Daughters of Satan


1h 30m 1972

Brief Synopsis

After a man buys a painting of a witch that resembles his wife, his wife is possessed by the spirit of the witch and plans his murder.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Horror
Release Date
Oct 1972
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
A & S Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Manila,Philippines; Manila,Phillippines; Manilla,Phillippines; Phillippines

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)

Synopsis

In Manila, Philippines, the dominatrix leader of a coven of satanic witches tortures a woman for straying from their ways. Meanwhile, at an antique store, museum curator James Robertson visits Carlos Ching, the store's proprietor, who contacted him on the pretext of selling an item to the museum. As Carlos talks to a garrulous customer about an elaborate ritual knife purportedly used by witches, Jim discovers an old painting, depicting conquistadors burning three women and a dog at the stake. Intrigued that the predominant woman looks like his wife Chris, Jim purchases the painting, which Carlos says is part of a set. At home, when Jim shows the painting to Chris, she surprises him by stating that it records the burning of the Duarte Coven in 1592. Later, disturbed by the painting and unable to sleep, Chris hears her name called, but decides she imagined it and returns to bed, as an angry gust of wind bursts through the open window. The next day, Chris forces herself to look at the painting. Upset by her likeness in it, she takes a walk and encounters a friendly dog, whom, without thinking, she calls Nicodemas. Before the dog runs off, she sees the name "Nicodemas" inscribed on his collar and wonders how she could have known his name. Later, while hanging the painting in his home office, Jim notices that the image of the dog has faded since the day before. He then informs Chris that the library confirmed there was a witch burning in 1592. Soon after, stern Juana Rios, the customer who was at Carlos' shop when Jim was there, arrives at the Robertsons' home, claiming to answer an ad for a housekeeper. Although Chris did not place the ad, Juana's forceful personality overcomes her reservations. While showing Juana the house, Chris realizes that Juana resembles the second witch in the painting and orders her to leave. However, Juana refuses, saying she has come to help Chris fulfill her destiny, and presents her with the knife she bought at Carlos' shop. Nicodemas, who resembles the dog in the painting, returns and attacks Jim, who then locks the animal in a shed until its owner can be found. That night, the second witch in the painting disappears. After dark, Jim is drawn outside when he sees a fire, and there sees three women, who vanish. A group of armed men then surround and threaten Jim, but inexplicably release him. On his way back home, Jim hears a dog and sees movement in the brush, but finds the ferocious Nicodemas is still locked in the shed. When he tells Chris what happened, she is confused and upset. The next day Jim visits the address on Nicodemas' collar and discovers it is a mortuary. Asserting he is in the wrong place, the mortician gives Jim directions to a similar-sounding street that was recently renamed. On his way out, Jim fails to see a coffin bearing his name and is unaware that a corpse being laid out was the woman tortured to death by the coven. Proceeding to the second address, Jim arrives at Carlos' store and finds him stabbed in the heart by the ritual knife. Attacked by a group of men who suddenly appear, Jim manages to escape and, feeling unsure of his sanity, visits psychiatrist Dr. Dangal, who fears he is still in physical danger. During their conversation, a desperate patient, Kitty, bursts in, crying that she is being forced to commit murder. Unaware that she is the dominatrix of a coven, Dangal walks her out of the room. When he returns, Jim reports that Kitty looks like the third witch in the painting. Later, Chris, in a trance, makes two attempts to kill Jim. In the first, she prepares to stab him with the ritual knife while they are picnicking, but is interrupted when Jim returns her crucifix necklace that he found on the floor of the car. The second time, she ignites some herbs given to her by Juana to suffocate Jim in his sleep, but when he awakens and saves himself, her trance is broken. One evening, Dangal visits to look at the painting, whose faded images have reappeared, and guesses that supernatural forces are using Chris as a weapon against Jim. He theorizes that the dog is a "familiar" that witches use to communicate with the devil and that the painting's images fade when a witch or the dog is active, and brighten when, like now, everyone is asleep. Dangal feels that only Chris's religion will protect her against these forces. As he studies the painting, Dangal watches it come to life, recreating the sounds and sights of the execution. Only by holding a figurine of the Virgin Mary toward the painting does Dangal return it to normal. After Dangal leaves, Jim witnesses the dog and witches again fade on the painting, and he sees a vision of three women dancing. Looking around the house and yard, Jim cannot find Chris, Juana or the dog and sees Chris's crucifix lying on the bed. As he is driving home, Dangal sees the women, and Kitty sets off an explosion that kills him. Soon after, Juana and the dog are back in their expected places, and Chris is asleep in bed. After Dangal's funeral, Kitty manipulates Jim into taking her home and unsuccessfully tries to seduce him. She shows him a painting depicting a different scene from the witch burning that features the Spanish magistrate who ordered the execution. According to the frame's inscription, the name of the magistrate, who resembles Jim, was Roberson , prompting Jim to recall a story that his ancestors owned a ranch in the Philippines. Kitty claims that Jim is the magistrate's descendant and that the women he burned take revenge on every succeeding generation of his family. Later, at a coven gathering, Chris is hung half-naked above sharp stakes, beaten, and accused of failing her "assigned task." To reconfirm Chris's faith in the Manila Assembly of Lucifer, Kitty forces her to spit on a crucifix. That evening, Chris drugs Jim's martini. Juana and Kitty then put him in his car, which they park precariously on a steep hilltop and place ice blocks under the tires. Afterward, they meet Chris at a restaurant she and Jim frequent. Introducing herself as Katarina Duarte, Kitty tells the owner that Jim drove off in a rage after quarreling with Chris. To establish an alibi, the three women order a meal. At 11:55 p.m., Jim begins to awaken as the melting ice blocks allow his car to teeter off the cliff. At midnight, the restaurant owner announces the "witching hour." Just as he rings a bell, Jim's car crashes down the hill in flames. Chris, Juana and Kitty then come out of a deep trance, feeling confused. Juana, now relaxed and friendly, introduces herself as Almina Remundo, a registered nurse. When Chris, who is worried about Jim, confides unexplainable feelings of guilt, Kitty recommends she visit Dangal. Upon returning home alone, Chris is relieved when Jim appears. He remembers little, but recalls escaping before the car plunged down the hill. The sight of the dog, which is now friendly to Jim, and the painting prompts Chris to feel that something is still awry, but Jim suggests they figure it out later. As they lie together on his office couch, the painted images fade. With tears in her eyes, Chris reaches for the knife and plunges it into Jim's back.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Horror
Release Date
Oct 1972
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
A & S Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Manila,Philippines; Manila,Phillippines; Manilla,Phillippines; Phillippines

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Portions of the film were shot in Manila, according to the Variety review. As noted in Daughters of Satan studio press materials and the Variety review for the A & S production Superbeast, Daughters of Satan and Superbeast (see below) were shot back-to-back in the Philippines, using many of the same crew, and were released as a double feature. Actor Vic Diaz appeared in both films, although in different roles.
       Daughters of Satan was the last feature produced by veteran Hollywood producer Aubrey Schenck (1908-1999), who owned A & S Productions, Inc. Although early Hollywood Reporter production charts list Allen Miner as the director of Daughters of Satan, only Hollingsworth Morse is credited onscreen, and Miner's contribution to the film, if any, has not been determined.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1972

Released in USA on video.

Released in United States 1972