The Devil’s Gift (1984)

In the suburbs, a woman purchases an old cymbal-monkey in a raggedy toy store for her stepson, ignorant to the circumstance that it contains a demon from the times of yore. It soon subjects objects and even people to psychic mind-control so that they may do its bidding.




Full plot:
American horror flick “The Devil’s Gift” from 1984 begins with Elmira Johnson, a middle-aged widow trying to summon the ghost of her husband, Thomas Johnson, using a Ouija board, a bunch of candles and a glass of Scotch. Instead, she gets an archaic demon. In the background, the monkey-doll with the cymbals can be seen. Meanwhile, a demonic face forms in the whiskey glass. Her Ouija board stops responding. The planchette just knocks rapidly on the board. She asks if the spirit is present in the room and the Ouija board oddly answers “No”. The window blows open, toys come alive around her and a little-girl-doll begins to play xylophones. The monkey-doll’s eyes begin to glow as the malevolent creation from the Ouija board enters its corpus. The weather turns into a thunderstorm and a large shelf unit falls atop the woman, while a candle sets the curtains aflame. As the monkey-doll bashes its cymbals, a lightning bolt strikes the house so that it explodes and burns down.

Somewhere else in America, David Andrews is going to a city fair with his son Michael, and leaves his neighbor, Pete Wilson, to take care of his dog, Sparkle. At the same time, Susan, Michael’s future stepmother, walks into a random shop a buys the possessed monkey-doll for Michael as a birthday. When David and Michael get home, Susan is already waiting for them. None of them notices how the possessed doll writhes inside the packaging.

Michael’s birthday arrives, and Michael is very happy when he opens Susan’s present and discovers the monkey-doll. As David, Susan and Pete talk, the lights in the building go out but returns on its own a while after.

The following night, David has a dream about finding Michael drowned in the bathtub. He is woken up because Michael is watching cartoons on incredibly high volume. David then gets a call from his own mother, and notices that her plants, which he takes care of for her, have all died. He also notices how the monkey-doll catches a fly with its cymbals.

Pete repairs and sells old cars, and after David has talked to him outside, he reenters the house, and when he does, the monkey-doll makes a chuckling sound and bashes the cymbals. David and Michael subsequently find their gold fish dead.

While in his garage, the phone rings and David goes to answer it, trapping Sparkle in the garage. David then helps Pete with a car for a moment. The monkey-doll’s eyes begin to glow again and it hypnotizes Susan to turn up the television’s volume so that Michael cannot hear Sparkle whimpering. It also makes a lightbulb blow in the garage, causing some oil to burst into flames. By the time David gets back to the garage, Sparkle is dead.

During the night, the monkey-doll hypnotizes Susan to almost choke Michael to death under a pillow, however, David comes to the rescue and Susan wakes from her hypnosis, assuming that Michael is reacting to a nightmare.

Next morning, David goes to see “Marge” at a café, and she redirects him to “Adrianne”, who is allegedly psychic. Adrianne asks if he has experienced any poltergeist activity in his house, but he says no to that. She then suggests that a possessed object could have made its way into his home. David then goes to the shop where he knows that Susan bought the monkey-doll, but the clerk knows nothing.

Susan again becomes hypnotized – this time into trying to drown Michael in the bathtub. David enters house just in time though, and rips Susan away from Michael. She accidentally lands on some stairs and suffers a concussion.

David successively has a dream about a demon in his house puking boiling blood on him and slashing him with claws. He then goes to the small shop again and talks to the owner of the shop. He finds out that the monkey-doll came from a burned-down house, and then goes to talk to Adrianne about it. She says that her aura as a psychic would make things worse if she were to enter his house, so he needs to confront the situation alone. She tells him to concentrate on getting rid of the monkey-doll, but without letting the demon know his intention, and hands him a pendant featuring an inverted (Baphomet-style) pentagram.

Click here to unfold the remaining story (SPOILER WARNING)

Home again, Daniel sees that Michael is playing with the monkey-doll so he sends him off to his neighbor. When he takes a shower, the monkey-doll causes the water to become boiling, and eventually, oil or another black substance spews from the showerhead. David manages to escape, and realizes that this happened because he didn’t wear the pendant in the shower.

He puts it on and drops the monkey-doll into a paper bag, which he puts in a trashcan outside to be taken at garbage day. He then goes cooking.

Riding his tricycle, Michael accidentally bumps into the trashcan outside, sees the monkey-doll and puts it back in the living room. Continuing to ride his trike, Michael is almost run over by an unmindful driver.

Finding the doll in the living room again, David takes it to the place where he buried Sparkle. It responds by changing the weather and causing earthquakes, but he manages to bury it. A deep crack in the ground then opens under David and he falls in, but manages to crawl up again.

Then a tree falls on top of him.

David comes home heavily bruised. His mother calls and tells him she is close on the way to visit him. He puts the pendant with the pentacle in a kitchen-drawer.

When his mother arrives, she has also brought a present for her grandchild, and Michael is pleased to see that it is the very same monkey-doll. When David sees this, he tells Michael and his mother to run out the house instantly, but the main door won’t open, the whole house quakes violently and the monkey-doll is about to slam its cymbals. The screen goes black and we hear the cymbals clash, followed by an explosion. End credits then appear.

Bruce Parry as Pete
Struan Robertson as Michael Andrews
Bob Mendelsohn as David Andrews
Vicki Saputo as Susan
Marlene Ryan as Marge
Madelon Phillips as Adrianne
Olwen Morgan as Elmira John
J. Renee Gilbert as Michael’s grandmother

Kenneth J. Berton

José Vergelin & Hayden O’Hara

The Devil’s Gift (1984) on IMDB

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