Lana Wood, baby sister of screen legend Natalie Wood, was once a Bond girl:
Plenty O'Toole in Diamonds are Forever. That, however, was in 1971, and was
followed by a career that led downward to nowhere and then still farther
downward to this film.
Lana plays a housewife whose sexual frustration rises to the boiling point
when her husband continually neglects her. Since their family lives in a
remote house on the beach, there are few men around, and she needs some
drilling, so she must turn for relief to the same source that has attracted
so many women throughout the centuries: Satan. Luckily The Dark One is
always able to spare some time from his ongoing duties in the Middle East to
provide some manly services to particularly frustrated housewives.
Her relationship with Satan actually goes quite well. Satan pounds the
daylights out of her whenever she needs it, and it is not long before the
beach house is filled each night with banshee howls emanating from her
bedroom. The woman's daughter is understandably confused by the noises
coming from mommy's room when daddy is in the kitchen, but daddy explains
that when a mommy loves a special supernatural step-daddy very, very much
I suppose if Lana had been living alone, she and Lucifer could have kept it
up forever, and this would have been the first Satan movie with a happy
ending. But fate is a cruel manipulator. The negligent husband gets turned
on by her new attitude, and he starts making whoopee with her again.
Needless to say, Satan is not pleased when he shows up for his nightly booty
call and finds that his parking place has been taken. He does exactly what
you'd expect from a being who is second in power only to God himself: he
sits in a rocking chair and tries to rock away the tension while he watches
the couple and seethes with anger.
I didn't make that up. He has a satanic rocker in the house. I assume he
brought it with him from hell and it has been custom designed to keep from
rolling over his tail. Or maybe every beach house in California
automatically comes with a Satan-adapted rocker, as part of the Californians
with Disability program, just as all tiny convenience stores must have one
parking place reserved for people in wheelchairs, even if they have only two
parking places to begin with. I did catch a look at the chair, but I didn't
see any signs indicating that it was only to be used by Satan and his
By the way, the house also has a guillotine in the basement. I believe that
would be unusual even in California. Probably even in France. As you
probably know from Chekhov's first rule of drama (i.e., a rifle hanging on the
wall in act one will be used in act three), the guillotine will play an
important role later on in the film. It's especially handy when the vegematic breaks down. A guillotine makes great Julianne fries when it isn't
At any rate, Satan and hubby get into a pissing contest to win the heart of
the frustrated wife. The Prince of Lies does not play fair, as you might
expect, and he pulls out all the stops. Well, at least a few of the stops.
He enlists the aid of henchwomen, minions, civil servants, Republicans, and
other forms of evil incarnate. In fact, one of his minions did such a good
job that she was promoted to henchwoman, and therefore got an extra five
grand a year, full dental, and a company rocker.
Despite all of his powers and company perks, however, Mephistopheles ends up
losing. Man, that husband must be one sexual dynamo. It's bad enough when
you have to compete for your girlfriend against an NBA star or a porn star,
but to go one-on-one with Ol' Scratch himself ... that's something. I have
to tip my hat to the husband, because he wins the match-up ...
... or ... does he???
As bad as that may sound, the actual movie is not as good as the one I have
fancifully described. Oh, it would be a hoot on bad movie night if it were a
twenty-minute short, but it drags on for more than an hour and a half of
amateur performances and technical incompetence (the sound is especially
bad), exacerbated by repetition.
My personal favorite scene is one in which Lana's character and her daughter
hold down a normal conversation in a normal tone of voice about three
minutes into the film. What's so bad about that? They are standing in front
of a roaring ocean, and the sound has been recorded live, so we can't hear
what they are saying! Jeez, maybe it was something brilliant, some bit of
Shavian wit that could have made the whole film worthwhile, lost now in
time, "like tears in the rain."