Producer-director Bert I. Gordon owns a secure spot in America's cultural landscape thanks to his 1950s atomic-mutant faves like THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN and THE BEGINNING OF THE END--the definitive giant grasshopper drama. Recent years have seen Gordon move into seedier subject matter,
and the direct-to-video schlock SATAN'S PRINCESS, despite superior production values, makes viewers pine for the innocent era of ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE.
Lou Cherney (Robert Forster) is a tough cop knocked off the force by a crippling gunshot wound (demonstrated in a juicy flashback closeup), who's asked to track down a teenage runaway. Cherney finds the girl employed as lesbian love slave to alluring Nicole St. James (Lydie Denier), the bisexual
owner of a modeling agency, who looks pretty good for someone the records say has been dead for four decades. Those assisting Cherney in his investigation turn up murdered one by one, but the evil Nicole keeps her claws off the cop until he "believes" in what she is: an ill-defined demonette who's
been around for five centuries, all because a clergyman once sought God through unsafe fasting (comedian/actor Jack Carter looks dazed as a priest in the cryptic 17th-century prologue).
Nicole claims to have killed a thousand men during her career, but in the course of the story she only slays one guy, and that may be a delusion--this is a rare horror flick in which the monster, not the hero, suffers from ominous nightmares. Still, that provides no insight into her nature or
motivations, except that the lesbian stuff allows plenty of nudity and softcore sex. The extent of Nicole's powers also remains vague most of the time, resulting in the movie's one honest shock: the sudden demonic possession of Cherney's mentally disabled young son. That's scarier than Nicole's
climactic transformation into a creature that looks like the alien in the PREDATOR pictures, except that this she-beast drives a white sportscar.
Forster turns in an admirably no-nonsense performance in an all-nonsense plot. The well-honed Denier went form this to a more chaste role as Jane in the 1991 "Tarzan" sydicated TV series. M.K. Harris, memorable in a pair of 1991 thrillers THE HORSEPLAYER and GENUINE RISK, has a nothing part here
as Dorian, Nicole's homicidal henchman. (Excessive violence, profanity, sexual situations, adult situations, nudity.)
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