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DEVIL TIMES FIVE (1974) **** DVD review capsule by COOP

Posted on May 31st, 2008
Posted on May 31st, 2008

FOUND!!!: One of the films I only saw parts of as a kid, yet the images I saw haunted me far into adulthood. I’ve been looking for this film for a long time, yet didn’t know the title. Every time I’d find a film with a similar premise, I’d get my hopes up, thinking I could finally put the mystery to bed, only to be sorely disappointed. I’ve finally rediscovered it and I have to admit, the film remains as disturbing as I remembered.

A transport from a psychiatric ward crashes in the California Mountains. The only survivors: five severely disturbed pre-teens. With the oldest disguising herself as a nun, the kids come across a ski lodge, owned by business mogul Papa Doc and his family of bickering, spoiled malcontents. The kids fool the family into thinking they are lost and helpless. Papa Doc takes in the bunch with the promise to take the kids to their parents when the roads clear. Determined not to go back to the asylum, the kids start knocking off the family members, one by one in inventive and gruesome ways.

The last five minutes are all I remember seeing as a child on a Sunday afternoon cable T.V. matinee. Those final moments burned images into my brain I could never forget. I feel relief in knowing I’ve solved one of the biggest mysteries of my youth in finding this film again, but after reliving the ending, I may have a restless-night’s sleep.

Noteworthy: A young Leif Garrett stars as one of the demonic children and Sorrell “Boss Hog” Brooke as one of the adults.

This trailer for the film shows a little too much and makes it seem silly, but I assure you it’s not all camp. This film is a genuine exploitation classic…

-C

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