I Don't Think You Have Very Long To Live
King Of Woolworths “To The Devil A Donut”
by Mark Cappelletty
Hammer Films was for years the sign of quality horror. It’s like Smucker’s, but with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing instead of the Goober and the Grape: “with a name like Hammer, it’s got to be Bloody Good British Horror.”
Hammer’s last film was 1976’s To The Devil A Daughter, a fairly goofy story about demonic possession (one of the devil’s bloody minions, having just chewed its way out of a hapless woman’s womb, looks like Kermit The Frog as a fetus) that’s raised to acceptable levels with a very young (and shockingly nude) Nassatja Kinski and good performances by Hammer stalwart Christopher Lee and a cranky Richard Widmark, who undoubtedly wasn’t all that happy spouting dialogue about “the Stone of Asteroth” and the like. The documentary on the hard-to-find Anchor Bay DVD pretty much asserts how difficult Widmark was; fortunately, this was a horror one-shot for him, unlike such current “gotsta pay the bills” actors like Ben (BloodRayne) Kingsley, Jeremy (Eragon) Irons and current champ Michael (too many to mention) Madsen, who obviously needs the pain to help feed his poetic muse. Michael Madsen’s poetry will be showcased in another, scarier post.
In 2001, Manchester DJ and producer Jon Brooks put out the record Ming Star under the “King Of Woolworth” name. It’s pleasant but meandering mood music in the vein of Air, save for the cracking “To The Devil A Donut,” which fuses samples from To The Devil A Daughter with an ominous dance beat. It’s perfect Halloween music— you got your funky percussion, your cowbells and Christopher Lee telling you that he can “hear your pulse beat.” And it’s likely to scare the hell out of kids coming to your door. Take that “Monster Mash”!