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This film swings the doors to the early days of the Church of Satan (CoS) wide open and was, for quite some time, the only interview footage of Anton Szandor LaVey available. (Scenes from this film are still in use today in news specials and documentaries, often times used as propaganda by some groups to turn people FROM Satanism. Most of the humor in this film will not be seen by the audiences that these groups are trying to influence.)
This documentary interviews neighbors, friends and enemies of Anton LaVey and his church and helps shed some light (dark?) on origins of the philosophies that were codified in this unique religious movement. This ilm is not without it's tongue-in-cheek moments. During one of the opening scenes, one of a Satanic ritual, the participant's solemn mood is broken when the Priest of the ceremony (LaVey) says, "Okay, that's enough for that part." Perhaps it was the director's idea to show some incidental humor in the film.
One thing that will probably strike everybody as strange is the sense of humor shown throughout the film by most of the people that are interviewed. Satanists are often seen as dour, humorless folk, but, as Anton LaVey points out in the film, a person without a sense of humor is intolerable at worst, and doesn't make a good Satanist. Humor abounds and stands in stark contrast to the rituals.
Also seen, as noted before, are some of the enemies to LaVey's cause. There are interviews with Mormon missionaries and priests from the area and they are given a chance to voice their outrage towards this philosophy. This film is highly recommended as a documentary of a rather maligned religion. It can be a bit hard to find, but it is available.
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