aka THE DEVIL'S DAUGHTER
(Italy - 1991; US release 1992)
Directed by Michele Soavi. Written by Dario Argento, Giovanni Romoli and Michele Soavi. Cast: Kelly Curtis, Herbert Lom, Tomas Arana, Maria Angela Giordano, Michel Adatte, Carla Cassola, Angelina Maria Boeck, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Niels Gullov, Donald O'Brien, Yasmine Ussani. (Unrated, 117 mins)
The second and final collaboration between director Michele Soavi and producer/co-writer Dario Argento (following 1989's THE CHURCH), THE SECT is finally out on Blu-ray in the US, where it's fallen into relative obscurity over the last quarter century since its VHS release as THE DEVIL'S DAUGHTER. There was talk that Anchor Bay was planning to release THE SECT during the big Eurocult DVD explosion around 2000 or so, but it never materialized, possibly due to expensive music rights clearance issues with the prominent inclusion of America's "A Horse With No Name" over the opening credits and into the first scene. A visionary filmmaker with an eclectic group of mentors--he was an actor and a regular assistant to both Argento and Lucio Fulci, and he found an unexpected fan in Terry Gilliam, who saw his 1987 film STAGEFRIGHT at a European film festival and hired him to handle second unit on THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN--Soavi's films from 1987 to 1994 constitute the last gasp of greatness from the golden age of Italian horror. Things had been on the decline for years, with aging directors moving to TV, Fulci ailing and effectively retired, and Argento beginning the long, slow descent into mediocrity that's ongoing to this day. Soavi was supposed to be the savior of Italian horror, but its fate was sealed long before the health problems of Soavi's young son, born with a rare liver disease that he wasn't expected to beat, prompted the director to put his career on hold indefinitely following his 1994 masterpiece DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE, aka CEMETERY MAN, which is more or less the end of an era. By the time Soavi's son beat the odds and bounced back from what was considered a terminal illness, Italian horror was over aside from the occasional Argento disappointment, and Soavi found a home on Italian TV, where he remains a busy and in-demand hired gun to this day.
BURIAL GROUND) is attacked by the shroud when it gets caught in a wind gust and promptly starts to behave in a possessed manner before being stabbed to death and coming back to life in the hospital; strange ribbon-like turquoise strands start appearing in Miriam's tap water; she finds a creepy woman wandering around in the basement; and she starts getting messages on her answering machine from the dead man, who is revealed to be Moebius Kelly, the leader of the Satanic cult and the man in the limo in the 1970 prologue. His plan is, of course, to use the innocent--and presumably virginal--Miriam as the vessel to deliver Satan reborn, as she faces the terrifying realization that almost everyone in her life--present and past--is part of a conspiracy to ensure that this happens.
clip). Other than THE SECT, her only starring role in a feature film was in an obscure 1987 German comedy called MAGIC STICKS. She had a few guest spots on TV shows like THE EQUALIZER, HUNTER, and STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, but her most prominent role after THE SECT was as a regular on the 1996-99 UPN series THE SENTINEL, which she left after the first season. Curtis' last acting credit was a guest spot on a 1999 episode of JUDGING AMY, and from then on, she's been credited on several of her sister's films as her personal assistant.