It Played Detroit! – Demon Witch Child
With de Ossorio on my mind thanks to the Loreley’s Grasp, I came across an ad for his Exorcist style film playing Detroit. Knowing that it received very little distribution through Coliseum, it came as a nice surprise that it was in the Metro area for a week starting August 19, 1978 playing at the Palms downtown.
Marián Salgado, who was the voice of Linda Blair’s character in the Spanish prints of The Exorcist as well as being one of the children in Who Can Kill a Child?, has her only starring role as Susan Barns, the child possessed through the forces of evil provided by some magic necklace hidden in her teddy bear by a Gypsy witch (familiar Franco face Kali Hansa). It appears that Susan is a near look alike of an old witch who vandalized a church and kidnapped some babies in the name of Satan and wants to possess her soul after killing herself after jumping out of a (Sugar Glass) window. Of course, the rest of the film is filled with a sub plot of a Priest who’s questioning his own life who performs the exorcism at the end (and even get’s one-upped by the possessed Susan in a conversation as well). There are some funny moments here and there to keep at least the most dedicated B-Movie watcher amused when the possession takes hold.
The special effects are right on the very low end of the budget scale and the music is not as effective as it should be, but for some reason the cheapness and occasional wit makes it perfect for some quiet night in front of the screen of tube (Code Red has this on DVD, by the way!). It certainly does not rank up there with the classic Blind Dead films, but it made it’s way through several indie VHS releases that were found at well stocked Mom and Pop places (one, released by All Seasons Entertainment, was the one I rented for years from a place in Flat Rock…all of the good ones are long gone, so I thank you Midnite Video, some other place I forgot the name of that was on Telegraph, and even Mammoth).
It’s pretty cool to see the old witch going out the way she did as she was being interrogated, and some of Susan’s scenes are pretty funny in a bratty way. Unlike The Exorcist, which is a very well made classic Horror, this is more of a B level take with some pointed lines and a sad ending that can be found only in Independent and Low budget productions. It’s not well produced, but some of us like it for that B level Euro Horror style.
In other words, perfect for viewing in a downtown area in the Late 70’s with very few in the audience.
Interesting that they put the good streetwise Urban Drama Emma Mae Directed by Cult Movie Favorite Jamaa Fanaka as the second feature, but I’ve seen more mismatched pairings. In the end, it was at least a good fit for where this played for a week.