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The Brotherhood of Satan
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Brotherhood of Satan More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

O Satan, where art thou?

9/10
Author: Juha Hämäläinen from Finland
11 April 2007

One of the best lesser known occult oriented horror movies of the seventies. It's gritty, exciting, scary, surrealistic here and there and at moments even very smart, which can't be said about many of the movies this kind. I can't help seeing some stinging symbolic and metaphoric points at the seventies society and generation stuff of the time this movie was done. The scriptwriter has obviously been cooking while delivering also some good old "from the crypt" kind of scenes. With a job well done from a creative director the result is entertaining and thought provoking. The simple, yet effective ending specially shows how these things are treated right by those who can.

The excellent cast were mostly unknown to me, except L. Q. Jones as the moody but funny sheriff and Strother Martin as the town doctor. Martin, not surprisingly, always ends up stealing the movie. With that voice and skill he is one of the greatest loonies in movies, for me anyway. What an actor!

So, it is a little bit of mystery to me why this movie has not gathered far greater recognition. I think it would deserve almost equal place in the occult horror canon alongside Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist. One helluva movie!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A family gets mixed up with a satanic coven that needs children.

8/10
Author: clanciai from Sweden
26 April 2015

This is a very original production in all its surrealistic absurdity for its fantastic imagination and imagery - there is a tremendous dream sequence in the middle of the film, a nightmare, of course, but very efficient, credible and well done - exactly like that real nightmares tend to haunt you. The horror is not ridiculously exaggerated, like in most later horror films, but actually creeps into you with some efficiency and manages to present a spectacle that gets more fascinating all the time, until the grand finale, which offers some additional surprises.

The actors are all unknown, its a budget film with no pretensions, but it certainly deserves some attention, together with other odd films of some uniqueness, for instance "Wild in the Streets" from 1968 about a stipulated flower power world revolution. This belongs in almost the same category for making the absurd credible enough to catch your interest, which is the element of cinematic magic: the art of making the impossible credible and surrealism as a visually acceptable reality. Of course, it's a B-feature and not on par with professional standards, but it certainly is better than most B-features and well worth seeing at least for once.

The idea in itself is timeless: the problem of old age to renew itself, its longing for the lost youth, and the wishful thinking of the possibility of renewing it, a theme which also dominates a later and much more refined horror thriller, "The Skeleton Key" from 2005. Here the question is left open - did they succeed, or did they not? The door is left open for any possibility and impossibility.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Neglected and Needs Rediscovery

8/10
Author: LeonLouisRicci from United States
10 July 2013

An ambiguous and confusing beginning leads to a very creepy, effectual, and disturbing Horror Movie that despite its very low budget manages to maintain an aura of surrealism and tension. The most disturbing element is probably the Children in Peril aspect as these Devil Worshipers use the Souls of the Innocent to reincarnate.

After the confounding first few scenes that in retrospect make more sense as things get going, it is one menacing and maniacal happening after another. There is a Post-Sixties Drug hangover that lingers here and it is quite unsettling.

The ending is shocking as is some of the hallucinatory, dream-like imagery and the indoor ritual Scenes have a setting of plastic-ism and play as a Children's demented Clubhouse. This is an underrated, undiscovered, and ultimately quite the quirk that helped issue in the Screen's Satanic Seventies.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Atmospheric, Low Budget, and Effective

7/10
Author: spiritof67 from United States
12 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not everyone likes this movie. It is still one of the best "you have to be thinking" movies about Satanism ever made. The fact that it doesn't have MTV-era jump cuts or gore every seven minutes is irrelevant. Also, speaking as someone who actually KNOWS Satanists, the (spoiler warning!) portion of the film where the Brotherhood exchange their old bodies for those of pre-adolescent childrenis authoritatively correct, and it has some genuinely scary scenes. The section where (second spoiler alert) Strother Martin orchestrates the changeover is almost hyper-real in that it uses very few special effects, a hallmark of this film. McEveety was seldom given a big budget but was often effective. It worked in this case, too.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Imaginative and scary

9/10
Author: Pearce Duncan from Wellington, New Zealand
3 February 2001

The '70s were a great time for horror movies. The Brotherhood of Satan is yet another overlooked gem. It's full to the brim with great surreal, unsettling scenes. It's also great to see Stother Martin and L.Q. Jones (who also produced) in decent roles.

Some of it is a little dated and cheesy, but The Brotherhood of Satan kicks butt over Race the Devil and many other '70s Satanism flicks.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hear and judge!

8/10
Author: Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) from Canada
23 January 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If it's not already considered something of a cult classic, then "The Brotherhood of Satan" certainly should be. It's one of a few interesting genre items produced by actors L. Q. Jones and Alvy Moore; the others are "The Witchmaker" and the justly famous "A Boy and His Dog". Joined by director Bernard McEveety (a veteran of mostly TV), cinematographer John Arthur Morrill ("Kingdom of the Spiders") and other talents, they're wise to concentrate mainly on an escalating sense of danger. In fact, the whole film has a memorable atmosphere of weirdness, not to mention some effective imagery.

Its opening is one of the most memorable things about it, as the filmmakers switch between shots of a toy tank and a real one as it crushes a car beneath it. This leads us into a story (written by William Welch, with story credit given to Sean MacGregor (director of "Devil Times Five")) about vacationers Ben (Charles Bateman), his girlfriend Nicky (luscious Ahna Capri), and K. T. (Geri Reischl), Bens' daughter from a previous marriage. They come upon a small town whose citizens are scared silly. It seems that no one can enter (save for Ben & company) and no one can leave. Adults are dying, and kids are disappearing. The frustrated sheriff (Jones) doesn't understand what's going on and it's driving him crazy.

This is creepy from the start, and gets under the skin due to a deliberate pace and some deeply committed performances, from bit players as well as main cast members. Jones and Moore are great value, as always, and Charles Robinson (not to be confused with the actor from 'Night Court') is good as the priest who comes to figure things out. Strother Martin is wonderful as the cheerful Doc Duncan who's hiding a LOT from some of his fellow citizens. There's also a very fine music score by the under rated Jaime Mendoza-Nava ("The Town That Dreaded Sundown" '77). The nightmare sequence in the latter half of the picture is stylishly done. And there's one noteworthy scene where a member of the coven (Helene Winston) is confronted for going against the ways of their Dark Lord.

Horror buffs should give this one a try, if they're not already aware of it. It just makes this viewer more impressed with Jones and Moore that they gave genre fare a go during this period.

Eight out of 10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Freaky Atmosphere of Seventies Dread

8/10
Author: Bonehead-XL from United States
5 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Brotherhood of Satan" is a singularly creepy movie. I'm surprised I haven't heard more about it. The opening sets the tone. A toy tank clicks and spins. A car is crushed flat by a very real tank, the family inside screaming. The two are cut together, no explanation provided. After the car is reduced to burning wreckage, a little boy in a cowboy hat calmly walks away, soon joined by a group of other quiet children. There is no music and the whole sequence is shot in either extreme close-ups or wide long shots. The effect is deeply creepy.

"Brotherhood of Satan" is actually packed with spooky imagery like that. A little girl is awoken by her baby doll. Downstairs, her father reads solemnly from the Bible, unaware that his wife is having silent seizure-like spasm right next to him. On its own accord, the doll enters the room. It doesn't spring to life and attack the man. Instead, the toy simply stares him down, shaking with glee, the man bleeding from the mouth. After the parents are dead, the little girl joins a group of other children, walking off into the foggy night. The doll cries a murky tear.

The movie is disinterested in plot. There is a story. A stout-chinned man, his girlfriend, and eight year old daughter are on a road trip. While stopping through the town of Hillsboro, California, they are attacked by crazed locals. After escaping, their car breaks down outside the town, forcing the three to return. Over a nightmarish pace, we are made privy to a plot by the town's devil-worshipping elderly to kidnap children, sell their souls to Satan, and take up residence in the now lifeless young bodies. The dad and town priest realize this slowly, unaware that the kindly old doctor is the ringleader of the cult. The story is purely functionary and the film outright ignores it at times, focusing instead on eerie imagery. Like a man decapitated in shadow by the sudden a black-clad rider. A child's birthday party cut together with pictures of dismembered bodies. The red face of a painted devil appearing slowly over a man reading a book. So on and so forth.

The satanic lodge reminds me of "Suspiria," with its checkered floors, and "The Masque of the Red Death," with the way the camera glides through the '70s puke-green painted walls. The movie is largely without music. Actually, there might not be any music before the fifty-five minute mark. The direction is frequently intentionally askew, creating an otherworldly feeling. There's even a sick sense of humor, when an elderly couple enter the lodge, pledge allegiance to Satan, and then chit-chat and tell jokes like this is an after-church bingo party.

Like many of the Satanic cult films that followed, and "Rosemary's Baby" before it, "The Brotherhood of Satan" has a downbeat ending. Character actor Strother Martin screams madly about the devil while his cultists are stabbed to death by black-robed men with flaming swords. Evil triumphs and good arrives too late to stop it. It's hard to decide if the loose plotting was intentional. Either way, the film sustains a freaky atmosphere of seventies dread and packs a visual wallop.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Effective in a creepy way

7/10
Author: preppy-3 from United States
4 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A family is traveling through the mid West. There's widower Ben (Charles Bateman), his girlfriend Nicky (Ahna Capri) and Ben's little daughter K.T. (Geri Reischl). Then hit a town named Hillsboro where everyone acts more than a little strangely. Their car breaks down and they're forced to stay. They soon find out a witches coven has a spell over the town and is up to incredible evil.

The story is not that good. People just figure things out of nothing and they just happen to find out where the witches are at the end. Also there are a lot of loopholes left dangling at the end. The acting is pretty poor too. Bateman and Capri are bland and everybody else is about the same. Only old pros Strother Martin and L.Q. Jones give good performances. Still this movie does work. It forgoes blood and gore (there's some but this is PG) and manges to work with some very creepy visuals and atmosphere. The acting hampers a lot of it but it still works. Martin especially chews the scenery in his role. I can't explain exactly why I (sort of) like this movie but it did work on me. It's a quiet kind of horror that isn't made anymore. Hardly a masterwork but this deserves to be rediscovered. A 7.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Good demonic horror

6/10
Author: imbluzclooby from United States
1 February 2008

Diabolic forces wreak havoc in a small New Mexico town. A young widower and his pretty new bride and eight year old daughter travel through and unwittingly get drawn into this convoluted world of fear. They cannot escape it's lair and all the towns people are equally weird and possessed by some dark spirit. This is definitely budget horror from the early 1970's. Characters are from a rural background and are played with backward and vapid mentalities. Weird things happen in these small towns and Hollywood understood that long before it became common knowledge. I grew up near the Mojave Desert where there have been numerous accounts of Satanic worshippers practicing their rituals in the Lucerne valley. Oh yes, these things are not always fiction, they exist.

This is a good, creepy little gem that will scare you into submission.

Watch and enjoy.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A creepy, quirky and effective early 70's devil worship horror flick

8/10
Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
12 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A young couple -- father Ben (solid Charles Bateman), wife Nicky (the lovely Ahna Capri) and their daughter KT (the cute Geri Reischl of "I Dismember Mama" fame) -- find themselves trapped in a small California desert town populated by hysterical lunatics. Worse yet, there's a pernicious Satanic cult that's been abducting little children for their own diabolical purposes. Director Bernard McEveety, working from an offbeat and inspired script by William Welch and L.Q. Jones ("Devil Times Five" director Sean MacGregor came up with the bizarre story), relates the compellingly oddball plot at a slow, yet steady pace and ably creates a creepy, edgy, mysterious ooga-booga atmosphere. Strother Martin delivers a wonderfully wicked and robust performance as Doc Duncan, who's the gleefully sinister leader of the evil sect. The top-rate cast of excellent character actors qualifies as a substantial asset: Jones as gruff, no-nonsense Sheriff Hillsboro, Alvy Moore as friendly local Toby, and Charles Robinson as a shrewd, fiercely devout priest Jack. John Arthur Morrill's bright, polished widescreen cinematography, Jamie Mendoza-Nava's spooky score, and the wild, rousing climactic black mass ritual are all likewise up to speed. The idea of having toys come to murderous life is simply ingenious (the opening scene with a toy tank coming real and crushing a family in their car is truly jolting). Nice eerily ambiguous ending, too. A pleasingly idiosyncratic and under-appreciated winner.

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