After a picnic is called off due to a sudden shower, Ben Holden (CHARLES BATEMAN) his girlfriend Nikky (AHNA CAPRI) and his little girl K.T. (future phony Jan Brady GERI REISCHL) find themselves witness to a brutal car accident. They report the incident in a nearby town only to find the inhabitants of said town hostile and verging on insane. Once more, all attempts to flee the area are nixed by supernatural forces. Seems oldster Satanists have infiltrated the community and they need X amount of tots to complete a body switching ritual and lil K.T is primo material.Having watched this PG-rated 70’s Satan flick years ago on VHS and being mostly unimpressed, I have to say the DVD presentation is another story altogether. Vibrant colors, bizarre camera angles and a generally unnerving atmosphere diluted by the pan and scan edition are here perfectly represented. The story structure is indeed off putting, but it adds to the general sense of confusion and non-reality that becomes a strong point for the film. Hallucinations, nightmare logic and loose ends swirl in a molten mixture of pure post-ROSEMARY’S BABY, Me-decade occult-infused surrealism. Don’t expect answers and don’t expect a victorious climax. BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN is more interested in slowly crawling up your spine than having you at the edge of your seat. I have probably used the adjective “creepy” on this site a thousand times, but after watching this nonsensical dance with the devil in its proper aspect ratio, I have a brand new appreciation for its meaning. What we have here is an under-appreciated classic that demands revaluation.
- Toy tank is used to flatten car
- The nutzo crying baby doll that shakes and kills
- Nicky’s crazy dream
- The horseman statue that comes to life and causes a decapitation
- The priest checks out some MONSTER BRAINS worthy satanic illustrations
- STROTHER MARTIN (SSSSSS) blissfully bounces off the walls as the leader of the coven. The final scenes with the elderly standing next to the children that they will soon inhabit is as humorous as it is disturbing
As kids we always see things differently than we do as adults. I remember the film DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK a made for TV horror movie from the 70’s starring KIM DARBY. This was a bit different than most made for television movies because this one was actually scary! Those little creature things SCARED the hell out of me when I was young and they were some smart little bastards as well! I have recently watched this movie again I will admit that it did not have quite the same effect on me as it did when I was a kid. Even still, the creatures (Which I have called Prune Heads for years) are still pretty damn creepy. This film is still the scariest “made for television” movie that I have ever seen.
Christopher Youngblood is a regular contributor over at the always excellent RETRO SLASHERS!
UPDATE: Read about JUAME BALAGUERO‘s contribution to the television series 6 FILMS TO KEEP YOU AWAKE HERE!
- Who can resist the cast? Besides the already mentioned SHATNER, LUPINO and SKERRIT you also get ERNEST BORGNINE as villain Corbis and my new hero EDDIE ALBERT!
- That weird genie lamp thingamabob with all the damned inside
- Sheriff KEENAN WYNN shows off his new peepers
- A great unhappy final shot
Kindertrauma’s interweb BFF, Buzz, the genius behind the immortal CAMPBLOOD, and the au courant HOMO HORROR BLOGTASTICO unearthed gold recently and it was just so kinder-fantastic we had to share it with you, our dear readers. Behold the wonder that occurs when SMASHING PUMPKINS have a BLOODY BIRTHDAY…
Once, when visiting my friend Jim in Chicago, we wandered into this little second-floor memorabilia shop to look around (you know, one of those I’m-tired-of-collecting-this-shit-so-I’ll-open-a-store-and-sell-it-to-some-other-loser type places). The place was full of books, comics, models and geeks, of course. Well, to both my joy and horror, I came upon something that dredged up childhood memories both happy and traumatic. When pointing out what I found to my friend Jim, the look of dread upon his face said it all. Finally, I felt validated for all the years of abhorrence that I’d suffered as a kid, someone else had been scarred. What did I find, you ask? Why, just a 16 inch model of one of the hapless shipwrecked members of the cast of MATANGO. Or, as it’s commonly known in America, ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE. MATANGO is a Toho release from 1963 that lived for awhile in the Saturday afternoon matinee/late night chiller TV slot before disappearing completely sometime in the 80’s. This is truly a shame because, after finally getting to see it again with the DVD release, this movie holds up as one of the creepiest and subversive things to ever come out of Japan.Directed by ISHIRO HONDA of GODZILLA fame, everything about this movie holds up 40+ years later.
This movie is the reason I couldn’t eat mushrooms for at least 10 years. Only when I reached adulthood (mentally) could I separate fact from fiction and approach our fungal friends again. Still…the movie never fails to come to mind whenever I do eat them.
Like all American kids of my generation (and beyond), I was deeply traumatized by the ending of OLD YELLER–however, it was another “heartwarming family movie” that really messed my shit up, also involving dogs: WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS. Of course the deaths of the dogs are sad, and the titular plant on the graves will bring a tear to all but the most emotionless eye. But it was the death of Rubin Pritchard, the villainous neighbor boy, that really did it to me. For those that don’t remember, Rubin sicks his dog Old Blue on Billy Coleman’s beloved dogs, hoping to take out the coon-hunting competition. When Old Blue isn’t up to the task, Rubin goes to finish the job himself with an ax, but is tripped up in the scuffle and falls on the axe blade, mortally wounding himself.
Now Rubin was the same age as Billy, which was about the same age as I was at the time–and I had never really credited the idea that a kid my age could die. Even though Rubin was the bad guy, it was inconceivable to me that he would really just DIE. Even worse, the movie gives Pritchard a lengthy death scene, complete with whispered last words about fear of dying, and the tell-tale trail of blood from his gaping mouth. At least, that’s how I remember it. It was chilling, especially to an impressionable young lad like I was.
Ah, the good old days of television. Nothing says “heartwarming family entertainment” like being forced to confront the fact of your own grim mortality at a tender age, no? Obviously it made me what I am today.”
Thanks Vicar, if WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS made you what you are today, we’re grateful. Otherwise we wouldn’t have a cool site like your MAD MAD MAD MAD MOVIES to visit!
Like most children of the 80s, MTV was the center of my world. My parents couldn’t stand the channel so, of course, it became even that much more important thanks to my burgeoning rebellious streak. One of the videos that hit heavy rotation in 1985 was Mike + The Mechanics‘ “Silent Running,” and it was pretty terrifying to my 9 year old self. I remember watching it once all the way through but after that I just couldn’t face the dang thing again. Even worse, the video would show up on USA Network’s “Night Flight” and haunt me again and again in the wee hours.
My nephew was born when I was 13 and my niece was born when I was 15, so it was my job to baby-sit them as a teenager. Well, like most teenagers in the 80’s I enjoyed watching videos of my favorite artists. In my case, it meant watching many Billy Joel and Duran Duran videos. This brings us to my first case of trauma with my nephew, who was about 3 at the time; I was watching my VHS of Duran Duran‘s videos and “The Wild Boys” came on. He loved the music because he had listened to it constantly, but I guess he had never paid attention to the video itself. The part where SIMON LE BON falls from the windmill into the water where a weird creature attempts to kill him sent my nephew screaming from the room. He was unable to watch that video for years to come. Next, the second case of trauma with my niece, I had BILLY JOEL‘s greatest hits on VHS, which we enjoyed watching. In this situation I didn’t find out until years later that the video bothered her, she was more subtle than her older brother. She confided in me later on that the video for “Pressure” was traumatizing. The scene where BILLY JOEL is sucked down into the carpet was particularly disturbing for her. It is funny that they both still like Billy Joel and Duran Duran. I even took them to see them both in concert. I guess that is why I am still known as their “Cool Aunt” instead of the aunt that inadvertently traumatized them with music videos.