The Curator of Schlock #132 by Jeff Shuster

Daughters of Satan

Satan, leave our daughters alone! Just leave them alone!

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Not for nothing, but when my Blu-ray player did the whole Grace Notes thing for my Brotherhood of Satan DVD, it read the disc as The Essential Bugs Bunny Volume 1. I guess that’s neither here nor there. This week, I dug around in the bowels of free Amazon Prime instant video and discovered a movie called Daughters of Satan. It’s not very good, despite featuring Tom Selleck, star of TV’s Magnum, P.I. and Blue Bloods. Can you believe Tom Selleck turned down Indiana Jones? Maybe Spielberg would have required him to shave that mustache off. I wonder what Selleck looks like without his mustache. He could be a totally different person and we wouldn’t even know. it Without his mustache, Tom Selleck could be none other than Steve Gutenberg!

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It’s the beginning of hurricane season down here in sunny Florida, the time of year when torrential downpours knock the pollen off of our trees, kicking it into the air so Floridians like your Curator of Schlock end up hopping themselves up on Benadryl so they don’t sneeze to death, but Benadryl makes me tired and/or depressed which doesn’t bode well for this review. In 1972’s Daughters of Satan, Tom Selleck plays James Robertson, a purveyor of rare paintings and antiquities. So Robert Jameson-I mean James Robertson-buys a painting from one of the local antique dealers who is also a warlock or something of some sort.

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Yeah, the antique dealer was seen at the beginning of the film bearing witness to some girl being tortured by some New Jersey housewife in a cape and purple leotard. The credits list her name as Kitty Duarte (Tani Guthrie) and she’s the head of a coven who are all about worshipping Lucifer and Beelzebub and all the other demons and imps. I think Kitty refers to it as the Manila branch of the Church of Lucifer or some such nonsense. Manila…I don’t know what that is. Oh, it’s the capital of the Philippines. I’ve never been, but props to the producers for picking such an exotic locale for their little horror movie. Nothing screams terror like an island paradise

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I think I’ve lost the plot. Oh yeah, Robertson buys this painting of witches being burned at the stake because one of the witches looks like his wife, Chris (Barra Grant). Strange things start happening after he brings that painting into his house. His wife starts hearing voices. The dog in the painting fades away and then a similar looking dog appears on their property, all mean and snarling. Robertson goes back to the dealer only to find the warlock with a knife sticking out of his chest. A gang of Satanists chases after him, but Robertson narrowly escapes.

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 Robertson tells a local shrink about what’s going on and the doc tells him the painting is cursed and that a witch’s coven is after him. I have to say that’s rather refreshing. Usually, these guys try to psychoanalyze the supernatural away, but this shrink outright tells him that it’s black magic.  Will Robertson and his wife get out of town before it’s too late? Of course not. By the way, one of the members of the coven is a soda jerk who takes erotic photos of dead bodies, but that’s neither here nor there.

Actually, that’s just eew.

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Jeffrey Shuster 1

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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