THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER (1973)
Article 4498 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jeannot Szwarc
Featuring Shelley Winters, Belinda Montgomery, Robert Foxworth
What it is: What happens when you can’t choose your relatives
Upon the death of her mother, a young woman returns home and ends up moving in with a friend of her mother’s. She begins to discover some very troubling things about her past… including the identity of her father.
No, this isn’t an imitation of ROSEMARY’S BABY, but it seems quite obvious that this TV-movie was heavily inspired by it. One of the strengths of this movie’s inspiration was that the devil-worshipers in that one seemed so normal at first; here they’re pretty creepy from the get-go. But then, given the title of the movie, it doesn’t seem like it’s building up to a great surprise in its central revelation. In the end, the movie didn’t have much in the way of surprises for me, though I do have to admit to being charmed by at least one twist. There’s some interesting touches to the cast; given that Jonathan Frid was one of TV’s first great vampires, it’s interesting here to see him in a Bela Lugosi-style role – the mute manservant. And Abe Vigoda’s performance gave me the feeling that he was quite capable of channeling the spirit of Boris Karloff if he wanted to. All in all, this was okay.