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The Sect (1991) - Blu-ray still

Movie Review

4 beers

The Sect (also known as The Devil’s Daughter) proves that schoolteachers (of which I am one) probably shouldn’t be armed with a gun, let alone drive a car. Weird shit happens to us. The misadventure contained within The Sect, though, takes the cake thanks to a Manson-like cult who wants more than anything to see the antichrist delivered in the 1990s.

Don’t try to make sense of this one, though. You will be lost in weeds. Just know that Italian cinema DID produce some memorable shockers outside of its heyday. The Sect is one of them. It might be too long, but it is guaranteed to be one of the weirdest films you are likely to see.

And now The Sect is on blu-ray thanks to Scorpion Releasing.

Kelly Lee Curtis, the little sister of Jamie Lee Curtis, gets her shot at the Scream Queen title with her tasty involvement in The Sect, a trippy Italian horror film that was co-written and produced by horror maestro Dario Argento. High on atmosphere and drenched in moody visuals, this creepy flick – about ushering in the devil’s spawn – is a downright spooky affair that is bound to keep some viewers from sleeping peacefully at night.

Curtis stars as a schoolteacher who runs foul of a devil-worshipping sect, led by The Pink Panther series’ Herbert Lom (and, yeah, he’s pretty frightening) who carries around a mysterious box when she damn near runs him over. Feeling sorry for the poor bastard (which she shouldn’t as he was targeting her for EVIL), she brings him to her house to rest. This spell ends with HER being drugged and him huffing a satanic bug right into her nostril. GROSS.

With a fantastically evil cult leader, Damon (The Church's Tomas Arana), a white rabbit, and a whole lot of fanciful images courtesy of a mystical-like well, The Sect – also released as The Devil’s Daughter – becomes a sort of satanic retelling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that even Lewis Carroll would approve of.

Directed by Argento protégé Michele Soavi (Cemetery ManThe Church), this wicked gem of a horror title might be a little longer than expected, clocking in at damn near two hours, but the two artists at the helm keep things swift and tightly focused. They take a normal woman and put here in a completely abnormal situation. It’s as if she’s walking through a world of abstract paintings as something dark and disturbing – courtesy of a very well done tracking shot – stirs below her house. It’s in the pipes. It’s in the air she breathes. It’s everywhere.

And Soavi manages to bring it to life with The Sect, which is easily his best film. Something clicked here that hadn’t before. Even when compared to the highs of The Church, this one – forgiving it of its rather silly cover art that suggests a sort of harlequin romance story – is the better film. It is suspenseful and creates a great deal of mood and matter over the splatter of Argento’s usual output. That’s not to say there aren’t extreme shots here. There are, but the gore is slightly played down in favor of atmosphere.

There might be a surreal quality to much of the film but this adds to the overall shock of what happens. We begin in the desert of California running wild among some hippies spouting apocalyptic warnings in 1970 and end in modern day Munich; it’s all-purposeful and it works to create the impression of patience as evil waits to return to its throne. And the rich score provided by Pino Donaggio, who does his best Goblin impressions here with dense-like elongated notes, aids all of this atmospheric art.

The Sect is now available on blu-ray thanks to a fine remastering and color correction job completed by Scorpion Releasing. It may not be a favorite film; however, it is a damn strange one.

Ave Satanas.



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Film Details:

The Sect (1991) - Blu-ray CoverMPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime: 125 mins
Director: Michele Soavi
Writer: Dario Argento, Gianni Romoli
Cast: Kelly Curtis, Herbert Lom, Mariangela Giordano
Genre: Horror
Tagline: Satan has chosen his victims. The battle with evil has begun.
Theatrical Distributor: Republic Pictures
Official Site: 
Release Date: October 18, 1991
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: February 27, 2018
Synopsis: There’s fear around every corner with a diabolical sect on the loose! Kelly Lee Curtis (sister of Jamie Lee) stars as Miriam, an American schoolteacher relocated to Germany in an area plagued by a satanic cult that murders and tears out the hearts of anyone who betrays it..


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The Sect (1991) - Blu-ray still

Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing (Diabolik)
Available on Blu-ray - February 27, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Scorpion Releasing Scorpion Releasing presents The Sect’s brand new 2K scan on 1080p with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and a NEW English mono soundtrack. With over 45 hours of color corrections completed on the transfer, The Sect is a true work of art. Colors and shadows are deep, dynamic, and layered. There is a depth to some of the sequences that truly showcase Soavi’s strengths that are finally revealed thanks to the attention to detail in the brand new restoration. Black levels are detailed. Textures are refined and the surreal quality is made magnificent by the work done here.




Special Features:

Fans get a new interview from actor Tomas Arana and a vintage interview with director Michele Soavi.

Tomas Arana InterviewMichele Soavi Interview


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The Sect (1991) - Blu-ray Cover