Wizened old Pete Jensen lives in a one room shack in the town of Furnace Flats. After selling his soul to the devil, Pete dies. A few months later a young man shows up telling everyone that he is Nick Richards (Ed Nelson), Pete’s nephew. Since no one in town liked Pete and no one knew he had any relatives, everyone is a little suspicious of the new guy in town.
Sheriff Tom Fuller (Spencer Carlisle) has a chat with the newly arrived Richards and tells him that his uncle died not long ago. Richards tells him that the reason he is in town is because he received a letter from his uncle telling him that he wasn’t feeling well. The Sheriff tells him that he didn’t die of natural causes and he suspects Pete was murdered. There was a lot of blood around him as well as one of Pete’s goats. The goat had been slaughtered.
At the police station Richards meets Doc Lucas (Edgar Buchanan). Richards then moves into Pete’s old shack. The doctor’s daughter Nell (Jean Allison) stops by to pick up some goat milk for some of her father’s patients. Nell is engaged to David Simpson (Richard Crane). David owns the local gas station. Not long after Richards settles in strange things begin to happen to some of the town folk. Harry Matthews (Brian O’Hara) dies of apparent heart attack, even though he never had heart problems, after drinking some goat milk. David is attacked by his own dog and his face mauled. A plastic surgeon that was coming to town to look at David’s injuries runs into a cow in the middle of the road and is killed instantly. The town drunk, Papers (Byron Foulger), is trampled by a horse. Lots of animals seem to be involved in the recent deaths.
What the town doesn’t know is that Richards is actually Pete Jensen. His pack with the devil has allowed him to return to Furnace Flats as a young man to take revenge on those he views as enemies. All except Nell. Nell he tries to subtly woo away from David. Sheriff Fuller, however, is getting more suspicious with each murder. He finds a pentagram drawn on the floor of Jensen’s old shack. There’s goat’s blood inside the pentagram and a skinned goat buried in the back yard. The sheriff’s dog, who loves everyone, is hostile to Richards. What’s with this seemingly mild mannered man that never sweats, even in this summer heat wave?
“Devil’s Partner” AKA “The Devil’s Partner” AKA “Enter the Devil” was released in 1961 and was directed by Charles R. Rondeau. It is a low budget horror movie. The film was made in 1958 but not released until it was purchased by Roger and Gene Corman’s company Filmgroup. Technically it is not a Roger Corman movie since his only contribution to the film is in it finally being distributed.
I was surprised by this movie. It was a lot better than I thought it would be. I like when that happens. Not great mind you, but it was interesting enough to keep me watching. Yes, it’s low budget and the script is basically a string of plot devises to get you from one murder to another but this is not the point of the movie. The point is to provide a spooky and somewhat creepy occult style movie that provides entertainment. To that point they basically hit the nail on the head.
It also has a decent cast of actors. There are quite a few people in the movie that you’ve seen before, some more than others. The most well known are Edgar Buchanan who was Uncle Joe in the television series “Petticoat Junction” and Richard Crane as Rocky Jones from “Rocky Jones Space Ranger”.
What the movie doesn’t have is a centaur with a scantily clad woman on its back carrying a torch like on the very impressive movie poster. The name of the demon that Pete sells his soul to is Jezzer Hora. Sounds mystic until you find out that Jezzer is a nickname for Jeremy or Jeff and Hora is a Romanian dance.