Saturday, January 9, 2016

70s Trash: The Brotherhood of Satan

That Satan is a really silly guy!  Today's Film is The Brotherhood of Satan, a 1970s Film about, well, a bunch of Satanists.  I was hoping that it would be about Nuns!  The Story involves a bunch of Children in a small Town disappearing under mysterious circumstances.  On top of that, the people can't leave.  So, naturally, the Film involves our Heroes going through it on Vacation.  I guess 3 Mile Island was too far away!  While the Movie tends to be a bit dry (yes, for a Film about a Satan-worshipping Cult), it does contain some stuff that reminded me a hell of a lot of more recent Films.  I'll cover that in the actual Review though, so get out your inexplicable Tank for my Review of...
In a Cold Open, some Parents are crushed by a Tank!

Yes, this Movie begins with people run over by a Tank, because...Satan.
The Tank appears to be related to a toy one controlled by the kid (a Theme we'll see more of) as he wanders off to join the other kids in the Woods.

So, inexplicable Tank aside, this is just Sinister.  I mean, right?!?
Our Heroes (the best On-Screen Couple since Manos: The Hands of Fate) are on vacation and just happen to run across the god-forsaken (quite literally, it seems) Town.
As it turns out, the disappearances are related to a Cult of old Satanists in Town that want to do, well, something evil.

The gist of it: they want to put their minds in the body of the Children.  It is Skeleton Key or Being John Malkovich- take your pick.
The beleaguered townsfolk seek answers.  One important thing to answer: why doesn't the Judge help out more?
The answer: he's leading the Cult, of course.  Shocker, right?
Things get personal when our Heroes' kid becomes one of the missing Children!
The other Parents keep up the search, but run into some trouble.  This guy is killed by the animated statue of a knight on a horse.  Off with his head!
Since this is a 1970s Film, things get a bit confusing at the end.  The Cult prepares to do their ritual, members start chopping each other up with burning swords and the Parents find the Children next to a display of said incident.

Are their Children now evil?  Did the Ritual fail?  No answers!  The End.
Pretty familiar stuff, but with some standout moments.  All in all, Brotherhood of Satan sounds salacious, has some good moments, but is ultimately a bit familiar.  I did like the bits with the somehow-animated objects.  They do cheat a little here- like not showing the tank in full at any time and showing the beheading in silhouettes.  To be fair, I guess they didn't have a full-size Tank that looked like a Model one.  I don't know the logistics of how you would do that today, let alone in 1979, so I'm not judging them too harshly.  The biggest problem is that they don't make you care about the Characters as much as is necessary for this to truly work.  Some of them are kind of annoying, to be honest.  That said, it was interesting to see all of the parallels in this fairly-obscure Film.  I'm not saying that the folks behind Sinister stole the Plot from this (as there are some notable differences), but there are enough similarities to make it interesting.  I mean, the kids are killing their parents while under some sort of sinister (lower case) control- I'm just saying!  While the Film is only a partial success in my book, it did give me some great interior decorating tips...
Next up, a slightly-newer Film that is nice and arty.  From the man who *almost* Directed Aliens 3- that's just a bonus. Stay tuned...

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