Synopsis by Cavett Binion
Adapted from a Fred Mustard Stewart novel, this offbeat occult thriller stars Alan Alda (just prior to his eleven-year stint on M*A*S*H) as journalist and burgeoning musician Myles Clarkson, whose long-sought interview with ailing concert pianist (and closet Satanist) Duncan Ely (Curt Jurgens) leads to a mysterious ritual in which Ely's soul is transferred into Clarkson's body at the moment of the elder man's death. Further complications ensue when Myles' wife Paula (Jacqueline Bisset) discovers the none-too-subtle change in her husband's behavior, and she is pulled deeper into Ely's twisted circle. The plot thickens as further soul-swapping, dark family secrets, and demonic possession come into play. A heavy sense of doom pervades this bizarre film, thanks to some offbeat cinematography and eerie music, as well as some truly shocking setpieces courtesy of prolific TV director Paul Wendkos, who helmed the excellent Legend of Lizzie Borden. The prosaic Alda lacks the dangerous edge his character demands, but Bisset's performance is chillingly effective.
demon, house, aging, cult, deal-with-the-devil, death, demonic-possession, extramarital-affair, haunted-house, interview, killing, leukemia, music, pact, piano, Satan, satanic, Satanism, supernatural-forces, terminal-illness