Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Robert Alda tells his fiancée (Ariadna Welter) that he's been plagued by creepy dreams of a dancing blonde woman. Once he is even compelled to get up in the middle of the night and head to a nearby curio store where he sees a doll with the dream woman's face. In the daylight, Alda and Welter stop by the shop, run by dollmaker Neil Hamilton, and find the doll on the shelf, near a doll that looks remarkably like Welter. It turns out that Hamilton is the leader of a Satanic voodoo cult that meets in the back of the shop—they worship a demon named Gamba—and when he sticks a pin in the Welter doll, she collapses in pain and winds up in an extended hospital stay, leaving Alda free to be seduced by Linda Christian, the real-life cult member from Alda's dreams. (Why the cult goes through such convolutions to snag the drab, passive, out-of-work Alda for their ranks is never explained. We also never see what the Satanists get out of their worship, and their rituals are not especially creepy.) When the cult snatches Welter to be sacrificed, will Alda manage to break free of their influence and save her? This is a pretty drab B-flick with little to recommend it. Alda is a personality-free leading man and Welter pretty much matches him in that department. Hamilton, an old pro from the classic era (and Commissioner Gordon on TVs Batman), acquits himself nicely, though I'm sure he wishes he were somewhere else. The low-budget sets make this film look like a cheap TV episode. The plot is OK but someone should have expended some effort into giving the cult more background and giving the characters more personality. Skip it. [DVD]

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