Rick Turner (Robert Alda) and Donna Trent (Ariadna Welter) are engaged. Lately Rick has been having trouble sleeping. He’s been having visions of a beautiful woman in his sleep. One night he takes a walk to try to clear his head. Walking past a doll shop he sees in the window a doll that looks exactly like the woman he’s been seeing in his visions.

The next day he and Donna go to the shop to ask about the doll. The owner is Frank Lamont (Neil Hamilton). Frank says that Rick ordered the doll and paid for it. He also says that Rick gave him a photo of the woman in which to make the doll and that her name is Bianca Milan (Linda Christian). Rick denies it and says he’s never met the woman.

On a shelf is another doll that looks exactly like Donna. Frank says that that doll was ordered by someone else and is not for sale. When Rick and Donna leave the shop Frank takes the doll that looks like Donna and plunges a pin in it. At that moment Donna doubles over in pain. Rick takes her to the hospital where she is diagnosed with a heart spasm. The doctor says she requires bed rest.

That night Rick has another vision of Bianca. The next day he goes back to the doll shop and gets the Bianca doll. Her address is on the picture so he takes the doll to her apartment. Bianca tells Rick she is in a Tibetan cult that worships a god called Gamba the Great Devil God. She seduces him and wants him to join the cult. He agrees. Rick gets initiated into the cult by the High Executioner who happens to be Frank. The ritual takes place in a cult room downstairs from the doll shop.

All is good until Bianca gets the idea the Rick is still in love with Donna. Then hell hath no fury like a witch scorned.

“The Devil’s Hand” AKA “Witchcraft” “The Naked Goddess”, “Devil’s Doll” and “Live to Love” was released in 1961 and was directed by William J. Hole Jr. It is a low budget horror film.

It’s basically ridiculous. Since when do they have bongo and conga drums in a Tibetan ceremony? And as far as putting pins in dolls, that’s more voodoo than Tibetan. It would have come off better if they just made it a West Indian cult. Regardless of the culture clash, the more I watch the more interesting the movie got. It wasn’t less ridiculous, just more interesting. The plot is silly nonsense but it grows on you.

I wasn’t crazy about Robert Alda’s character. Not that his performance was bad because it wasn’t. It was good enough to make me not like the guy. But I don’t like cheaters anyway. Christian’s character, Bianca, was very sultry, sexy and sure of herself and what she wanted. I hated her too. Unfortunately Neil Hamilton just reminded me of Commissioner Gordon. I half expected him to call on Batman instead of that silly Gamba god in that, once again, ridiculous ceremony.

The best part of the movie is the opening credits theme song. It harkens back to beach parties and old fashioned rock and roll. The song was written by Baker Knight. He was a prolific song writer that wrote such hits as “The Wonder of You”, “Lonesome Town” and “Never Be Anyone Else But You”. Baker has written songs for Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson and Paul McCartney among many others. Baker died in 2005 at the age of 72. It really is a cool instrumental that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie.

Robert Alda is Alan Alda’s father.


Theme from devil's hand

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