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The Brotherhood of Satan
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The Brotherhood of Satan More at IMDbPro »

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33 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Surreal and creepy!

Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
10 December 2001

"Brotherhood of Satan" is one of the most underrated horror films of all times.Why it hasn't achieved a cult status is beyond me.This is a chilling tale of terror and witchcraft which contains one of the most powerful and disturbing climaxes in the annals of screen horror.In the small American town some children have disappeared and their parents been violently murdered.What is the cause of hysteria?The film is really eerie,some scenes are genuinely unnerving and definitely not easily forgotten.The suspense never lets up,the acting is really good,and the climax is bizarre and disturbing.Check out this forgotten gem of satanic horror.Absolutely recommended.

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25 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Criminally Underrated

Author: bensonmum2 from Tennessee
25 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Every great once in a while, you stumble upon a movie that exceeds even your wildest expectations. Given the IMDb rating of 4.0, I wasn't really expecting much with The Brotherhood of Satan. I hoped that at a minimum it might be cheesy fun like The Devil's Rain or any of the other early 70s similarly themed Satanic horror films. I couldn't' have been more wrong. What I got instead was an ambitious and intelligent film with a cast I really enjoyed. Speaking in broad terms to avoid giving anything away, the film's style and structure are much more experimental than the straightforward storytelling so prominent in the early 70s. The Brotherhood of Satan doesn't beat you over the head with plot points and explanations. A lot is left to the viewer to fill in the blanks. As a viewer, you know something is amiss, but for the longest period you're just not sure what it is. The unknown helps make for a far creepier atmosphere than most similar films. The ending is effective with its surreal imagery. I sat in amazement as the final credits began to roll. Those wanting a big slam-bang finale will be disappointed with the ending's simplicity. A lesser film would have tried to pull out all the stops and would, most likely, have failed miserably.

There are moments in the film where it's easy to forget the director, Bernard McEveety, had primarily worked in television before The Brotherhood of Satan. There are a few scenes that are so well set-up, lit, and shot that even the most accomplished of directors could learn a thing or two. For example, I've seen enough films over the years to realize that directors can sometimes seem to have trouble shooting widescreen shots indoors. Not here. The scene where the men are discussing their plan of action in the sheriff's office is amazing. We see all five men at once – each doing their own thing as in real life. In a lesser film, we might see all the men at once, but each would be motionless, quietly waiting their turn to deliver their dialogue. It's a small scene, but it looks so natural and is so beautifully shot that it's one of my favorite moments of The Brotherhood of Satan.

Finally, I mentioned the acting in my opening, so without going into a long-winded speech, I'll just say that The Brotherhood of Satan features Strother Martin and L.Q. Jones. Any film with these two guys is almost an automatic winner with me.

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23 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Interesting and creepy Satanic thriller ripe for rediscovery!

Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia
3 December 2002

'Brotherhood Of Satan' is a very interesting and overlooked Seventies Satanic thriller. Initially you might lump it in with silly-but-fun schlock like 'The Devil's Rain' and 'Race With The Devil' but it's actually a much more complex and ambitious movie with a much more serious and less sensationalistic approach. T.V. veteran Charles Bateman and Ahna Capri ('Enter The Dragon') play a couple on a road trip with their young daughter (Geri Reischl - 'I Dismember Mama') who find themselves in a mysterious and hostile small town gripped with hysteria. Townsfolk have been brutally murdered and children kidnapped and nobody is quite sure why. Glance at the title of the movie and take three guesses! 'The Wild Bunch's L.Q. Jones (who also co-wrote and co-produced) and Strother Martin (the latter probably best known for his role in 'Cool Hand Luke' - "What we have here is a failure to communicate!") star as the town sheriff and doctor respectively. This is one of a half a dozen movies they made together and it is always a joy to see them sharing screen time. They made a great team which was unfortunately cut short with Martin's death in 1980. The supporting cast also includes Hank Kimball from 'Green Acres' (!) Alvy Moore, a real kick for buffs. 'Brotherhood Of Satan' is a surprisingly creepy and effective horror movie with a sometimes fascinating approach to narrative. A movie that is ripe for rediscovery!

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16 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Well made and effective!

Author: rosscinema from United States
28 February 2003

I had no idea what I was going to see when I decided to view this film and to my surprise its just an extremely well made horror film that is easily one of the best of the 1970's. Film is of course low budget and this is an excellent example of how the story and style of a film creates chills, not special effects! Strother Martin is one of the great character actors of all time and he has a rare starring role here and the film also stars Martins good friend L.Q. Jones and "Green Acres" Alvy Moore. Jones and Moore helped produce this film as well. TV veteran Charles Bateman is the star and "Enter the Dragon" beauty Ahna Capri is his girlfriend. Capri is in a bikini at the beginning of the film and she's just gorgeous to look at! Film does a terrific job of staying with the story and not adding a phony feel good ending and I really liked the way the film ends. Great atmosphere, interesting story and well directed by Bernard McEveety. Martins performance is top notch also as he doesn't hold back at all and really throws himself into the role of Doc. Good and underrated film!

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

One Creepy Underrated Gem , With Chilling Performances And A Fantastic Finale!

Author: callanvass
12 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one creepy underrated Gem with chilling performances and a fantastic finale!. All the characters are great, and the story was awesome, plus i thought the ending was really cool!. The plot was great, and it never bored me, plus while the child actors were bad, they gave me the creeps!. This happened to be on the space channel a while ago, so i decided to check it out and tape it, i read some good reviews from fellow horror fans, i must say i agree with them, it's very creepy, and suspenseful, plus Strother Martin, was fantastic in his role, as the Satan worshiper. It has tons of creepy atmosphere, and it keeps you guessing throughout, plus all the characters were very likable, and you really start to root for Ben and his family!. It has plenty of disturbing moments, and the film really shocked me at times, plus, it's extremely well made on a low budget!. This is one creepy underrated gem, with chilling performances and a fantastic finale!, i highly recommend this one!. The Direction is very good!. Bernard McEveety does a very good job here, with great camera work, creating a lot of creepy atmosphere, and keeping the film at a very fast pace!. Ther is a little bit of blood and gore. We get a severed leg,lots of bloody corpses,bloody slit throat, slicing and dicing,decapitation, and an impaling. The Acting is excellent!. Strother Martin is fantastic here! as the Satan worshiper, he is extremely creepy, very convincing, was quite chilling, was extremely intense, seemed to be enjoying himself, and just did a fantastic job overall!. Charles Bateman is great as the Dad, he was very caring, very likable, and gave a good show!, i liked him lots. L.Q. Jones is awesome as the Sheriff, he was funny, on top of things, looked very young, had a cool character, and just did an awesome job overall!. Ahna Capri is good as the girlfriend and did what she had to do pretty well. Charles Robinson overacted to the extreme as the Priest and didn't convince me one bit!, and that laugh of his was especially bad. Geri Reischl is actually decent as the daughter, she was somewhat likable, and only got on my nerves a couple times, i rather liked her. Alvy Moore was goofy, but very likable in his role as Tobey i dug him!. Rest of the cast do good. Overall i highly recommend it!. ***1/2 out of 5

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Very Disconcerting!!

Author: Ricky-50 from United States
6 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was 10 or eleven years old when this movie came out, and it has stayed with me for 35 years since. When the movie came out, all of the theaters in the St. Louis area distributed, as a 'lure', a pack of flower seeds that had the movie name, etc. on the front. On the back of the pack it read, in so many words....plant these seeds at midnight. If a white flower grows, you are saved.....but if a red flower grows, you are doomed!!! Suffice it to say, that for an eleven year old kid, I did not plant the seeds for fear of what may pop up. Here is the spoiler: As the movie starts out, you see a small toy tank moving about in the dirt. On a small road a family is leaving town, and suddenly the camera turns to the tank again, and it is full size. It rolls over the car, and you see bloody limbs protruding from the wreckage, then, just as sudden, the tank is small again.

The reason this movie stuck with me for that long, was because I had a exact toy tank as the one in the movie!!!! Unfortunately I don't know what happened to it, but I did keep a wary eye on that thing ever since!!!

Turn out the lights, put in the DVD, make a sandwich, and watch this movie. It is very good!!!

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Too smart for it's own good!

Author: ( from Toronto, Ontario
18 November 2000

When I first saw this movie, I hated it as it made little sense. Watching it a second time was good because I discovered that it did have some intelligence to it. However, it's probably too intelligent for the audience it intended to attract. The plot conecrens the inhabitants of a small town who are into witchcraft, attempting to kidnap children for evil purposes and the efforts of a family passing through the town to unravel the mystery. Though not particularly scary, it does have some moments which really stand out and are not easily forgotten. It's also nice to see Strother Martin (an underrated actor) getting to play a lead role.

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15 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Satan Loves All The Little Children

Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
22 October 2007

This totally odd-ball feature is a typical and prime example of satanically shocking 70's horror. The events are thoroughly confusing and it takes up quite a while before you figure out what the hell is going on, but the brooding atmosphere sucks you in immediately. Right from the indescribably bizarre intro, showing a couple of eerie children turning toys into real-life war machinery, you just know this become an uncompromising and gritty shocker. "Brotherhood of Satan" soon appears to be another installment in the alleged & unofficial "creepy little town hiding a dark secret" sub genre. A young widower, traveling with his new yummy girlfriend and 8-year-old daughter, stops in a remote little town to report a car accident they witnessed on a nearby highway. The villagers behave very hostile and insist the visitors on leaving right away. The town clearly bathes in an ambiance of fear and panic, as local children vanish inexplicably vanished and unnatural forces maintain everyone within the boundaries of town. Hillsboro is in the grip of a satanic cult, apparently ruled by the elderly members of the community. I really liked "Brotherhood of Satan" a lot. The story reminded me of a novel written by John Saul, but I can't remember the title. It also dealt with a cult of elderly people abusing youthful villagers for their own greedy merits. The film mainly relies on creepy scenery (like dolls and witchcraft relics) but a slightly more involving and coherent screenplay would have been nice. The subject matter often raises a lot of issues and questions, and director Bernard McEveety can't always provide us with answers. The climax is terrific, very seventies (meaning shocking) and unforgettable. Beautifully shot film, too.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

THE BROTHERHOOD OF Satan (Bernard McEveety, 1971) ***

Author: MARIO GAUCI ( from Naxxar, Malta
8 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had been interested in this film for a long time, especially after reading a couple of online reviews of the DVD edition; however, I kept postponing its purchase because of the excessive price-tag and utter lack of relevant supplements. When it went out-of-print earlier this year, I finally gave in - but the entire order (which included a number of other highly-desirable titles) got lost in transit!; luckily, the DVD has been re-issued at bargain-price - and I'm sure glad I picked it up!

Anyway, this is one strange film, and a genuine sleeper: initially confusing but striking occult tale which manages to hit bullseye with respect to both its forbidding small-town atmosphere and the inherent eeriness of the sinister goings-on. A small cast responds perfectly to a terse, absorbing and intelligent script: lead Strother Martin, in particular, makes the dialogue sound better than it actually is with his nuanced performance as the town doctor/head of the witch's coven; L.Q. Jones and Alvy Moore (both of whom also produced the film!) offer solid support as the no-nonsense sheriff and his comic-strip aficionado assistant.

The plot merges elements of various earlier films dealing with witchcraft and the supernatural, and not only the obvious titles: the fact that the town is held under a spell which can't at first be identified, for instance, brings instantly to mind the similar affliction of one specific bourgeois household in Luis Bunuel's sublimely surreal THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL (1962)!; the 'possessed children' angle was borrowed, perhaps, from VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1960); there have been many films - especially of a recent vintage - where the satanic rites of a witches' coven are shown: from THE CITY OF THE DEAD (1960) to THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (1968) but, since the proceedings take place in modern-day America (albeit in remote surroundings) and revolve around elderly witches (seeking a 'renaissance'), the film they recall most of all is ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968).

The occult scenes (accentuated as much by foggy exteriors as by the shadowy lighting of the garishly-decorated house where the diabolical events take place) are presented in a completely matter-of-fact way as to make them unsettling and extremely effective - particularly the opening sequence involving an army tank crushing a car(!), the rampage of a devil-doll (a concept which has been done to death over the years but, here, it raises an undeniable frisson), a surreal dream sequence (set inside the ice chamber where all the victims are kept, since they can't be buried!), a sequence where the witches attack a doubting member of the coven, a beheading committed by a horse-riding medieval knight(!) and the lengthy 'black mass' finale (with the witches, accompanied by the respective child they will be 'taking over', all dressed in red - except for a black-clad Martin presiding over the ceremony) which culminates in ritual mass suicide!

The film also has the guts to deliver a downbeat 'curtain'; it's so refreshing to come across a title (albeit a low-budget production) from a major Hollywood studio, Columbia, that contrives to go so completely against the grain (like, I said, the film is quite weird - extending also to the editing and the score)! It's odd, too, that such a classy - and cinematic - horror offering {sic} should come from a TV director most often associated with Westerns and other family fare! By the way, the same theme was dealt with almost contemporaneously in the nth Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing collaboration NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT (1972; which Lee produced himself!) - a film I foolishly missed out on some 20 years back when it was shown on local TV, and which has been M.I.A. ever since!!

P.S. This review of THE BROTHERHOOD OF Satan will certainly contain spoilers but, then, the synopsis and artwork featured on the DVD cover manage to give everything away anyway!

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Another 1970's Satan movie featuring "Wild Bunch" alumni

Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile
17 December 2007

For some reason in the 1970's it seemed to be a requirement for every former cast member of "The Wild Bunch" to appear in a low-budget satanic-themed horror movie. You had Ernest Borgnine in the ridiculous "Devil's Rain", Warren Oates in the underrated "Race with the Devil", and of course William Holden in the the overblown sequel "Damien: Omen II". The weirdest one though was probably this one which features both Strother Martin and L.Q. Jones (Jones, who would later write and direct the cult classic "A Boy and his Dog", also contributed to the screen play).

It starts out promisingly enough with an entire family somehow being compacted in their car, all except for the young son who wanders off and runs into a strange group of other children. For awhile it is unclear whether this movie is ripping off "Village of the Damned" or "Rosemary's Baby", as you have this group of orphaned and kidnapped children wandering around after their parents have been done by a bizarre murder spree, AND you have a coven of decrepit oldsters led by Strother "What we have here is failure to commun'cate" Martin. The main protagonists are a good-looking but bland couple and their young daughter who are only passing through town, but become involved in the weird goings after they discover the remains of the compacted family. Jones plays the good guy sheriff, and Martin has a second role as the seemingly kindly town doctor.

The satanic scenes are very weird with a lot of freaky shots of children's dolls, and people violently convulsing and dropping dead. The pretty blonde wife also has a "Rosemary's Baby" style hallucinatory dream that is like "Coffin Joe" on particularly bad acid. The end finally ties everything together sort of, but this remains one of those 70's movies that is a lot longer on style than on logic. Still I guess I'd recommend it if you go for these sort of films at all.

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