The Halloween Top 13:The Devil Made Me Do It #9: The Devil's Hand (1962)
Lisa and the Devil though his scenes ended up on the cutting room floor. Alda is convincing as a man possessed by lust or magic, or a combination of the two, to disregard all the bad decisions he makes. Ultimately, his character is redeemed, but honestly can you look at Linda Christian and not be tempted. In her younger days, Christian had been in Tarzan films as well as appearing as the first Bond girl on the TV version of Casino Royale. When she made The Devil's Hand, she was 39 years old better looking by far than today's skin and bones starlets.. Christian was pure bombshell, and even though she was almost always clothed from neck to toe, she oozed sex. Strangely, the mousy Ariadna Welter, her rival for Rick's affections, was her actual flesh and blood sister.
Play Misty for Me, and it is clear that he was already very attracted to suspense as a genre in his treatment of The Devil's Hand. The film sets up suspense in a classic Hitchcockian manner (the audience knows more than the characters) and uses this wisely to push forward a story that relies on cult meetings to progress its story. The reason it makes it on this list, and this high on the list, is simple. While the script is well paced, the acting suitable, and the film making acceptable, the crazy misinformation piled on top of this made up "satanic" cult. I have a sneaking suspicion that Camba started off life as Satan before the script was toned down. However the racial insensitivity, which casts basically any non-Western religion as devil worship, was an attitude which I suspect was common in the early '60's and one not totally dead even today.
That brings me to the end of #9 on the countdown, but don't forget to join me back here for the 8 days leading up to Halloween for more Satanic panic. (Also tomorrow reader lists start!)
This ones online in its full length format so check it out, and let me know if you give Satan's exploration gem a hand up or a smack down.