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A young woman is invited by her girlfriend, who lives in an English country mansion, to stay there with her. The estate, however, isn't quite what it seems--and neither is the friend who issued the invitation.
José Ramón Larraz
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
Perhaps because of the success of ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968) and THE EXORCIST (1973) and, to a lesser extent, THE OMEN (1976), the 1970's were a time in which the genre of horror in film was saturated with movies about evil Satanic cults, demonic possession, and incarnations of the big cheese Satan himself. Dozens, if not hundreds, of very low-budget movies revolving around this theme were made in the western world during this era, some with more success than others. It is within this period that SATAN'S SLAVE (1976) was made as a pleasant little contribution from England. While the budget is not as microscopic as that of some of its peers, this flick did not have the sort of funding possessed by the more successful examples of the genre.
This movie is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the worst of its type. It has a reasonably interesting story, attractive characters, at least one sleazy psycho guy, and plenty of nakedness and blood. Since its about an evil Satanic cult, there's also a few cool ritual scenes with daggers and baphomets and robes, along with an attractive young blonde being offered up to the dark lord. What more can a viewer ask for, right?
One of the coolest parts of this movie is the opening sequence, if only because of the eerie off-key piano music and bizarre artwork--there was a certain look attributed to Satanism in the 1970's, and this movie definitely gives the audience that feel. It then transitions to an outdoor scene with a bunch of goat-headed cultists performing the sacrifice of a naked blonde woman upon the altar for the generic reasons that Satanic cults typically do such things in movies of this nature.
From there, we are introduced to Patrick Bateman's wealthy British counterpart, Stephen Yorke (Martin Potter), who romances a young woman. Things are going well for our anti-heroic psycho and it looks like he's about to score a bit of crumpet (if you know what I mean) when suddenly his companion changes her mind for some inexplicable reason. He isn't about to give it up, however, and suddenly clothes are torn and rape seems almost imminent. She does flee the immediate scene, only to have Stephen smash her skull in the doorway before she can exit the manor.
Finally, we meet our heroine, pretty Catherine Yorke (Candice Glendenning), who has spent the night with her long-term lover John (Michael Craze). The two discuss the trip she is about to make out into the country for a week with her parents, to visit a long unknown uncle. Oh yes, and we also find out that Catherine is psychic. No specific psychic powers, mind you--just the generic extra-sensory perception that operates as the plot deems necessary.
Catherine leaves London with her mother and father and they travel by car into the countryside. As they approach her uncle's estate, her father has a flash headache and steers the car directly into a tree. When Catherine is sent for help, the car explodes into a fireball, incinerating her parents and leaving her in the care of her uncle Alexander (Michael Gough).
From there, things go from bad to just plain weird. While Uncle Alexander remains the cool center around which everyone else revolves, his "secretary," a young woman named Francis, does everything she can to maintain Stephen's affection and attention despite the fact that he only has eyes for his cousin. Catherine, meanwhile, has repeated psychic flashes of witchcraft and other assorted Satanic activity around the area, only to end up falling in love with the cold-hearted Stephen and having incestuous relations with him.
Eventually the secrets of the evil cult are revealed, much to the surprise of Catherine but not so much to the surprise of the audience. There are a few twists, but given the age of this movie, expect numerous clichés.
This is a super-cheap movie and there's absolutely no reason you should be paying full price for it. I personally got mine with one of those Mill Creek boxed sets in the dump bin at a local department store. It's not too bad for what it is, all things considered.
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