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When released in Britain, Devil’s Partner was on the bottom of a double bill with Plan 9 from Outer Space, just in case it wasn’t clear how respected this Roger Corman-directed cheapie was. Billed beneath what is considered the worst movie ever made is a little much though.

No, there isn’t much to Devil’s Partner, which sees an elderly disabled man make a pact with the devil to become young again. It’s a small town, bodies pile up mysteriously, police are dumbfounded, and a love triangle plays out behind it all.

If nothing else, Devil’s Partner finds unique ways of offing people

Ridiculous and absurd, the script isn’t without its easy, simplistic charms. Starring Ed Nelson as Nick Richards, Nick becomes a clean cut American guy, willing to help out a local run a gas station then at night, he kills people. Weirdly. There’s a cow in the road that leads to a crash. A horse stomps the town alcoholic. Another weird one involves tainted goat’s milk. If nothing else, Devil’s Partner finds unique ways of offing people.

There isn’t any discussion of the theological here. Devil’s Partner barely stretches past the hour mark, meaning context isn’t important. What matters is that an old man drew a hexagon on some cardboard, dripped some blood onto it, and *poof*, there’s the devil himself. It’s quite easy, if you didn’t know.

Were there not some hundreds of other films similar in style (many of them from Corman himself) – with weird murders and police baffled even though the audience knows the culprit – maybe there’s additional merit. Devil’s Partner never finds its teeth to do anything other than kill a few people. It’s contextually barren, hopelessly thin, and clearly filmed over a matter of days, a perfect exploitation film for the early ‘60s. Now it’s hokey, hollow, and corny, but not without a few memorable moments sprinkled in.

Video

A distinct and heavy grain structure follows Devil’s Partner for its runtime. The encode holds up remarkably well, keeping the film stock intact. This does limit texture and detail, but looking close, facial definition does jump from the frame. Sharpness sustains a consistent level too, giving Devil’s Partner a crispness it never had on video before.

Also helping is gray scale, delivering solid black levels alongside a bright contrast. Nuances in the gray scale resolve naturally, giving the cheap imagery depth.

Restoration cleans Devil’s Partner up, avoiding any major gate weave and eliminating most scratches and/or dirt (the worst being some flickering scratches on the upper left side). The condition is remarkable, all things considered.

Audio

Unremarkable but clear, the DTS-HD track services this mono track well enough. Dialog sounds clear enough, and the light score doesn’t pose a challenge to the dynamics. No drop outs, hiss, or other fault is noted. Hard to complain about a track this clean.

Extras

Film Masters includes the film in both widescreen and 4:3 versions. The Monster Party Podcast teams up for a commentary, with a third part of a documentary about Filmgroup continues here. An interview with Roger Corman follows, with a trailer closing things out.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Devil's Partner
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3

Movie

Spooky enough to work, Devil’s Partner is cheap hooey, but enjoyably cruel regardless.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 29 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray:


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