Devil Times Five

APRIL 12, 2007

GENRE: KILLER KID, WEIRD
SOURCE: DVD (BUDGET PACK!)

Lovely: “Have you ever had a woman?”
Ralph: “I had a mother and two sisters but they got smushed by a bus.”

Well there you have it folks, possibly the least touching memory of a lost loved one in the history of cinema. To be fair, I should point out that the character is retarded. To be snarky, I should point out that the character is played by the film’s writer.

(Actually, kudos to the writer for writing himself as an idiot. It paved the way for Fright Reviews.)

You might have noticed that one of the quoted character’s names is “Lovely” (and she is. By far one of the hottest tramps I’ve ever seen in a 1970’s film about killer kids) There’s also another character named Papa Doc, but every time it’s said it sounds like Duck. Sadly, everyone else in the film has normal names like Brian and Harvey. There’s also a character named George who never appears in the film. Leif Garrett’s character blames him for a murder, and no one seems to question it. Maybe he’s the guy from Cathy’s Curse.

Devil Times Five is, of course, one of many 70s films (many in the public domain!) that I have been watching with increasing frequency, and by God I hope I never run out of them. I dunno what it is about this era, but between this, yesterday’s Cathy’s Curse, and last week’s The Manitou, I haven’t been this entertained with horror movies in years.

Fans of the film are well aware that the film had a troubled production (the first cut ran less than 40 minutes, so another director was brought in months later to pad the film to an acceptable running time), and enough has been written (mocked) about the resulting problems, so I won’t bother. Who cares if different actors appear to play characters we have barely seen thus far, or if entire scenes are played in slow motion (4 frames per second) to pad the time, or if it’s easier to just point out continuity non-errors? Why should we be confused when a character is woken up by a persistent "dumb car horn", only to get dressed, go downstairs and watch the car pull up to the house?

Or why should we know what the hell this is?

But there is still no excuse for the credits running as long as they do. At the SEVEN minute mark we’re only at the music by credit. And this isn’t some sort of Bond style thing where there’s an opening sequence followed by credits, no, they just run at a snail’s pace right from the get-go, finally finishing up around the time the first reel ends.

Actually, no, I gotta know: What the FUCK is this???

Quick question: Has anyone ever given you this excuse for not wanting to fool around? “I have a toothache, a backache, and I’m expecting the gout.” I would like to think this inane line was taken from life and not just some completely bizarre nonsense the writer came up with on his own.

The end is left for a sequel (instead of “The End”, we cleverly get “The Beginning”), which we sadly never got. Devil Times Six (or perhaps Devil Divided By Five) would definitely be welcome in my home. Perhaps Leif Garrett can take time out of getting arrested to film half of the sequel with long hair and the other half with short hair badly hidden by a wig.

Despite all of its problems, however, I walked away from the film having learned this important fact: “Lousy maniac drivers don’t deserve medals!”

What say you?

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