Monday, April 18, 2011

The Brotherhood of Satan (1971)/Strait-Jacket (1964)

Here is a quick double entry on a pair of horror films that have little in common and nothing to do with each other that I just recently watched for the first time.

THE BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN is a 1971 horror film from director Bernard McVeety and written, produced and co-starring L. Q. Jones. It follows Ben (Charles Bateman), his daughter K.T. (Geri Reischl) and girlfriend Nicky (Ahna Capri) who are on a road trip of K.T.'t grandparents house until they see an accident on the side of the road and notify the sheriff of the nearest town. They are mobbed by seemingly the entire town and barely escape. Shortly after they wreck their car and have to walk back to the town for help. It is revealed that much of the town is wrapped up in black magic and have been abducting children for rituals.

The movie is pretty damn awful. It clocks in around 95 minutes but take the away the useless nonsense like dream sequences and conversations that go nowhere and you have a movie of about 65-70 minutes on your hand. Even then it wouldn't be very good because so little happens that it is hard to pay attention, let alone care. The direction is bad, the music sucks and the acting is wooden. The end is pretty much the only part worth watching for a rather creepy Satanic black mass scene.

STRAIT-JACKET is a bit more noteworthy source, William Castle, who directed such films as the original House On Haunted Hill and 13 Ghosts. Lucy Harbin (Joan Crawford) has spent 20 years locked away in an asylum after murdering her husband and his mistress with an axe after finding them in bed together. She comes home to her daughter who is now in her early-mid 20s and is planning to marry her boyfriend soon. It quickly becomes clear that not all is right with Lucy, and perhaps it has spread on to other members of the family or friends. A series of axe murders that are eerily similar to those 20 years earlier occur and its every person for themselves in figuring out who is sane and who isn't.

William Castle is very hit or miss with me. He's well known for his gimmicks that he used to get people to see his movies and some are certainly better than others. I simply find some of his movies to be awful. STRAIT-JACKET wasn't doing anything for me until about three quarters through the movie when it started to turn around. The climax sold me that this was a solid movie. I won't highly recommend it but I will recommend it to someone looking for some psychological horror they haven't seen before.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I caught Straight Jacket on TCM and it kept my interest throughout the whole thing . Great post