THE DEVIL’S GIFT (1984) Reviews and overview

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The Devil’s Gift is a 1984 American horror film directed by Kenneth J. Berton. The film’s plot is similar to that of the Stephen King short story “The Monkey”, leading many to believe that the filmmakers plagiarised the story.


An elderly woman, Elmira Johnson, uses a Ouija board to communicate with a dead spirit. When a spirit becomes angry, it manifests itself into a cymbal-banging monkey toy. The monkey’s eyes glow red and uses its cymbals to cause lightning to strike the old woman’s house, presumably killing her.

Some time later, David Andrews, a suburban single father, celebrates their young son Michael’s ninth birthday. The child receives the monkey from David’s girlfriend Susan, who purchased it at an antiques store. The monkey strikes its cymbals on its own accord. Soon after the party, David awakens screaming from a nightmare in which he found Michael dead in the bathtub. After the household plants die, and the family’s dog is mysteriously burned to death in their garage, David suspects the monkey of being behind the events.

David hires Adrienne, a fortune teller, to perform an exorcism on his home, but does not inform her about the monkey. Adrienne asks him if he has any statues or idols, explaining that demons often possess objects that are seemingly harmless, but use them as an outlet for their satanic activity. David realizes that the monkey is such an item, and is certain that a demon is in their home…

Cast and characters:

  • Bob Mendelsohn … David Andrews (as Bob Mendlesohn)
  • Vicki Saputo … Susan
  • Struan Robertson … Michael Andrews
  • Bruce Parry … Pete
  • Madelon Phillips … Adrianne
  • J. Renee Gilbert … Grandma
  • Marlene Ryan … Marge
  • Stuart White … Manager
  • Caris Palm … Girl in Store
  • Barry Chandler … Guy in Car
  • Olwen Morgan … Elmira Johnson
  • Ángeles Olazábal … Girl on Bike
  • Billy Bletcher … Pincushion Man (voice) (archive sound)

Filming locations:

Petaluma and Santa Rosa, California

Film Facts:

In 1996, Berton re-edited the film down as the second story of Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders, a horror/fantasy film.

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