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Review of 'The Brotherhood of Satan' (1971) - Bernard McEveety.

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  • Review of 'The Brotherhood of Satan' (1971) - Bernard McEveety.

    Taking a similarly subversive approach to off-kilter horror as Robert Voskanian's 'The Child', Joseph Losey's 'The Damned' and Herk Harvey's 'Carnival of Souls', director Bernard McEveety's rewardingly warped Satanic Shocker 'The Brotherhood of Satan' has an unsettling, surrealistic tonality that boldly separates it from the multitude of 'Rosemary's Baby' cash-in clones. A young family's cheery road trip rapidly becomes a sinisterly sulphurous nightmare after stopping off at an isolated, bizarrely hostile rural town to dutifully report a serious road accident somewhat inexplicably finds them all unable to leave! The Satanic Cult which has so insidiously taken over the dusty town of Hillsboro has a truly iniquitous modus operandi, supernaturally slaughtering the parents of the local children in order to vilely perpetrate a most blasphemous covenant with the devil!

    Time has been rather kind to Bernard McEveety's rigorously engrossing, Baphomet-blasted B-Movie, not only does this exceptionally creepy film have a palpably Rod Serling'd sense of inexorable doom, one has great sympathy for the Satanically beleaguered protagonists, kindly patriarch Ben (Charles Bateman), sexy stepmom to-be Nicky (Ahna Capri) and lovable blonde-haired sprite K.T (Geri Reischl). Not only does McEveety's 'The Brotherhood of Satan' have a delectably odd atmosphere, the film's inherent strangeness is increased exponentially by the fervid, magisterially mad performance of Strother Martin's divinely demonic, evilly evangelising Doc Duncan, with creative co-producers Alvy Moore and charismatic Peckinpah alumnus L.Q Jones certainly no less electrifying in their acting roles! A dramatically and aesthetically satisfying 70s horror film, with Ray Boyle's tremendously vibrant set design, and composer Jaime Mendoza-Nava adding eerie verisimilitude to 'The Brotherhood of Satan' delightfully devilish mien!

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