Devil's Party (2004) Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
1938’s The Devil’s Party is really one heck of a good movie packing a solid story and quite an emotional punch. I’ve never been all that wild about Hell’s Kitchen movies, but this one is different. We start out in that infamous section of old New York, but the real story involves an unfortunate series of events that tests the bonds of friendship and accentuates the fuzzy line that sometimes exists between the good and bad in men.
The Death Avenue Cowboys, four boys and a girl (accepted quite reluctantly, of course), grew up during some hard times in Hell’s Kitchen and remained friends even as they grew up and went their separate ways. That special bond of friendship was really cemented by the gang’s leader, Marty Malone, when he refused to squeal on his friends and took the rap for a warehouse fire he accidentally started (it was supposed to be nothing more than a smoky diversion). Marty did his time in the reformatory, and he’s now a successful night club owner - although the gambling part of his establishment casts something of a shadow over his life. The little girl who pestered her way into the club is now a singer, the O’Mara brothers are policemen, and the other Death Avenue Cowboy is now a priest. The gang gets together every year to reminisce, and this year it’s Marty’s turn to host. The party’s a success, but misfortune strikes soon thereafter.
A couple of Marty’s boys came down a little hard on a fellow who refused to pay his gambling debt. Joe O’Hara thinks the “accident” was actually a murder, and he’s determined to snoop around - which, naturally, is the last thing Marty (Victor McLaglen) wants. You can imagine how things snowball from here. (You don’t really want one of your best friends linking you to a murder, even when you’re only indirectly responsible for it.) Eventually, all five former friends are sucked deeply into an increasingly dangerous situation, their loyal bonds of friendship more than strained in the process. The whole series of unfortunate events that takes place puts Marty in a particularly impossible situation, as he is both innocent and guilty at the same time. Still, he remains the most sympathetic character throughout the film; his hands are a little dirty, but he’s basically a good and charitable man who just can’t seem to avoid trouble.
The Devil’s Party tells a most compelling, thought-provoking story. It’s presented in a rather straightforward matter, and in some ways it is predictable, yet the moral issues that form the heart of the drama really carry this film to great heights. Some of the movie summaries I’ve read make it sound as if somebody starts killing off these old friends one at a time in grisly fashion, but that is not the case at all. This isn’t horror or a hard-boiled crime thriller; it’s barely even a mystery. It is instead a poignant emotional drama with far more depth than you might expect. I was really impressed with The Devil’s Party, despite its far too sensational title.
About Devil's Party (2004)
Starring: Victor McLagen
Runtime: 75 minutes
Director: Ray McCarey