Really puts the cult in cult classic
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 02/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Devil's Hand was one of the earlier films to deal with the subject matter of devil-worship, but don't expect anything too shocking in this surprisingly good 1961 suspense thriller (alas, there's no blood or nudity whatsoever). Robert Alda stars as Rick, a mild-mannered fellow heading for a seemingly idyllic life with his fiancée Donna (Ariadna Welter). Then he starts dreaming about an attractive blonde who comes to haunt him both day and night. Walking around one sleepless evening, he comes upon a doll shop with a doll in the window that looks exactly like the girl in his dreams. The mystery deepens when the doll maker speaks to him by name and informs him that he is the one who ordered the custom-made doll. On a return trip to the shop with his girl Donna, he discovers another doll that looks just like his fiancée. You're thinking voodoo, aren't you? If you aren't, you should be - even though it's passed off as witchcraft in the story. The mystery blonde witch, Bianca (Linda Christian) soon makes stronger contact with Rick, and all it takes is a little smooching to make Rick declare his love and agree to join Bianca in her worship of the devil-god Gamba. It's not easy being a Gamba worshipper, as each full moon means a loyalty test for one of the flock. For those Gamba deems unworthy, it's the end of the line.
Rick walks a fine line of loyalty to his new god, never quite forgetting Donna, who has been hexed right into the local hospital. Donna, as you might expect, makes for the ultimate loyalty test for Gamba's newest novitiate. It's all fairly predictable, but there's just something about The Devil's Hand that makes it more interesting than it has any right to be. A lot of it, I think, has to do with Neil Hamilton's performance as the leader of the Gamba cult - then again, maybe it's just the fact that it took me the whole movie to figure out why his face was so familiar - he went on to play Commissioner Gordon on TV's Batman."
Linda Christian as a beautiful voodoo temptress
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 12/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For fans of B-grade horror films, THE DEVIL'S HAND is a rare treat. The story is about a mild-mannered guy called Rick (Robert Alda), happily engaged to pretty Donna (Ariadna Welter). But Rick begins to have strange dreams involving a mysterious woman who beckons to him. And whilst browsing the window of a doll shop, he sees a doll that looks just like his dream girl. The woman soon reveals herself as Bianca (Linda Christian), a stunning blonde with an hourglass figure and killer wardrobe. Bianca draws Rick into an underground voodoo cult called Gamba.
For fans of B-starlet Linda Christian, this film is fantastic. Ariadna Welter, Christian's sister in real life, is lovely in one of her rare American horror films (she was a regular scream queen in Mexican productions). Stage veteran Robert Alda adds a great dimension to his role, and the character's psychological dilemma is well played-out. THE DEVIL'S HAND offers a few fun thrills. Alpha's DVD offers a watchable print in addition to the trailer."
If Edgar Allan Poe Had Written "Manos: The Hands Of Fate"
Robert I. Hedges | 01/25/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
""The Devil's Hand" is a obscure movie about devil worship in middle income America. It gets two stars for unintentional hilarity and brevity. The quick version is that an ordinary man, Rick Turner (Robert Alda), gives up his entire existence (including his fiancée) when ensnared in a Satanic cult by a witch via thought projection. Early in the film this manifests itself by having him mysteriously drawn to a weird doll shop. It turns out that Frank Lamont, the man who runs this shop, is also the "High Executioner" of the cult and holds rituals and human sacrifices in the stockroom in back. It will not surprise you to see Alda's fiancée (well, ex-fiancée by the end of the film) Donna (Ariadna Welter) as the surprise human sacrifice in the gripping conclusion. There is actually nothing here that will surprise you, as the plot is predictably straightforward right through the end, 71 long minutes after it started.
You might think that this would be a captivating subject for a film, and indeed it could be. Here, though, it isn't for two primary reasons: first, Alda has no issues giving himself over to "Gamba" (as the devil-god is known); second, the film is a showcase for congas and bongos as well as interpretative voodoo dancing. These two ingredients skewer any interest in whatever else may be going on in the film.
Watch for Neil Hamilton (Commissioner Gordon on the "Batman" series) as Frank Lamont in as good of a performance as could be expected given the material, and Bruno VeSota, who many will no doubt remember as Seltzer from the Jerry Warren classic "The Wild, Wild World of Batwoman." While it featured ultra-annoying music, terrible dream sequences, and a ridiculous plot, I gave "The Devil's Hand" two stars for sincerity and the fact it was short."