Curtis Harrington knew all about the occult, thanks to his friendships with Marjorie Cameron and Kenneth Anger. This made-for-TV movie, which originally aired on CBS on October 31, 1978, is all about a suburban family who just wants to have a nice dog and ends up with a Satanic pooch.
Ah man, made-for-TV movies are where it’s at. Seriously, what a magical time to be alive, when these movies just blasted their way into your home via network TV.
As featured in our Ten Horror Movie Dogs article, this movie tells the story of the Barry family — Mike (Richard Crenna!), Betty (Yvette Mimieux, Jackson County Jail, The Black Hole) and their kids Bonnie and Charlie (played by aunt of Paris Hilton Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann, who were in the Witch Mountain movies) — get a new German Shepherd from a fruit vendor after theirs dies in an accident.
Sired in a Satanic ceremony to make the world think that evil will triumph, this lil’ mutt is soon killing maids and making Mike try to stick his hand into a lawnmower, which seems like small potatoes for the hound of Hell. Somehow, the dog also makes a shrine to the First of the Fallen in the basement and shrugs off some gunshots.
Mike goes the whole way to Ecuador — as you do — where Victor Jory, the voice of Peter Pan records, teaches him how to imprison the canine’s soul for a thousand years.
Ken Kercheval — Cliff Barnes from Dallas — is in here, as are R. G. Armstrong (who was also menaced by the Devil in The Car, Race With the Devil and Evilspeak, which is some kind of record), Martine Beswick (who catfought with Racquel Welch in One Million Years B.C., played Bond girls in From Russia With Love and Thunderball, played Xaviera Hollander in The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington and was Sister Hyde in Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde) and Warren Munson, who played an admiral in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan and Uncle Bill in Ed and His Dead Mother.