Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Boy, that Satan guy is always up to something.  At least, that's what "the man" would have you believe back in the 80's with the whole "satanic panic" thing.  Now this stuff is best remembered by me as a rad, dated aesthetic, and certainly not the embodiment of evil.  Take, for example, this still from an episode of Unsolved Mysteries:  

This chick shot her husband with the help of her boyfriend, and they throw in a little mention that she might have been worshipping Satan, even though the murder had nothing to do with Satan.  She wasn't sacrificing her husband; she wanted to run off and boink some other dude.  Anyway, watching this bit of the segment as a kid really creeped me out, but now it comes across as fetishistic; some lady with big hair in a nightie worshipping an image of Satan while surrounded by candles, all fuzzy, soft, and blown out.

For me, that sort of thing is the appeal of Child of the Sabbat, an ultra obscure shot on video 36 minute movie from ultra obscure director Louis Ferriol, "best known" for The New York Centerfold Massacre, which was released through mail order VHS in the late 80's and is sort of an inept, SOV version of Ray Dennis Steckler's The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher.  Only die hards are willing to explore shot-on-video horror movies of the eighties, and only those die hards with extreme intestinal fortitude are willing to explore shot-on-video horror movies of the eighties that were only released through mail order in the back of some magazine.  So, I guess you know where I stand as far as my intestines are concerned.

So, a schoolgirl is walking home to the sounds of maybe a camera snapping pictures (?) and an evil whispering voice, but is snapped up by a car and immediately sacrificed on an altar.  Later, another young girl (dressed as an angel) is walking to a Halloween party alone late at night and is also kidnapped in a car.  I don't know why parents are letting their young daughters walk around at night by themselves, but either way, it's pretty clear that Satan is up to some shit and he has denizens doing his dirty work.

Meanwhile, 12 year old Becky is apparently possessed by Satan, which has left her catatonic.  I don't why Satan would bother possessing a girl just to lay in bed all day.  It's like flying to Venice just to take a long nap in a hotel room.  Anyway, her mother calls a priest to come over and check her out, since conventional medicine has failed her.  The priest suggests hydrotherapy, which really just means they have her lie in a tub.  Sometimes the wisdom of God extends beyond the wisdom of science.  Either that, or this guy is the shittiest exorcist the world has ever seen.


Meanwhile, Becky's older sister Francine is an "exotic dancer" who thrusts her loins in front of strange men to Berlin's "Trash" (copyright be damned).  She later reveals that she was molested by her minister father, but mostly she dances around and shows off her big hair.

That's a shot right there.

Meanwhile, an awesome Jersey metal chick, with her jean jacket and big hair (of course), is driven home by the same priest.  She insults the priest and then switches the radio dial to a station that plays some barely audible thrash metal.  Later, she tries to get an abortion on the cheap, and a creepy guy with a wire hanger suggests that she have the baby and then sell it to him instead.  That's what happens when you try to save a couple of bucks I guess.

Meanwhile, a mysterious chick with a mean rack and wearing a red neglige seduces the priest.  Oh, and meanwhile, there's footage of a "real" human sacrifice, which looks exactly like the staged sacrifices.  I guess the fake scenes should be comended for their realism.

If this sounds like too many plot strands to be reasonably resolved within a 36 minute time frame, don't worry, they're not really resolved.  Child of the Sabbat comes across as a big collage of random footage culled from public access reenactments of the evils of satanism, accompanied by random evil sound effects, droning synth, and barely audible dialogue.  It should be noted that this is the "director's cut", and that the original runtime was 59 minutes.  Maybe the director cut out all the dialogue scenes that explain what these events and characters have to do with one another, but I don't care either way.  The movie is a reminder that the fuzzed out big hair aesthetic power of Satan lives on to delight the childish pervert in those with gumption and a taste for the dated and the scuzzy   

P.S. You can watch the movie online here, and it includes actual factual information and shit about the production.

P.P.S. Post #10 out of #11.  Halloween is almost here and I still need to squeeze one last fucker in there.

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