Peter Hooten (Orca)
Clyde Kusatsu (Paradise Road)
Jessica Walter (Archer)
Anne-Marie Martin (Runaway)
Philip Sterling (Another World)
John Mills (Bean)
Sarah Rush (Battlestar Galactica)
Michael Ansara (The Message)
In Hell, where The Nameless One must transfer his position and powers to his successor. Le Fay has three days either to defeat the wizard or kill his successor. Le Fay possesses a young woman named Clea Lake and uses her as a weapon against Thomas Lindmer, who is the “Sorcerer Supreme”. She pushes him off a bridge, and he appears to die, before slowly getting up and healing an injury with magic. His friend, Wong, cares for him and locates Clea Lake for him. Lake, suffering from the psychic aftereffects of the possession and haunted in her dreams by le Fay, ends up under the care of psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Strange at the psychiatric hospital. Strange is the heir to his father’s potential to become Lindmer’s disciple and the next Sorcerer Supreme. Strange bears his father’s magical ring as a sign of this, and he has already sensed something wrong and shared Lake’s nightmare about the previous day’s events, but does not recognize what is going on.
Lindmer contacts Strange at the hospital and tells him that Clea cannot be helped with only medicine. Strange takes Lindmer’s card and is intrigued by the fact that Lindmer’s card bears the same symbol as his ring. Le Fay possesses a cat and tries to have it enter Lindmer’s house, but the magical barriers repel it. The head of the department sedates Clea against Dr. Strange’s directions, causing her to fall asleep, and then seemingly into a coma. Unable to revive her, Dr. Strange goes to visit Lindmer. Le Fay has the chance to kill Strange, but hesitates and he survives. Lindmer tells Strange that his ignorance is a form of protection, and asks him whether he wants to know the truth or remain in ignorance. Strange demands to know the truth, and Lindmer says that he knows about how Strange’s parents died when he was eighteen. He says Strange is special, and that his parents died protecting him. He says there are different realms, and that Lake is trapped in them and only Strange can save her. Strange is dispatched to the astral plane and confronts the demon Balzaroth, who has been sent by Morgan to stop Strange’s rescue of Clea and then succeeds in returning her to the physical world.
The demon questions le Fay about sparing Strange. She confesses to being attracted to him, and the demon threatens to make her suffer eternity as an old woman. She vows that she will not fail. Strange checks on Lake, and agrees to dinner with her later. He goes to see Lindmer and refuses to accept the reality of magic despite having seen it himself. As he leaves, he tries to remove the ring and finds he cannot, but he lets the cat into the house. The cat transforms into le Fay and defeats Wong, seemingly killing him. She then defeats Lindmer, but she cannot kill him in the earthly realm, so she summons Asmodeus to transport him to the demon realms.
Dr. Strange visits Clea, but le Fay interrupts. She promises Strange that Clea will be unharmed if he comes with her to the demon realms, and he does. Once there, he appears to be under her command. She offers him love, wealth, power, and knowledge. She attempts to seduce him, and on the verge of doing so, asks him to remove the ring. He says that only Lindmer can remove it, but she insists that he can do it if he tries. He refuses and defies her. She attacks him, but he defeats her, rescuing Lindmer, and returning them both to the earthly realm and reviving Wong. The demon transforms le Fay into an old hag. Lindmer explains to Dr. Strange that he must choose whether to remain mortal, or to become the Sorcerer Supreme, forgoing ignorance, offspring, or an easy death, but promises that he will have love. Strange chooses to protect humanity, and Lindmer’s power is transferred to him. Wong then warns him that, while he now has Lindmer’s powers, he does not yet have the knowledge or the wisdom to use them correctly, and that, if he is not extremely careful, he can harm himself or others. Strange then takes Lindmer, rendered unconscious by the transfer, into his arms, and then takes him to his bedroom to recover from the ordeal. Dr. Strange is then shown at the hospital, where many patients have been discharged. He leaves with Clea, who seems to have no memory of what happened, other than as a bad dream. Le Fay is shown on television, young again, posing as a self-help guru. Clea fails to recognize her. Strange agrees to meet Clea later, and the film closes with him playing a trick on a street magician, turning the flowers the magician was going to produce using sleight-of-hand into a dove.Having watched the movie again recently, it was nice to see the innocence in the movie. I can see how the occult theme may have been offensive at the time. But with the spot on performances, tight direction and nicely toned humor. Worth watching especially with the big screen version now incinemas.