THE DEVIL’S PARTNER (1958)
Article #64 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 5-19-2001
Posting date: 10-2-2001
An old man makes a pact with the devil. A few days later, his nephew rolls into town to discover that the old man was found dead, and has already been buried at the town’s expense. He takes over the old man’s shack, and then a series of strange deaths occur. A man suffering from TB dies of a coronary after drinking some milk from one of the old man’s goats; the owner of a gas station is attacked by his faithful dog, etc. The local sheriff begins to investigate.
This “pact with the devil” film sat on the shelf for four years before it was released. The ads for the movie show a woman riding the back of a centaur; five minutes into the movie, you will know no such scene is going to occur, as the cheapness of the movie becomes evident. For all that, it’s watchable enough, but the plot is poorly thought out. The death of the old man who drinks the goat’s milk serves no purpose whatsoever, and the wino character is nothing but a badly contrived plot device to pass on crucial information to the sheriff. Also, the nature of the powers granted by the devil seems to change in midstream; the nephew begins by being able to control animals, but later has the power to change into them instead. Though this latter power may seem more impressive, he uses it at times where he would have been better off controlling another animal instead of putting himself at risk. This is one badly plotted movie.