Bill Parrish (James Lawless) is an honest, midwestern grocery store owner who admonishes one of his regular customers about her shoplifting habits. When she attempts to blame the devil, Bill reminds her that we all have a duty to resist the devil’s temptations. What Bill does not realize is that not only is the Devil (Paul Davies) listening in but he also looks like a member of the Bee Gees. The Devil gets offended and decides to tempt Bill with a trip to Las Vegas. The Devil gives Bill unlimited luck when it comes to placing his bets, something that gets Bill in trouble when he hits the jackpot on a slot machine that is specifically programmed to never pay off.
This month, I am reviewing films that have a Twin Peaks connection and that is the only reason why I am reviewing this low-budget oddity. In Satan’s Touch, the casino manager is played by Doctor Hayward himself, Warren Frost. What is interesting is that, for once, management is the hero. The manager does not hire a private detective to investigate Parrish out of spite or a desire for revenge. Instead, he is just worried that this man’s luck will cause Vegas to go bankrupt and put a lot of good people out of work.
Originally called Jackpot and made to play on the church circuit, the movie was retitled and released as a horror film in 1984. I rented a copy when I was 12 because there was a picture of an evil-looking woman with ample cleavage on the cover. As long as it has been since I saw the film, I do remember that she was nowhere in it. What I do remember is that Satan’s Touch was slow, not very interesting, and, whenever the Devil got bored, he would say, “I’m getting the Hell out of here.”
A few final notes about Warren Frost: Frost was married to the same woman from 1949 until his death earlier this year. He had three children, actress Lindsay Frost and writes Mark and Scott Frost. Mark, of course, co-created Twin Peaks while Scott also wrote for the show. If you don’t know Warren Frost from Twin Peaks, you probably know him as Mr. Ross on Seinfeld. On that show, his wife was played by his Twin Peaks co-star, Grace Zabriskie.