The Redeemer: Son of Satan! (1978)
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There was absolutely nothing I enjoyed about this film.. those who think "Carnage" is the worst ever.. they should watch this...
There are 6 people who have done something sinful, who knows what it was-- and these six people get invites to a class reunion at their high school.. It's just them, and then this preacher guy shows up at the school --I have no idea how or why!! And he basically murders the six people who try desperately to elude this loony toon to get out of the school alive!!!
The preacher also uses like 4 different disguises, a skeleton, clown, and something else....
I really didn't care whether these characters lived or died-- it was that boring...
The deaths are basic--- shotgun, revolver, sword in head, little flamethrower another sword killing, and a girl gets drowned in a restroom sink!!!!
6 different deaths for each of the six people..!!!
As it turns out, they all never escape, and they ll get murdered!!
And the psychotic preacher is shown at the end as a very regular "unpsychotic" preacher preaching at a service...then the boy who we see rise from the lake in the beginning, gets back on the bus, and gets driven to the lake.. and he walks back under the water to where he arose from... ends with a quote from the bible!!!
Don't watch unless you have insomnia-- this will put you right to sleep!!!
This was a double feature DVD with Carnage from EastEnd DVD's.com--
Absolutely no extras, no scene selection on either movie--- I already have the VHS movie of Carnage which was better than the Redeemer: son of Satan!
So I took the DVD, and ran in electric saw through it!!!!
"The Plumber" is as just as bad- except I rented that one-- good thing I did!! Took it back IMMEDIATELY after I watched it!!
If you look at the cast list at the IMDb page for this movie, the killer, or the REDEEMER, is played by T.G. Finkbinder, a doughy guy who overacts shamelessly in a theatrical manner and looks like he ate too many twinkies. Now how scary is that for a murderer? There's NO supernatural element in this film, or no one is killed with supernatural means. The boring killer uses a flamethrower, death by drowning or a standard shotgun to off his victims. Again, where's the originality? I suspect the producers of this film had original intended the film to be a standard TEN LITTLE INDIANS kind of movie but decided to make a few superficial changes to the film in order to sell it as an OMEN kind of film, which were popular back in those days and were making a lot of money at the box office. The core of the movie is the Agatha Christie part. The superficial additions I suspect were added at the last minute to bookend the movie: they happen at the beginning and at the very end, with a little boy (sorta like Damien from THE OMEN) walking out of a lake(!) and heading for the school, and ends with the kid going back into the lake. If you cut those two pointless scenes, it wouldn't make any difference to the bulk of the movie. In fact, the scenes with the kids don't have anything to do with the group of six adults locked up in the mansion. The whole thing is obvious and remarkably tacky and transparent. Imagine, back in the 1970s, the producers tried to sell this turkey as an OMEN kind of film. When the film was released on video in the 1980s, the producers retitled the film in order to sell it as a slasher, which were all the rage thanks to the success of HALLOWEEN and Friday THE 13TH. I wonder what title they'll come up with when they release the film on DVD today. SCREAM AND MORE SCREAMING ?!?!
Having said that, is the core of the movie good? Nope. It's lame. Acting, dialogue, cinematography. Practically everything about the TEN LITTLE INDIANS portion of the film sucks. The only good thing in the movie is the main theme of the soundtrack. It's actually good and effective.
If you expect an OMEN or DAMIEN kind of film with THE REDEEMER, well, you'll be sorely disappointed. If you expect to see a slasher kind of film under its second title, CLASS REUNION MASSACRE, well, you'll be disappointed by it as well. And if you expect a good movie of any kind, well, you won't find it with this sad excuse of a horror film.
It was particularly hilarious that they had the six classmates eating at a table reminiscent of The Last Supper.
It should't be a big surprise that being gay is particularly distasteful to this self-righteous preacher. A couple of the classmates fit the stereotype.
And, somewhere he managed to miss "Thou shalt no kill as he stabs and burns and shoots and drowns.
Accompanied by some really irritating music. It didn't appear to know where to end, so it just kept going to some magical end that made no sense.
Here's our "plot" more or less: six people, each a cartoonish stereotype representing a "deadly sin," (a greedy lawyer, a vain gay man, a lesbian, a rich bitch, a male chauvinist pig, and a promiscuous former teen-queen) return to their now-closed high school for a ten-year reunion, where they quickly discover that they're the ONLY people in the school building aside from a psychotic killer who locks the doors and proceeds to pick them off one by one while wearing a variety of masks and costumes. Our six victims, to be blunt, are idiots. After nearly every death scene, the remaining survivors invariably sit around looking dejected and discuss "NOW what are we going to do?" until the crazed killer strikes again, rather than doing the logical thing, like trying to smash out a window, break down a locked door, or whatever is necessary to escape. They also tend to stand around in shock and horror after every death while the killer makes a long, drawn-out speech about their sinful lives, letting him say his piece rather than simply rushing the guy and trying to kick his ass. Oddly enough, our killer (who is a fire-and-brimstone priest, judging from the not-very-helpful exposition shown at the beginning of the movie) seems to have no connection to the six people other than the fact that they're sinners and he hates them. If he had gone to school with the six and they'd shoved him in a locker or otherwise mistreated him in some way in the past, then perhaps the rampage would make sense. I'm not even going to get into the kid with an extra thumb (?) who rises mysteriously out of a lake (!) at the prologue of the movie (accompanied by some of the most annoying synthesizer music ever recorded) and is not seen again till he returns there in the epilogue, because those scenes feel like they were pasted in from a different film. The prevailing theory seems to be that the kid is actually "The Redeemer" and that he's the one pulling the strings (those of you who've seen the movie will get that reference, I'm sure) behind the Priest's murder spree, but overall CLASS REUNION MASSACRE isn't coherent enough for the viewer to know for sure. It seems to me like the makers of the film were trying to mesh the then-popular "Satanic child" genre (i.e. "The Omen") with the slasher film genre, but they bungled both sides of the equation. The highlights for me were the teen-queen character, a Farrah Fawcett wanna-be who was wearing a short skirt, and one kill scene involving a pendulum hanging from the ceiling and a creepy puppet in a clown suit. Otherwise, CLASS REUNION MASSACRE was 90 minutes that I should've put to better use, like clipping my toe nails or watching paint dry.
The film opens in surreal style with a young lad, Christopher (Christopher Flint), emerging from a lake and boarding a bus, travelling to a church where he joins a tone-deaf boys' choir and gets bullied by a fellow chorister brandishing a knife. Soon after, we see the killer claiming his first victim, the school's caretaker, using the corpse to mould himself a latex mask which, in true Scooby Doo style, he wears to fool the group of unsuspecting, soon-to-be-dead friends.
The film then cuts to the arrival of the six victims, each of whom is guilty of one of the seven deadly sins. Once everyone is inside the building, the killer, disguised as the caretaker, locks all the doors and windows and, discarding his mask in favour of several other creepy guises, proceeds to bump off the victims one-by-one, his job made all the easier by the fact that the morons continually split up to wander around the vast school on their own.
The death scenes vary from completely bloodless to reasonably gruesome, the most graphic being a guy turned into a human torch (cool full body-burn stunt here) and another poor sap getting a large blade dropped point down onto his head from a height; however, anyone raised on a diet of '70s/'80s slashers will probably still find these rather tame in terms of gore.
What makes the kills much more fun and a bit more disturbing are their macabre trappings: the burn death is caused by a creepy life-size doll holding a blowtorch, while the blade death happens during a bizarre stage show in which the killer controls a freaky marionette. Another murder—a drowning in a sink—sees the killer wearing a disturbing clown get-up, while the final death scene reveals the killer to have two thumbs!
Once the six friends are all dead—the film is fairly unique in that there are no survivors—the action returns to the church where it is revealed that the killer was the priest (who I believe was being controlled by Christopher, who also has two thumbs). After taking care of the knife-wielding bully, the boy returns to his lake.
Frequently baffling, with awkward pacing, poor acting, and unlikeable characters, The Redeemer is far from a great movie, but it is so strange that I still recommend it to any self-respecting fan of bizarre, obscure cult horror.
We first see the Redeemer, T.G Finkbinder, posing as a priest at a Catholic School giving a fire and brimstone speech to his congregation that includes this little boy Christopher, Christopher Flint, who earlier walked out of this lake and hitched a ride to the priest's school. Chris was earlier threatened by the school bully, Daniel Elliot, with a knife for not laughing at one of his corny jokes. Daniel for his actions which were nothing more then having a big and abusive mouth was given the death penalty at the end of the film.
The movie then switches directions in what seems to be a totally different story with the graduating class of the 1967 Stuart Morse Academy coming together for a class reunion. It turns out that the priest is behind all this and is targeting the six former classmates for his brand of righteous indignation in punishing them for the horrendous "crimes" that they all committed over the last ten years. You get the feeling right away that this Redeemer is a bit off his rocker in his righteousness. The Reedemer for some reason that's never explained in the movie brutally murders the school janitor, Erick Kjoenes,who as far as we know didn't commit any of the "crimes" that the Redeemer would consider to carry the death penalty.
With the unsuspecting former Stuart Morse alumni now gathered together in the school all the doors are locked and the telephone lines cut off, by the crazed Redeemer, as their left to their fate, a brutal and sudden death as we sit through and watch in horror the Redeemer go into action. Using all kinds of weird disguises the Redeemer first murders the gluttonous former high school football star Terry,Nick Carter, by burning him alive. The fun loving and beautiful Jane, Nikki Barthen, somehow makes it out of the school and trying to get help runs into the Redeemer, dressed as a hunter with a fake wig and even faker silly looking mustache. Acting as if he's trying to help the Redeemer blows Jane away with his shotgun just like she killed a number of pigeons earlier in the movie taking target practice.
The out of control Redeemer continues his deadly rampage by running through the conceited Roger, Michael Hollingworth, with a flying dagger, dropped from he celling, that penetrates his skull. Later in the most brutal and sickening act in he movie he has Cindy, Jeanetta Arnette, trapped in the Lady's room and in what seems like a good ten minutes beats abuses and finally drowns the terrified young woman in the bathroom wash basin. The scene has to be one of the most shocking scenes ever put into a horror/slasher film with it not having a single drop of blood in it.
The killer for some reason takes off his disguise when he confronts John, Damien Knight, and gives him this whole line of BS of why he deserves to be killed. This has to do with John, a lawyer, overcharging his customers and defending and getting off those who are accused of horrible crimes, like the Redeemer? Then after a brief struggle, where he seems to have gotten shot by John with his own gun, blows John's brains out. The last and final member of this bloody class reunion the gay or lesbian Kirsten,Gyr Patterson, is trapped on the schools stage and after grabbing the Redeemer's gun can't seem to be able to fire it. The Redeemer uses one of the evil puppets, pulling it's strings, to sneak up from behind and slice poor and hysterical Kirsten's head off.
The movie ends as we go back to the Catholic School and hear the Redeemers, or this time priest, harangue to his congregation with tales of sin and redemption. Later as he goes back to his room we notice that he was wounded, by John?, with his midsection bandaged up and blood seeping out. The young Christopher who seems to be the power behind the Redeemers murderous actions is then seen going back from where he came from the bottom of the lake. This, more then anything else, is what really spooked me about the movie when we see both the Redeemer and Christopher have double thumbs looking like they were Devil hoofs as the movie finally ends. In fact it was the double thumb that miraculously healed the Redeemers wounds by him just rubbing it over them!
Typical Horror plot. Some kid walks out of a lake, gets on a bus, and goes to Church, where we find a rather loud Priest doing his thing...
and I'm sure all of this has something to do with the six "sinners" the story now revolves around. Four People I barely noticed, Mr. metro- fem, and a lesbian are headed to their 10 year high school reunion where they can sit around and eat, and "act", and wonder where the hell everyone's at. With the doors now locked, one by one, everyone is taken out by the redeemer, some guy who probably fancys himself some kind of righteous/sadistic chameleon, hence the killing in the name of God, and constant wardrobe changes. Feeling tired yet?
Class Reunion Massacre is mostly made up of endless conversations and ironic killings meant to punish sins such as gluttony, and drinking too much. This film manages to be blasphemous against Christianity, as well as B-cinema. I expected very little, yet was somehow still disappointed. What I find most irritating about Class Reunion Massacre is I can almost detect a hint of potential somewhere in there. The atmosphere is all it has going for it. Ultimately, this is not a good horror movie, not a good B-movie, Class Reunion Massacre, for the lack of a better word, is a failure. Actually, I wouldn't mind a DVD release, with some audio commentary, which might shed a little light, because I just know I missed something. I don't get it. There's way too many positive reviews for this... come to think of it, I'm wasting my time here. I could be reviewing something worthwhile, like Nightmare In A Damaged Brain...
There was some great chilly moments such as the theater stage scene where one of the characters gets a sword in his head. There was even a lesbian subtext (in the beginning each character is given vignette to show us their hidden lives and "sins") to satisfy the "straight" male interest. Each killing relates to each of the seven deadly sins, a "killer" if you are Christian!
There was some quirky film-making moments, which added on to the "weirdness" of the film in how the characters interact with each other. Watch out for the scene where the freeze framed image (70s motion picture technique) of the killer wearing a black cloak outfit with a skull mask, with his eerie laugh echoing, fun stuff!
This movie does have a lot in common with "Slaughter High" both having more or less the same story line, only this one is much better. Now then this is one uniquely strange horror film, creepy and unsettling, plus I had no idea what the hell was going on. Why did that kid just rise out of the water Is this a fully-functioning Catholic boys school or a deserted old high school? Two thumbs?! Are the filmmakers really trying to say that if you're a dirty sinner, Satan will send "The Redeemer" from the depths of the California desert to even the score? Or was it just an easy set-up for a slasher.
After a truly baffling prologue involving said water-kid, a sermon, and a janitor murder, Class Reunion Massacre (aka The Redeemer) sets the scene. The robot music kicks in. Six stereotypical former high-schoolers are introduced through presentback (you know, like a flashback...but now). We've got the heartless lawyer, the town drunk, the ex-quarterback, the rich bitch, the flamboyant gay actor, and the good-hearted lesbian. All total sinners, right? Anyway, the super-six arrive at their ten year high school reunion, only to find that they're the only ones invited. Ignoring the obvious clues, the old kids partake of the catering and live it up. Until they find out that all the doors are locked. From the outside. Soon enough, a disguise-changing, bible-quoting killer picks off our cast one by one. After the carnage, the film wraps up just where it started, only with an accompanying on-screen biblical blurb to help us out. Wow.
All in all Class Reunion Massacre succeeds, it may be light on gore but it's effective and filled with interesting shots. The killer himself was really creepy and the idea he changes costume for each murder was a really great idea. Naturally, when you add the religious subtext to all of this, things get even stranger. I find it a little far-fetched to buy into the idea of selling anything (are these filmmakers anti or pro Christian?) through the "art" form of trashy horror, but whatever. Just the idea of someone trying to get their message out through the use of "The Redeemer" is both hilarious and scary.
The sixth chosen wonder aloud why no one else had turned out for the reunion, impressed at the decorum and feast available for them. Those who arrive include a lesbian(..who wishes to keep her sexuality a secret from the gang), lawyer(..a scoundrel with unpopular practices), former high school star(..now a slob, who gorges himself on food anytime he can, and we see that he treats his wife and kid rather inhospitably), a multiple-married bar-hopper(..who lives to party), a primpy flamboyant homosexual actor, and a cold-hearted wench(..unhappily married into wealth who likes to shoot pigeons, among other animals, for sport). When they attempt to reach outside to discover why they are the only ones at the reunion, the group find that all the doors are locked, with bars and gates trapping them inside the building with no escape available.
There's this great(..or hilarious?)scene where bangs on the front gate pleading for help, when someone in a grim reaper costume interrupts, swinging a scythe, laughing hysterically, his face covered with a skull mask. Another inspired sequence has a mannequin, in a seat, containing a blow torch in it's arms, setting on fire.
Damien Knight(..John Sinclair, the lawyer), Michael Hollingsworth(..Roger, the gay actor), Nick Carter(..Terry, the glutton ex-pro quarterback), Jeannetta Arnette(..Cindy, a stickler for bad relationships with men), Gyr Patterson(..Kirsten, the lesbian), and Nikki Barthen(..Jane, the privileged wife who likes to shoot those animals for sport, her fate resembling her own extracurricular activities)round out the cast of those judged to be executed for their sins. TG Finkbinder is the creepy "Redeemer" who hunts them down one by one, his distinctive voice full of contempt and vigor, pronouncing their doom for their misdeeds and indiscretions. While this is still a slasher film, draped in religious subtext regarding the "wicked" paying for their sins, credit I think goes to the filmmakers for creating this really eerie ambiance throughout, in just the way it is scored and shot, there's just this weird atmosphere it has that worked it's power over me. While we do have some jarring death sequences, such as the dagger to the skull and bullet to the the forehead, I think the most disturbing and successful kill concerns Finkbinder in a clown mask drowning Arnette in a bathroom sink full of water..I think what makes it so effective is how she struggles with everything she has to escape, unable to free herself from the inevitable. The deal with the two thumbs and the whole idea of some force from hell in the guise of a child only adds extra strangeness to the proceedings. I think this has potential to become(..if it hadn't already)a cult classic. The way victims are selected(..their sins)might be offensive to some(..particularly homosexuals).
Basically, the beginning of the movie is strange as it starts with a boy walking out of a lake and getting a ride from a bus to a church. There we here the ramblings of a mad priest talking about sinners getting what they deserve and what not. Then, the movie seems to go into the past introducing a group of people, one by one, talking about going to their high school reunion. When the group arrives at there old high school, they are locked in and one by one are murdered off in various ways by a man wearing multiple costumes.
Everything about this movie is bizarre. The music is very good appropriate and helps to build some dread, especially during the scene in which the boy at the beginning of the movie is walking out of the lake. The whole storyline feels like it was two stories put together as the beginning and the end of the movie doesn't fit with the whole class reunion part. It was still fun. Also, the costumes the killer was wearing was a nice little treat as it gave him some personality. But don't expect much gore. There was only one scene and that was actually pretty hilarious.
Check this one out. You might not be disappointed. 7/10
Afterward, the other choir members bully the boy, even putting a knife to his throat.
Those six people have been invited to a ten-year class reunion: John, a lawyer who doesn't care if his clients are guilty. Cindy, a promiscuous party girl. Terry, an overweight ne'er-do-well. Jane, a wealthy and immoral heiress. Roger, a vain actor. And Kirsten, a lesbian.
The event will be at their old high school, where a mysterious man arrives to kill the janitor and make a mask of his face.
None of the six people really knew one another. Yet they enjoy a room appointed with plenty of room and drink. It's all fun and games until they find the dead body of the janitor filled with maggots and that the school is locked.
Am I really spoiling anything if I tell you that everyone dies? Terry gets his crotch set on fire with a flamethrower. Jane meets a hunter in disguise who recites poetry to her before killing her with a shotgun. Roger is killed by a magician and his deadly trick. Cindy is attacked by a clown and drowned in a sink, an attack that seems to take forever.
John meets the killer face to unmasked face. He reveals that he has lured them to the school to punish them for lives of sin, such as John being a criminal lawyer who helps guilty criminals go free. The killer is a Redeemer, one who has decided to rid the world of the wicked starting with a few sinners. They fight and John shoots the killer in the side, but he recovers and graphically shoots John in the head.
Kirsten is chased through the school and even gets the gun, but a giant puppet stabs her.
The Redeemer is revealed to be the priest, who returns to the church to finish his sermon, claiming that the six sinners will be given redemption. He then meets with the boy, who reveals that he has killed one of the boys who bullied him, as well as a Bible salesman. The boy tells him that all will be right.
The priest goes home to tend to his wounds and we notice he has an extra thumb, which disappears. The boy goes back to the lake, where he walks into the water and disappears.
The movie closes with this: "From out of the darkness the hand of the Redeemer shall appear to punish those who have lived in sin... and return to the watery depths of Hell."
Shot in July 1976 and also known as Class Reunion Massacre, this movie is way ahead of its time. And it also seems like it wasn't created by human beings. It's legitimately unsettling at times and raises plenty of questions. Who is behind everything? The kid or the priest? Why are they really doing it? Why pick these exact people and this exact school? Why the masks and deathtraps?
Why ask why? This film is closer to a surrealist art film than a horror movie. Just watch the scene with the Grim Reaper costume and the Redeemer screaming and yelling, but locked outside the gates. It's just...off. And I loved it.
I'm interested to hear what other people think of this one, because I feel that this should be a much bigger cult film than it is.
Opinion on "The Redeemer" (also released as "Class Reunion Massacre") seems to be divided, with some reviling the film for its religious overtones and sloppiness, while others herald its surreal disposition and dread; I tend to fall in the camp of the latter for a handful of reasons. While it is admittedly no masterpiece, "The Redeemer" does weave a spell on its audience, and the entire thing feels like it could have been borne out of the writer's fugue state. A large part of this weirdness is due to the bizarre supernatural angle that is woven into the film; the beginning and end almost feel as though they are part of a different movie entirely, while the mid-section is a fairly conventional (albeit atmospheric) slasher. In the beginning and end, there is a boy coming out of a lake and interacting with a lunatic preacher (i.e. the killer); the boy is ostensibly the son of Satan-at times one wonders if the boy is the childhood version of the preacher/killer-the reality is that we'll probably never know. Promotional material for the film tried to tether it to the success of "The Omen," which leaves me wondering if these bookended sequences were added as an afterthought to cash-in on the "supernatural child" motif that was en vogue at the time.
The bulky midsection of the film is remarkably atmospheric, at times reminding me quite a bit of another oddball proto-slasher, "Savage Weekend." There are a few artful sequences leading up to the characters' arrival at the school that predate similar sequences in countless slasher films, and there is an unnerving score that permeates the entire film. The killer's appearance alternates from victim to victim, though each is marked by theatrical pontification; some, such as a shotgun murder, are twisted and ingenious in a tongue-in-cheek way while others, such as a protracted murder in a bathroom, are far more grim and unpleasant to watch. Each of the adult characters have a bit of personality and humanity to them which is supplied by capable performances, so there is an emotional gravitas to the film that makes the killings feel particularly mean-spirited; it also lends a potentially subversive ethos to the proceedings, as the extent to which the characters are truly "sinful" remains questionable as we watch them like lambs to the slaughter.
In the end, it all comes crashing down in the same way it began. Who is the boy with the three thumbs, and why does he come out of the lake? What is his connection to the killer? Why this particular group of "sinners"? Is the film a commentary on religious delusion, or is it a mythological Christian morality tale dressed as a slasher movie? Was the director on acid? I don't have patent answers, but I can say that I find the film endlessly perplexing. Accidental or intentional, there are macabre strokes of genius here. For those who are attracted to the weirder side of the slasher spectrum. 8/10.