After escaping from, yet before returning to, Witch Mountain, ‘70s onscreen siblings KIM RICHARDS and IKE EISENMANN took a detour from their usual Disney fare to star opposite RICHARD CRENNA, YVETTE MIMEUX, and the cutest, most satanic German shepherd to ever grace the made-for-tv-movie screen. Back story on the dog: ‘60’s B-movie vamp MARTINE BESWICK along with two associates pay a visit to a puppy mill looking for a bitch in heat. Although hesitant to sell, the breeder eventually parts with his prized German shepherdess for $5,000. BESWICK and her crew chain the dog on a short leash in a barn with an inverted pentagram in the floor and burning candles everywhere which, if you really think about it, is the perfect setting for either a major fire or performing a black mass. The barn is used for the latter, and Satan is kind enough to send a canine demon to knock up the tethered shepherd. Meanwhile, somewhere across town, Mike and Betty Barry (CRENNA & MIMEUX) arrive home to find that their family dog has fallen prey to a hit-and-run accident. The death of the dog sours daughter Bonnie’s (RICHARDS) 10th birthday party, and she decides to blow it off for a bike ride with her brother Charlie (EISENMANN). The two don’t even make it out of the driveway before they are accosted by a creepy produce purveyor who, in addition to having a nice selection of greens, just happens to have a litter of possessed German shepherd pups in the back of his truck. Bonnie falls hard for a little scamp she names Lucky and, before long, the puppy with the glowing eyes unleashes its evil on the Barry household. Its first victim is the religious Mexican maid who is immolated when the sleeves of her housecoat brush up against the prayer candles she lights to ward off the dog. Next to go is the Great Dane from next door, followed shortly by his owner who turns up floating in his swimming pool. One by one, the Barry family members fall under the dog’s spell: daughter Bonnie becomes a bitch, son Charlie stops at nothing to win the student council election, and Mom Betty becomes a total whore and is pretty flippant about the affair she has with her son’s guidance counselor. The guidance counselor also has fatal run in with Lucky, and Mike finally puts two and two together about his family’s transformation when he finds the dog hanging around the crime scene. It was either that or catching his wife and kids chanting in front of a spooky painting with the dog late at night in the attic, who’s to say? Fresh from denial, Mike seeks advice from his local occult shop owner, unsuccessfully tries to shoot the dog at close range, and then jets off to South America for a pow-wow with a holy man who teaches him how to send the dog back to the hell from whence it came. Despite the dense amount of action packed into its 95 minute running time, DEVIL DOG falls short in the special effects department. After the laughable final showdown between Mike and Lucky, the family becomes un-possessed and son Charlie reminds all that there were at least nine other puppies in the litter.
- BESWICK‘s black mass barn buddies, especially the man in the mirrored sunglasses
- The poor maid, polyester and prayer candles do not mix!
- CRENNA is almost seduced by the blades of his lawn mower
- MIMEUX‘s quick change from Susie Homemaker to full-blown slut
- KIM RICHARDS Proactiv®-ready reflection in CRENNA‘s handheld mirror