners.
8. Women who run diners keep their dough in their bras rather in the cash register.
9. Drunks, while possessing easily malleable wills, are not good tools of evil due to their unreliability and the fact they have absolutely no stomach for animal sacrifice.
10. In a small town your business is everyone else's business, especially when it comes to your banking activities.
11. Small town sheriffs don't need a search warrant but rather only a hunch to enter your domicile while you're out perpetrating evil.
12. If you're trying to conceal a crudely drawn pentagon of evil scrawled on the floor of your shanty, use something heavier than a throw rug to cover it up lest some nosy mutt gets in and uncovers it.
13. When pitting a wino against a horse, always bet on the horse.
14. Minions of evil don't sweat, regardless the heat.

I spoke of a couple of animal sacrifices earlier, but none are actually show on the screen. All we see is a shadow on the wall and some sound effects indicating said sacrifice took place. There is a wee bit of blood, but over all things are about as tame as you might expect given the time the film was released. As far as the satanic stuff, it's more or less a general sense of evil, as the feature doesn't delve into many specifics. All in all there's some fun to be had here, as long as you keep your expectations fairly low and aren't one to get hung up on the slight lack of coherence in various plot elements and uneven pacing.

The picture, presented in black and white fullscreen (1.33:1) on this Alpha Video DVD release starts out rough, but gets a little better as the film progress. That's not to say it's great, but the quality is decent enough for the price. There are a few scenes where frames are missing, but it's nothing you can't fill in for yourself. The audio is pretty decent, although I'm unsure the format. There aren't any extras except for the standard display of DVD covers for other Alpha Video releases.

Hope You Guessed My Name...
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 07/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Old Pete Jenson (Ed Nelson in old man make-up) is near death. Luckily, he sacrifices a goat to satan just before dying. Pete re-emerges as his own young nephew, Nick Richards (also Nelson), and sets out to destroy many lives in the small town of Furnace Flats. Nick has the demonic ability to make pet dogs attack their masters, as well as being able to turn himself into various animals at will! Nick's got a crush on a local gal. Too bad she's already engaged to be married to someone else. "No problem!" thinks the Nickster, "I'll just get rid of loverboy!" Can Nick be defeated before his evil plans are fulfilled? Only the sheriff and Doc Lucas (Edgar "Uncle Joe" Buchanan) seem aware of Nick's true identity. I like this movie a lot. It's creepy enough all the way through. Probably Ed Nelson's best role..."