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A young girl is caught up in a devil cult run by her evil uncle and cousin. She can trust no one and even people she thought were dead comes back to haunt her. Written by
It was on this low-budget (£15,000) movie that make-up artist Nick Maley first met actress Gloria Walker (aka Gloria Maley) who he married in 1978. Nick credits trying to clean Gloria up, naked in the bath, after her bloody murder scene with the beginnings of their relationship. "We got to know each other rather well that night." Later Nick and Gloria wrote Horror Planet (1981), also directed by Norman Warren. See more »
Disappointment from the usually interesting Warren and McGillivray
The works of Norman J Warren and David McGillivray can be likened to the little girl with the little curl - when they're good (FRIGHTMARE, TERROR) they're very very good, and when they're bad, they're horrid. SATAN'S SLAVE completely lacks the edgy, tense, paranoid atmosphere of foreboding doom that marked Warren's later work (including the unfairly maligned INSEMINOID) and the gleeful nastiness that made McGillivray's collaborations with Pete Walker memorable, and the result is a tedious experience indeed, with a sub-standard Michael Gough performance, several sequences that make little sense (though the version I saw was probably hacked to pieces by the sensitive souls at the BBC - good of them to leave the eyeball gouging intact though!) and a central premise that just seems corny to our modern sensibilities. The opening credits should give you your first warning that something's amiss, because no fewer than FIVE directors of photography are credited, which is probably why the overall look of the film is so muddled - for every sequence that musters a degree of low-budget atmosphere, there are several that have the over-lit, barrel-scraping feel of a cheap public information film. Warren seemed remarkably unconcerned about coaxing decent performances from the cast at this stage, and the number of alternate versions suggests he wasn't too bothered about creating a definitive director's cut either. In all, a sad disappointment and a missed opportunity - I much prefer Warren as an unsubtle misanthropist to his mantle here as a bargain basement Roman Polanski.
One other thing - the ident at the beginning for the film's distributors Brent Walker is pretty good, with a great synthesizer fanfare, like the old Cannon movies ident from the eighties, only cheap-looking. Catch it if you can!
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