“Jump Cuts” reveals the thoughts that swirl through my head as I watch famous (or infamous) movies. This time it’s The Devil Within Her, an unintentionally funny horror film from 1975 about a stripper (played by Joan Collins) who rejects the pervy groping of the dwarf at her club, only to have him curse her unborn child, who turns into a possessed tyke once delivered. That’s not very nice now, is it? Then again, it’s just as squirmy for us to watch because it’s so bland. And you want it to be better.
1. I’ve always had a thing for Joan Collins. She’s hot.
2. This is one of those post-Rosemary’s Baby movies that tried to make the little ones look evil. I mean, many of them are, but not this one. The kid looks bored and even sad at times.
3. And the reason this kid looks bored or sad is that he knows that if he grows up to be an actor, this movie will be on his resume. (Funnily enough, I can’t find his screen credits anywhere.) George Claydon (the dwarf), however, had been an Oompa Loompa previously, so he’ll be seen forever.
4. I wonder what the little people today think of the dirty dwarf who curses Joan Collins’ stripper (and her future progeny) for not getting it on with him.
5. Did I mention that Joan Collins is hot? And Caroline Munro also looks delicious in this movie.
6. When the husband mentioned that his sister was coming, I didn’t think he meant an actual sister! At least being a nun comes in handy for the climactic exorcism, even though the couple and their doctor are already dead.
7. I wonder which is worse: exorcising a foul-mouthed Linda Blair or a screeching baby that won’t shut up or stay still? At least the former is kinda fun.
8. Donald Pleasance looks like he’s confused as to why he’s in this movie.
9. The baby does not look or exude evil in this movie. Not once. Even intercutting the dwarf’s face is laughable. And we never see the baby in shots where he does something evil.
10. So the lesson here is not to spurn the advances of a horny dwarf or he’ll curse your unborn baby to be possessed by Satan.
11. Or maybe the lesson is don’t become a stripper.
12. Speaking of stripping, Ms. Collins’ character shows more skin in the dressing room than onstage. But the rest of the ladies are nearly butt naked later in the movie. Maybe they switched over from burlesque.
13. I’ll race the leading lady to see who gets into the bed first. (That lucky Ralph Bates.)
14. Ms. Collins went on to co-star in the huge TV hit Dynasty in the ’80s. She became a bestselling author and has acted on stage on screen numerous times. She has received six Golden Globe nominations, and won one, for her work on Dynasty. Director Peter Sasdy made Countess Dracula (1971) with Ingrid Pitt and The Lonely Lady (1983) with Pia Zadora. He also directed a lot of TV, including three episodes of The Hammer House Of Horror.
15. Supposedly this movie got a lot of late-night TV play in the US and UK in the ’80s because of its unintentionally campy appeal. I don’t recall this.