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Satan's Princess

USA 1990
produced by
Bert I. Gordon for Sun Heat Productions
directed by Bert I. Gordon
starring Robert Forster, Lydie Denier, Caren Kaye, Phillip Glasser, Michael Harris, Ellen Geer, Jack Carter, Henry Brown, Marlena Giovi, Al Pugliese, Leslie Scarborough (as Leslie Huntly), Nick Angotti, Trent Nolan, Rena Riffel, RCB, J.P. Bumstead, Daryl Anderson, Michael D'Agosta, Julianna McCarthy, Marilyn Joi, Robin Bach, Keith Anthony, Arnold Bankston, Dan Leegant, Alex Sellar, Susan Sandbrerg, Jay Arlen Jones, D. Franki Horner, Holly Hawk, Debra Lamb, Alonzo Brown
written by Stephen Katz, music by Norman Henry Mamey, special makeup effects by David B. Miller

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Ex-cop Cherney (Robert Forster) is hell-bent on at least solving one last case he has tried and failed to solve while still on the force - the disappearance of young Karen (Leslie Scarborough), even if he hasn't got the first clue where to start ... and then model Erica (Rena Riffel) is brutally slaughtered and mutilated, and a photo of her and Karen is found with her possessions - so Cherney figures it's best to question Erica's model agency's boss Nicole St. James (Lydie Denier), who swears she has never ever met Karen though and claims to have nothing whatsoever to do with Erica's death of course ... which the audience knows is untrue since Erica's killer is actually her right-hand man. And indeed, Karen is actually Nicole's lesbian lover ...

Cherney's investigations hit a turning point when his former partner at the force Sal (Al Pugliese) finds Erica's diary and phones Cherney to tell him about the wild stuff about Satanic rituals found in that diary that are somehow linked to the Nicole's agency. And when Sal is killed before he can deliver the diary, it becomes personal for Cherney ... and he dates and has sex with Nicole, just to find out whether she has a certain tattoo connected to the case - she does. Eventually, Cherney finds Karen in Nicole's agency, but rather than return to her old life, she shoots herself dead before his very eyes.

While Cherney closes in on Nicole, more and more people who might be witnesses die, usually with Cherney looking on, and eventually, he finds out that Nicole, through some black magic, has possessed his son Joey (Phillip Glasser) to do her bidding, and Joey almost kills Cherney - but that only drives Cherney wild, and he pays a visit to Nicole, heavily armed, and first tries to burn her ... only to find out she's actually a demon in human form. But it seems he has won the upper hand, as Nicole steals Cherney's car for a hasty getaway, now knowing that he has turned it into a bomb trap, and ... she goes out with a bang.

Fan fave Debra Lamb makes a short but memorable appearance as a fire-eating topless dancer in a night club scene.

 

It's of course true that on close inspection, Satan's Princess doesn't make too much sense, and it also features a few too many too unimportant subplots to give the characters room to develop, subplots that also slow the narrative down at the beginning. But the longer the film goes on the more interesting and suspenseful it gets, and the finale, however trashy, is actually worth a look at least.

Not a masterpiece mind you, but good genre fun.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD