Stellar premise, uneven results...
Jeff Lieberman is a legend. His films SQUIRM, BLUE SUNSHINE, JUST BEFORE DAWN, and REMOTE CONTROL are undeniable cult classics. (REMOTE CONTROL, in particular, is a wonderful oddity, and a kind of sci-fi/camp reaction to the video boom of the 1980s; for VHS lovers such as myself, REMOTE CONTROL is now like a nostalgic dirge for all of those fantastic local video-stores that transmogrified or became extinct after DVDs usurped the role of VHS.) Lieberman's SATAN'S LITTLE HELPER, a return to directing from Lieberman after a 20-some-year hiatus, while not of the caliber of his earlier work, is a sardonic little horror piece that plays much, much better if you listen to the director's commentary before viewing the actual movie. More thought went into SATAN'S LITTLE HELPER than you may think. But Lieberman has always been a director with brilliant premises. SATAN'S LITTLE HELPER is perhaps his very best premise. And personally, I loved the gaudy, bright, ghoulish Halloween imagery - the dollar-store-take on Halloween. (Satan's mask is iconic, I daresay.) I, for one, am glad that Lieberman made another movie, and hope he makes several more. He is one of America's most interesting directors. My only problem with SATAN'S LITTLE HELPER is I don't feel it went far enough. The premise is sick and disturbing; it could've been some sort of morbid masterpiece. As is, it's worth a rental, and I'm just happy Lieberman's still doing something different.
- Mar 8, 2009
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