The Devils Messenger (1961)

Satan (Lon Chaney Jr.) sends a young woman (Karen Kadler) back to Earth to collect more souls for him. The three stories tell of the souls that are collected.

Director: Herbert L. Strock

Cast: Lon Chaney Jr., Karen Kadler, Michael Hinn, Ralph Brown

MPAA Rating: N/A

Fun Fact: The three stories in the film are off a television show 13 Demon Street.

You have probably seen a film that had some potential but, kind of fell flat. That’s what hurts The Devils Messenger in a way. I love horror movies that have the anthology feel to them. In a way that gives the film a new life as you have a few mini films inside a feature length picture. That’s a positive with this one.

So, what hurts the film? It feels rushed at 75 minutes. You get the stories but, they feel rushed. You don’t have much time to set up a great payoff in the story. The first story talks about a crazy photographer that is obsessed with a girl. It feels rushed as the ending comes out of nowhere. The second story is probably the worst of the bunch. A scientist is in love with this girl that is trapped in ice. Something happens and she dies. We don’t know why he’s in love with her or what his motives are. The third story is probably the best of the bunch with a guy that is trying to prevent his death that is predicted by a fortune teller. The third story has a little bit more time than the other two. Now if it was a bit longer, we might have had a hidden gem in our hands.

The parts with Lon Chaney Jr. are simple but, well-acted. He’s one of the greatest horror actors of all time and it was nice to see him doing something like this. You could tell it was towards the end of his career so the easier roles were coming his way.

Another thing that I liked was the legit creepy ending. For the time that this film came out, it was what was going on in the world. I won’t spoil it because if you want to see the film then you won’t get the effect that I did with it.

Overall The Devils Messenger has lots of potential but, kind of falls flat. If the filmmakers just had a little more time then we might have had a hidden gem in the horror genre. I would suggest seeing it for the Lon Chaney Jr. parts and seeing the ending.

Verdict: Middle Ground

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