Devil Times Five (1974) from Tuna

A rich asshole named Papa Doc is hosting a mandatory winter holiday for his sycophantic employees and equally obnoxious family. His wife is notoriously easy, his employee's wife is a lush, and his daughter is pushing her husband to win a job with daddy. Meanwhile, a bus full of kids, all convicted murderers from a mental hospital, crashes. They kill the driver, and take off, arriving at the same Arrowhead resort where Papa Doc's folks are partying. The adults, in a festive mood and feeling sorry for the kids, let them in. Big mistake. The kids are cute, precocious and lethal.

The best murder of the bunch was when the kids dumped piranhas into the bath with Carolyn Steller. The fact that it was done by Steller's real-life daughter (playing one of the little monsters) makes it all the more fun. In the actual process of filming the scene, dead piranhas were dropped into the tub, but still managed to cut her leg badly enough for her to be hospitalized!

The original idea was to capitalize on Ten Little Indians, and have people dying one at a time, withholding the identity of the killers. After principal shooting wrapped, a faction convinced the executive producer that it couldn't be cut into a good movie, so it was drastically rewritten, and several days worth of additional material were shot. It's difficult to imagine that the original idea could have been that much worse.  The film is filled with annoyances. Let's start with the best death, Piranhas in the bath. Why didn't she just stand up and step out of the tub and onto the kids? Then there is the fact that the murders are shown in slow motion with annoying children's music box music. Finally there is the fact that the most likable character in the entire film is a dimwit, and the first killed.

The film is also known as People Toys, The Horrible House on the Hill, and Tantrums. Based on the number of IMDb votes, it may be the only film which has had more names than viewers.

The new DVD does includes interviews with many of the cast and crew, but all in all the world is not enriched by the DVD release of this film..





  • We have breast exposure from Carolyn Steller ...

  • ... and Joan McCall. McCall is better known as a soap opera screenwriter with credits like Days of Our Lives, Another World and Santa Barbara.


The Critics Vote ...

  • TV Guide 1.5/4


The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a D.

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