“Satan’s Slave” (1976)
Studio: Crown International Pictures
Starring: Michael Gough, Martin Potter, Candace Glendenning, Barbara Kellerman
Directed by: Norman J. Warren
Running Time: 87 min.
Synopsis: A young woman’s parents are killed in a car accident while traveling to visit long lost relatives and she ends up being taken in by her uncle who happens to worship Satan.
A twisted film about Satanism, sex, incest, and plenty of bizarre images, makes this horror flick watchable in some parts, but in others it’s just a mediocre movie. Crown International is responsible for putting this film out and most films from that company that I have reviewed in past I didn’t enjoy. I have to say that Satan’s Slave (a.k.a. Evil Heritage) is one of the better films from Crown. Now, I’m not saying it’s a great film or even a good film. It’s all right, but much better from the other trash I’ve seen Crown put out.
The movie starts off with a bang, with a kick ass credit sequence featuring bizarre animations of satanic images. Then it goes to a scene where a woman is being sacrificed. A group of people in robes and strange masks place a woman on a cross, strip her naked, and stab her to death. The rest of the film is about a couple and their teenage daughter, Catherine, going through the English countryside to visit her father’s brother who he hasn’t seen since he was a child. Just as they get to the house they get into a car accident killing the mother and father.
Catherine survives and is taking in by her long lost uncle, Alexander and his son, Stephen. Alexander who is a doctor tries to help her cope with her parents’ death. In the meantime, her cousin Stephen takes a liking to her and tries to get very close to her. Catherine also has visions of things that have happened many years ago that took place at her uncle’s house, which happen to be sacrifices to the devil. Stephen eventually seduces his cousin and him and his father have evil plans for the young girl for her 20th birthday, which is days away.
This film reminds me of Black Candles, but with a better story and not as disturbing. Both films deal in satanic cults, they take place in England, and feature erotic sex scenes. What I liked about the film is that it had an eerie gothic vibe to it, with the old English mansion that had its own graveyard and the scenes where the uncle was pulling corpses out of their graves were good.
Many of the kill scenes are very brutal and gory, but one was really bad that I have to mention. There’s a scene where Catherine’s boyfriend is killed as the powers of Satan make him jump off a building. The scene starts off good but falls flat. (No pun intended) As he falls off the building, there’s no suspenseful music, it’s very rushed, and when he hits the ground it looks like his head is just a melon. It kind of looks like the ending to The Gore Gore Girls where the killer falls to her death and her head is just a smashed up watermelon.
The cast is pretty good and features horror vet Michael Gough who has been in tons of Hammer films and other horror and genre related movies. Gough has been in Horror of Dracula, The Skull, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors and he has played Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred in Tim Burton’s Batman and in the three sequels. Candace Glendenning who plays Catherine is no stranger to horror, starring in The Flesh and Blood Show and Tower of Evil.
The story itself is decent and could have been much better. I thought that they were many scenes that were rushed and this mainly includes the climax of the film. Although, there is a twist in the end that I kind of liked, but some parts of it were very predictable. You’ll have to watch it to see what it is. Overall, Satan’s Slave is not a great horror film by far, but it is decent and has some moments that are worth watching.