How could you not want to watch a film called Satanic? The title just conjures up so many ideas and images that your curiosity has to be piqued, even if just a little bit. Except of course, if you’re a right wing Christian; if that’s the case then dig out your Touched by an Angel box set.
The problem with most horror films today is that the majority that are made are done so by the major studios, they cost too much or they are aimed at teenagers or both if you’re watching Jan De Bont’s 1999 disaster The Haunting. Horror films should be cheap and if you remember the glory days of the 1980’s horror films were grim and dirty and released by low budget companies on video. Heck that’s how New Line started and look at them now (however I get the feeling they may be returning to those glory days pretty soon).
Following a horrific car accident, where her father is killed our leading lady Michelle (Annie Sorell) wakes in a hospital to find that she has amnesia and a fully bandaged face. Unable to remember her past she must try and piece together her life; thankfully it takes only minutes for her face to be put back together. Then it’s off to a half-way house for troubled kids run by the sleazy Bisson (Rick Dean, reminding me of a crazy stoned Albert Finney, only not as good an actor, obviously). Soon Michelle has strange dreams and weird visions and she slowly starts to believe that she was involved in strange satanic shenanigans. Oh, there is also a hooded killer on the prowl.
Satanic is a low budget shocker that doesn’t try to be anything that it isn’t and it seems to wear its low budget status on its arm like a badge of honour. The film will never win any awards for acting or dialogue “Who’s your decorator? Charles Manson?” and it has an amateurish quality, like it was shot on digital video. Satanic is also quite light in the shocks department, with the majority of “scares” coming from dark silhouettes walking in front of the camera.
The high point of the film is the appearance of minor horror icon Jeffrey Combs as a detective trying to solve the murders (a cameo role, and I mean a cameo). Combs is probably more familiar to mainstream moviegoers as the crazed F.B.I agent in Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners. Satanic is filled with plot holes and inconsistencies, the main problem (for me at least) is that Annie Sorell is supposed to be a troubled teen. The chick must be at least thirty.
There also seems to be some strange voodoo medical practices going on as well- you can totally rebuild somebody’s using just photographs and not have them look like a jigsaw? There’s also the requisite twist ending which bizarrely I quite enjoyed and one hell of a comedic fight sequence that would probably give Vic Armstrong a stroke!
Satanic is yet another in the long line of “so bad it’s good horror films”. It works okay as a miniscule budgeted feature that you’d watch at three in the morning, but I wouldn’t watch it as a double bill with John Carpenter’s Halloween, or Rob Zombie’s remake for that matter. However I must admit, I did get a kick out of the ending! For fans of low budget schlockers and bad acting.