7.2/10
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Lucifer Rising (1972)

Egyptian gods summons the angel Lucifer - in order to usher in a new occult age.

Director:

Kenneth Anger
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Kenneth Anger ... The Magus (uncredited)
Bobby Beausoleil ... Self (uncredited)
Donald Cammell ... Osiris (uncredited)
Haydn Couts Haydn Couts ... Adept (uncredited)
Marianne Faithfull ... Lilith (uncredited)
Myriam Gibril Myriam Gibril ... Isis (uncredited)
Leslie Huggins Leslie Huggins ... Lucifer (uncredited)
Chris Jagger ... High Priest in Yellow Tunic (uncredited)
Jimmy Page ... Man with Beard holding Stele of Revealing (uncredited)
Francis Rose Francis Rose ... Chaos (uncredited)
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Storyline

Egyptian gods summons the angel Lucifer - in order to usher in a new occult age.

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Genres:

Short | Fantasy

Parents Guide:

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Trivia

Originally Kenneth Anger wanted Jimmy Page to score the film but he didn't care for the music when Page finally delivered. This is one reason why the film took so long to be made. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vortex: Awakening (2019) See more »

User Reviews

 
Anger's Satanic Majestie's Filmmaking Request
16 May 2016 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Lucifer Rising is a film that is jam-packed for all of its 28 minutes with images that are meant to do two different things depending on two different groups are watching: if you don't really know that much about all of the potent symbols and totems and markers and all of the things that link Satan and Lucifer and Hell to things like the Egyptians and the pyramids, then that's one thing. If you do know all about Mr. Crowley and his teachings and prophecies and so on and know what the images are meant to reference, then it'll likely be the blast of a lifetime. What I know is closer to the former, yet what I responded to most was Anger as a *filmmaker*, what he was trying to do and to make it both provocative and yet something that's, I suppose for him, easy to slip in to.

Now, I don't know all of the details of how Anger came to be among Satanists and other cultists (though the note that the composer of the film, Bobby Beausoleil, was a part of the Manson family and wrote/performed the psychedelic early Pink Floyd-era style soundtrack is one of the most disquieting things ever), but I have to assume that he wasn't born into it or raised with Satanists (they really came to be a 'thing' actually in the 70's, with Anton Levay and so on), so there's an element of indoctrination that makes the film so fascinating.

For about less than a minute of Lucifer Rising we see someone in a room reading a book (the camera pans back and forth and we see briefly what he's reading, only enough to gleam bits and pieces, and then an image of a devil or Satan fornicating), and I thought this worked well as a metaphor for the movie itself: Anger may be out to do something transcendent, but elementally it's all about consciousness expansion, and even if we don't come in knowing all of the representations of what this woman in Egyptian garb means or this guy in a cloak or that guy going naked into a tub, there's something about it all that feels like you're being taught some secrets, things that you certainly were NOT taught if you went to Sunday school (or if you're agnostic/atheist it's just alien information).

The other thing that makes the movie so evocative and moving in its gonzo form is that it's also, most likely, about some kind of transformation. There's another character - of course no one has names here, unless one counts the fact that a guy at one point puts on a jacket that has "Lucifer" on the back (a possible in-joke, or just a running motif, following from Scorpio Rising) - a young woman who is climbing up a mountainside. What is she going for? Well, because she is being called? Or because there's something that simply compels and orders her to come. There's no great mission we're seeing, no little girl that'll be possessed in Washington DC and a horror movie will come out of it (though that was going on at the time as well in cinema). Things presented to us amount to... you're currently just a man, or a woman, but what if you could be something more, perhaps?

This is experimental cinema, so many of the images will appear obtuse to those who come in to it cold. But the feeling of things constantly being ominous, of spells being cast and a cultish atmosphere, where people succumb and give in to someone else - giving up their power for someone else, essentially, and it all leading up to a giant, uh, space-ship that floats across the pyramids of Egypt (fx by Wally Weavers of 2001 by the way!) - and that I can understand. If a good deal of it flew over my head that may just be my problem. It certainly, at the least, makes me curious to know more about how many of these images connect and make into a whole 'Raising up Lucifer' story, to which a resurrection plot, however it's really relayed out here, is one that involves a mission and followers and invocations and incantations and other 'ations'.

Or it may be a load of pretentious crank, but I don't think it's fair to discredit it too easily. This is someone who's seen some things and, in his own warped and yet not hard to look at way, and it's an extremely well shot presentation that, once you get into its somewhat languid rhythm, is crisply edited, you know you've seen the dark side. Whether you decide to fully go there... well, I leave that to you. But as a film in and of itself, for what it's trying to do, it's eerie and effective and totally unique - and does it get much more, frankly, 'evil' than to have a Manson family member do the score?


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Details

Country:

USA | UK | West Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1983 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Lucifer Rising See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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