Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lucifer forgot to show up for SATAN'S BLADE

Director: L. Scott Castillo Jr.

Cast: Tom Bongiorno, Thomas Cue, Stephanie Leigh Steel, Ski Mark Ford, Romona Andrada, Diane Taylor

Slasher/Olive Films / Region A / Unrated / 1.35:1 Full screen / 82 minutes

Extras: Director's commentary / Director's interview / Photo gallery / Scrapbook / Dutch and Japanese video scenes / Trailers


It's been long understood that sometimes a movie's (especially horror and exploitation) promotion, trailer, poster, Beta Max/VHS/Laser Disk/DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray cover and/or reputation can be much better than the movie itself. Such is the case with first-and-only time producer/writer/director L. Scott Castillo Jr. and his bizarrely bad slasher flick Satan's Blade. A while ago Slasher Video (who is known for putting out some great, entertaining "bad" movies) announced their acquisition of Castillo's film and posted the cover art which is fucking amazing (see the Blu-ray cover). Of course this got the fanboys and girls salivating, some of whom knew and loved the movie, some (like me) who were going off of the cover, trailer and synopsis.

Time went by... then more time... and still more time until Slasher announced that they had partnered with Olive Films–a relatively classy label whose releases like Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani's Amer and Brian Trenchard-Smith's classic Night of the Demons 2 have garnered them a very respected reputation in the industry–to rerelease some of their titles on on DVD and Blu-ray starting with the long-awaited Satan's Blade. After the papers were signed near the end of last year, they got hard to work and finally at the beginning of this year, announced a release date and that day has come and gone... finally.

The entire premise of Satan's Blade is pretty straight-forward slasher fare; a group of people who are staying at a lodge in the middle of the woods get picked off one by one by an unseen assailant. But THIS killer is the evil spirit of a crazy woodsman of yesteryear who lives in the lake (geez, that sounds familiar) or something along those lines. The movie starts off with such sleazy promise with a couple of female bank robbers molesting and holding up two other female bank tellers. The sexy duo hightail it to one of the aforementioned cabins to hide out, get naked and then slasher-fied pretty messily. Unfortunately they put the coolness on hold for 45 minutes after that to introduce you to boredom and let some drama unfurl. It isn't until the last few minutes that shit gets nutty and fun again but by then, it is too late.

There's lots of hate online for Satan's Blade and for good reason; it's boring and terribly made (watch for the mic at the top of the frame in numerous scenes). The latter is not a negative for me. I LOVE bad movies that entertain me. The former though, is certain death. Surprisingly I have also found a group of masochists who actually dig Castillo's ode to the tedious and for them, this release is fucking incredible. I have seen the atrociously ugly bootlegs going around and the horrendous-looking VHS tapes (you can see examples of a couple of these in the Blu-ray extra features) and I have to give Slasher and Olive Films the props they deserve; this Blu-ray looks amazing. Yes, there is some debris and small amounts of damage from restoring the 35mm print but there is awesome detail and strong color that has never been seen on home video for this movie. The same can be said for the audio.

 For the TL;DR (too long, didn't read) crowd; the movie is boring crapola, but if you like your boring crapola polished up, looking and sounding good, then pick this Blu-ray up ASAP.

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