Friday, March 18, 2011

Satan's Children

Holy Jesus.

It's generally known that Christians don't much like homosexuals. Apparently there is a line in the Bible somewhere stating that homosexuality is a sin, so Christians take it very seriously. Anyway, if Christians don't like homosexuals, you'd think Satanists would be all over them. After all, if something flies in the face of God, well, one would assume those who live to defy Him would embrace it.

Apparently not. As much as one would think buttfucking and blowjobs would be the purview of Satan worshippers, it isn't. Nope. Satanists hate homosexuals almost as much as Jerry Falwell does.

In this film, our hero, Bobby (Stephen White), has a pretty wretched home life. His stepsister wavers between berating him, trying to seduce him, and making fun of his penis. His stepfather is verbally abusive, yelling his way through every scene. And the director, he mostly films Bobby in his underwear, luridly focusing on his crotch as often as possible.

Having had enough, Bobby runs away. He wanders the streets for what seems a very long time. Truthfully, every scene in this movie seems to go on for a very long time. Long after we've got the point, the director will allow a scene to linger, as if the concept of pacing is foreign to him.

Bobby meets a kindly fellow named Jake. Jake offers him a place to spend the night, so Bobby goes home with him. But instead of letting him sleep on the couch, Jake and his three buddies gang rape Bobby. And, yes, this scene goes on far too long as well, but it does allow the director to get lots of shots of Bobby's bare ass. When the gang has had their fill, they dump Bobby, naked and bruised, by the side of the road.

Unfortunately, he's found by a group of nearby Satanists and things go from bad to worse for Bobby.

Now, at Camp Satan, Sherry (Kathleen Archer) has a problem of her own. Monica, one of the other Satanist girls has been putting the moves on her. "I can't help it," she cries, but Sherry warns her gruffly "You better start trying to like guys" or she'll tell Simon. And who is Simon? Chief Satanist, it seems, though he is away on business at the moment.

Bringing Bobby into the fold creates a second problem for Sherry. Another Satanist challenges her authority. Apparently Joshua doesn't like the idea of Bobby being allowed into the group because "he's queer." And worse yet "Simon don't like victims." But Sherry is pretty decisive, in a way that middle managers sometimes are when the boss is at a conference in Duluth, and they make wrongheaded decisions, only to end up in worse trouble when the real person in charge gets back.

Her first decision: Slaughter some goats, tie up Monica, and offer her up as a sacrifice. But before things can really going on the lesbian murder, it is discovered Joshua is praying to Lucifer for Simon's speedy return. (The idol of Lucifer, by the way, looks as if it were purchased from Toys 'R' Us.) The insubordination is quickly dealt with, by hanging Joshua and couple of his girlfriends. Unfortunately, his pleas to the Dark One are answered, and Simon unexpectedly returns that night.

Simon (Robert C. Ray II) is none too pleased with what he finds. Joshua is in the noose, Monica is still bound up, and Sherry is sharing her bed with a stranger. Needless to say, she's in for something of a rude awakening. Simon immediately sets about dispensing justice and restoring order to the ... coven? commune? whatever...

First up is Monica. She's been accused of lesbianism. Simon questions her about Sherry's charges. Monica denies it all, but is soon choking on her words. Literally. Blood spews from her mouth, as she screams, gurgles, and dies. The Lord of Lies, much to my surprise, has a low tolerance of liars, and Monica's oath to him has come back to haunt her.

Next up is Sherry. She's overstepped her bounds by both killing Joshua and giving sanctuary to Bobby. Her punishment: she's buried up to her neck in the sand, doused in syrup and fed to the ants.

But Bobby, he gets the worst of it. He's forced to listen to one of Simon's plodding soliloquies. It, much like everything else in the movie, goes on far too long, and is delivered in a halting, deliberate manner and peppered with so many dramatic pauses it's like watching Shatner on Quaaludes. (It's a performance that David Cain Haughton would later pay tribute to in Ator the Invincible, right down to the ridiculous accent.)

Bobby says he's willing to give his soul to Satan, but Simon responds, "He doesn't want it."

"Why not?" Bobby asks.

"You're weak, you're a loser. Satan wants winners. A winner is someone who gets what he wants, and you never have. Right now you want to get up and out of that bed. You've been wanting to ever since you woke up in this room. But you haven't. And you won't."

"I'm hurt," Bobby pleads.

"You're in pain. To be hurt is to be physically incapacitated. You just don't feel good. Your ass is sore. Poor little boy got raped by some queers and he's perfectly willing to forget all about it. You must believe in Jesus. Inherit the Earth, blessed are the poor in spirit. You must be an expert on turning the other cheek."

Fearing another monologue, Bobby flees the compound. For the next fourteen (fourteen!) minutes we're treated to a sequence of the boy, clad only in his underwear, as he tears through the woods pursued by the Satanists. He scurries through the brush, falls in the mud, is bloodied and bruised. It's like a painting of Saint Sebastian come to life. Now, I'm not saying the director of this film must've been queer, but man, the director of this film must've been queer. By the end of the chase Bobby is covered in sweat and mud; this has moved far beyond art and straight into fetish.

Bobby outfoxes the Satanists and finally makes it home. Does he live happily ever after? Hell no. He bashes dad over the head, abducts his creepy stepsister and heads back to Jake's place. After shooting him and his party pals, Bobby hacks off their heads, stuffing them in a pillowcase.

With the severed heads and his stepsister delivered to Simon, Bobby has proven once and for all he's a winner. Way to go Bobby! Jesus would be proud.

Someone please, please, please tell me what they put in the water down in Florida that makes them turn out crazy films like this?

Directed by Joe Wiezycki • Unrated • 1974 • 83 minutes

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