All the Devil’s Angels (1978)

Ted Roter was a Belgian-born actor who’d been in perfectly mainstream and well-known TV shows in the 60s before deciding to move into the burgeoning hardcore field of the 1970s, directing his own starring vehicles under the name “Peter Balakoff” (that’s what you call living the dream, I suppose). As such, one of the more interesting spectacles provided by this film (originally called The Psychiatrist) from the Satanic Sickies collection is that of an actually competent lead performance (female lead Gena Lee’s not bad either); Roter/Balakoff is the psychiatrist of the original title, presiding over his own clinic for lovely young ladies who think they’ve been possessed by Satan. Some strange things have been happening at this place, namely a number of patients committing suicide, wherefore Jean, the Nancy Drew of porn, infiltrates the clinic undercover as a nurse to find out what’s going on. Needless to say, what’s going on is rather more than she probably expected; though the good doctor avers there’s no such thing as the devil or demonic possession, in his spare time he’s presiding over a satanic cult (I’ll bet the Scientologists would love this). This review sums the thing up as “a remarkable, almost unheard of, and nearly indecipherable glob of fuck-art-trash”, and that’s about the best description I can think of; the final explanation of events in the last reel trips things out into a new dimension of what-the-fuck beyond what we’ve already seen. Essentially it’s a straightforward (if extremely B-grade) horror-mystery that happens to have a lot of sex; it could, I think, be profitably remade as a straight horror film now. Roter clearly had some aspirations for his film beyond the conventional hardcore effort (as evinced by the unusually long running time (nearly 100 minutes; I don’t think either of the other features on the same disc runs over an hour), although it’s hard to deny his ambitions were greater than his ability; this was never going to be more than low-level pulp. Nice try, though, I’ll give him that.

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