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Film Review: Satan’s Children (1975)

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SYNOPSIS:

Runaway teen Bobby is given shelter by a cult of Satanists, but his presence and questionable sexuality leads to conflicts within Satan’s Children.

REVIEW:

My experience is when you think of Satanists, particularly in movies, you think of people out to do vile and evil things in service to the Devil himself. You expect movies about these kinds of people to be suspenseful descents into horror. In my time I’ve run across plenty of movies about Satan worshipers that are absolute creep-fests. However, if anyone of you read my previous reviews, then you should already know that I’m not fortunate enough to get to review those kinds of films. Which brings us today’s journey into terrible cinema: 1975’s Satan’s Children.

This particular cow patty of a film centers on a teenager named Bobby. His step-sister lives to make his life miserable, and his step-father is constantly berating him and jumping on his case. Sick of the drama, Bobby decides to run away. He soon runs afoul of a group of guys that gang rapes him before dumping him along the side of the road. There he is found by a Satanic cult made up of mostly young people. One of the gals takes a liking to him, which puts Bobby in danger when the cult’s leader, Simon, returns and is not pleased to find a stranger in their midst.

There are so many problems with this film that I’m just scratching the surface here. From the moment the film begins, you’re going to notice how cheap it looks. The poor lighting, incompetent camera work, and sets that either looked like someone’s friend’s house or made from cardboard stood out like a sore thumb. Granted, this is a low budget film but I’ve seen a lot better flicks from the era where the filmmakers managed to make it appear to have higher production values than they actually had. This bunch had neither the talent nor ability to manage to pull that off.

At least the folks behind the camera had something in common with the people that were in front of it, because none of the cast had any talent either. These actors, and in these folks’s case, I think the term is being used rather loosely, were terrible. There wasn’t a single person involved that could give a believable performance. The only person that showed the tiniest spark of genuine acting ability was the main antagonist of the film but then, in this case, it’s like being the slightly less smelly turd in the pile. It’s sad that a person’s performance could only stand out because he was only slightly less awful than the people around him.

The only disturbing part (because it wasn’t the story or the villains) of Satan’s Children was the portrayal of gay people in the film. Whether this was a decision on the part of the screenwriters, director, or both, but non-straight people were treated as pariahs and perverts. Every gay character was portrayed as predators that either wanted to get fresh with Satan’s Children review.

My experience is when you think of Satanists, particularly in movies, you think of people out to do vile and evil things in service to the Devil himself. As a fan of horror movies, I’ve run across plenty of movies about Satan Worshipers that are absolute creep-fests. If anyone of you read my previous reviews, then you should already know that I’m not fortunate enough to get to review those kinds of films. Which brings us today’s journey into terrible cinema: 1975’s Satan’s Children.

This particular cow patty of a film centers on a teenager named Bobby. His step-sister lives to make his life miserable, and his step-father is constantly berating him and jumping on his case. Sick of the drama, Bobby decides to run away. He soon runs afoul of a group of guys that gang rapes him before dumping him along the side of the road. There he is found by a Satanic cult made up of mostly young people. One of the gals takes a liking to him, which puts Bobby in danger when the cult’s leader, Simon, returns and is not pleased to find a stranger in their midst.

There are so many problems with this film that I’m just scratching the surface here. Right off the bat, from the moment the film begins, you’re going to notice how cheap it looks. Granted, this is a low budget film but I’ve seen a lot better flicks from the era where the filmmakers managed to make it appear to have higher production values than they actually had. This bunch had neither the talent nor ability to manage to pull that off.

At least the folks behind the camera had something in common with the people that were in front of it, because none of the cast had any talent either. These actors, and in these folks’s case, I think the term is being used rather loosely, were terrible. There wasn’t a single person involved that could give a believable performance. The only person that showed the tiniest spark of genuine acting ability was the main antagonist of the film but then, in this case, it’s like being the slightly less smelly turd in the pile. It’s sad that a person’s performance could only stand out because he was only slightly less awful than the people around him.

The only disturbing part (because it wasn’t the story of the villains) of Satan’s Children was the portrayal of gay people in the film. Whether this was a decision on the part of the screenwriters, director, or both, but non-straight people were treated as pariahs and perverts. Every gay character was portrayed as predators that either wanted to get fresh with under-aged people or were rapists. Each and every one of these characters in the film were also deceitful connivers. In this film’s world not even a satanic cult wanted anything to do with homosexuals or lesbians (and you’d think people worshiping Satan would be more than happy to accept anyone). There was no subtlety to the filmmakers’ homophobia here, it was there for the world to see in all its ugliness. I may not be a member of the LGBTQ community, but I still find that kind of blatant discrimination distasteful to say the least. I understand that the movie was made in a different era, but it doesn’t make it less troublesome.

This is also one of the most boring movies about a Satanic cult I’ve ever seen. The main antagonists never come across as particularly threatening or dangerous. If anything, these were people that seemed like they would be outsmarted by a chipmunk. Bobby himself is never a compelling main character, either. He’s a whiny twerp with very little personality and no redeeming qualities. I found myself not caring what happens to him, so there was no sense of tension when he’s in danger. The fact that he seems to survive purely by chance in some encounters doesn’t exactly help. How we’re supposed to be entertained by Bobby the Professional Victim is beyond me. He bumbles his way through the movie while managing to survive attacks by people with the brain capacity of a gerbil mainly because he happens to get lucky. Not exactly the makings for a thrilling ride, and his actions to earn the respect of the cult leader is completely unbelievable.

I can’t recommend that anyone watch Satan’s Children. It’s a dull movie with no likable characters, uncomfortable portrayals of the LGBTQ community and horrible acting. It doesn’t manage to be unintentionally funny. There is nothing entertaining to be found in the film, so you’ll probably want to avoid this one as much as possible.

 

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