D: Clive Donner C: Robert Culp, Gig Young, John Hurt
In spite of the fact of STAR TREK becoming one of the biggest franchises of all time, it was the only one of its creator Gene Roddenberry’s projects that ever took off. This pilot for a series, which was never picked up, explains why. Robert Culp summons his Watson, Gig Young, informing him that the game’s afoot. A female client has hired the pair to discover, whether her brother is a demon worshipper, or merely a pervert. They are received by his female playmates, including a baby doll and a dominatrix, offering their services to the guests. Of course, this is a ploy to corrupt them and divert attention from a cult of druids worshipping the demon ASMODEUS. This rather frank display of sexuality remains the highpoint of the movie and is infinitely superior to the traditional, although admittedly spirited black mass complete with robes and dwarfs (who, as we all know, are congenitally evil). Roddenberry has no idea whatsoever what he’s talking about, but at least he knows it, concentrating instead on the color scheme. John Hurt and Gordon Jackson (who is now strictly downstairs) seem to have fun as demons. Young looks down and out, which he was. Even the young extra he met on the set and subsequently married couldn’t save him. The following year he shot her, then himself. Mrs. Roddenberry sleepwalks through her bit-part as she was wont to do, by this time a far cry from the raven-haired beauty of the original STAR TREK series. She plays a witch – she certainly looks the part – who puts a spell on Gig to cure him of his alcoholism (which is something of a joke, since at this point the actor could hardly stand without a drink). Sample dialogue: “Is it possible for something to feel evil to the touch?” Excess is the key factor in this pseudo-occult farrago, and it certainly keeps you watching in its unabashed silliness.