Hail Satan? (2019) Poster

(2019)

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8/10
Not what you think
kosmasp25 September 2019
Well unless you are already familiar with the Satanic Temple that is. I wasn't and I was quite surprised. If Satanists engage in equal rights, clean the streets of trash and do things most would consider Christian ... that is quite a surprise. Even if you are not into "Satan" (and I am not), they even give you a yin/yang balance. As in, if you have this statue put up, we want one of ours there too.

Was quite surprised to learn about a lot of things and this is quite entertaining overall (there's nudity in case that matters to you one way or the other). Now after I watched the movie someone told me that the documentary shines a light on the organisation that does not include some of their darker moments. One is included when we see a member split, but there seem to be more things. For that I guess there is the internet. Or maybe a sequel to this? Who knows
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8/10
Deal with it.
jascoward29 August 2019
If the U.S. wants to proclaim religious freedom and then push Christianity in public, then it's only fair for the Satanists to do the same.
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9/10
hilarious
chrislawuk17 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Its a really funny documentary. I thought the premise of the movement is great. Satanists are actually atheists, the only ones that dont believe in religion. Nearly brought me to tears watching them sticking up for pluralism. Its an interesting turn, not just in documentary film makiing, but in westerm society as a whole. Satan is acknowledged in the doc as an adversary to jesus, not necessarily a bad guy lol. Maybe it should have been obvious all along, i always wondered why I liked metal and horror movies but had no time for religion.
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7/10
In search of the separation of church and state
paul-allaer11 May 2019
"Hail Satan?" (2019 release; 95 min.) is a documentary about the Satanic Temple (TST) and its search for the separation of church and state. As the movie opens, we are in "Tallahassee, 2013" where TST is holding a rally on the steps of the Florida statehouse. Hardly anyone is giving it any attention. We are introduced to Lucien, the spokesperson for TST. When TST wants to do a black mass in Boston, the catholic church and community in Boston organizes a massive protest against "these rapists and murderers", while of course the reality is that the Boston catholic church has allowed sexual abuse against young kids for decades and decades... At this point we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll jut have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest documentary from Penny Lane, who previously brought us "Our Nixon". Here she explores the hypocrisy in certain segments of the population, who are easily riled up by these satanists. Lane along the way brings us a History 101 of satanism. The core of the film goes to looking at the separation of church and state, which TST wants enforced. The segments dealing with the 10 Commandments are instrumental. So this documentary is not quite what I expected it to be, and in fact is likely to make you think about a few things in a way that you might not have expected. Kudos to Lane for that.

"Hail Satan?" premiered at the Sundance festival earlier this yer to positive acclaim, and recently opened at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended poorly (6 people, including myself). Hopefully this can gain a larger audience as it is released on other platforms. If you like documentaries, or have an interest in issues surrounding the separation of church and state, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater (if you still can), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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8/10
Another Name for Rationalism?
westsideschl24 July 2019
Occurred to me after watching that though out history if you want to stay in power create an enemy. So if you want your God to be #1 be sure he (she) has an adversary; an anti. One thing religions have in common is obedience - no thinking for yourself allowed.

Admittedly Satan has gotten a lot of bad press/reviews & even stories - print, movie, allegory over the past long while. Thus begins our tale of snake, Eve & apple.

So who/what is the new Satan? Well, they're The Satanic Temple w/small groups totally tens of thousands around the world. One goal is separation of church & state allowing all religions equal opportunity for expression. Another is promoting free thinking. Their tenants include: Compassion for all creatures; justice should be foremost; each of us commands our own bodies; respect other's freedoms; science factuality should be a part of your beliefs; mistakes are correctable; compassion, wisdom come first.

The Satanic Temples main adversaries come in the form of Fox News & Catholic Church (their record w/wars, gays, females, trials, priests & kids - not so good). One of Fox friends' vitriolic arguments is that our currency & pledge both reference their God as our national religion, but the Constitution purposefully stays away on that subject. God was added around the accusatory McCarthy era '50s as a counter to Communism.

It was repeatedly suggested in the doc that they should all (as non-Christians) go to Hell, but would that include Gandhi?
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10/10
It's a yes from me, dawg
cloudk-5340330 May 2019
Hail Satan? was very informative and educational. It's worth watching whether you're interested in joining the Satanic Temple or just open minded enough to look at things through a different (religious) perspective. It stresses religious equality/freedom for ALL religions, not just Christianity.. I can't wait for this to come out on a streaming site (hey Netflix!) to show all of my family and friends that Satanism is not at ALL what they think it is. Educate yourselves, people. Watch Hail Satan?.
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8/10
Great documentation
mrdonleone29 September 2019
The Church of Satan: saving us all or sending us to hell??? Worth the personal pondering about; for me as a filmmaker i just like how they made a wonderful documentary out of it, maybe the best around the widely spread concept of Satanism ever.
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10/10
An eye opening documentary....
playtimecapsule2 June 2019
Ask people if they have ever considered becoming a Satanist and most will answer NO, but if you watch this film with an open mind you will find yourself wondering AM I A SATANIST?

That said, this is NOT a recruitment film and I applaud all involved for allowing a "warts and all" look into the inner working of the group. A well made, informative, and fascinating documentary.

I look forward to seeing more from Director Penny Lane and I look foward to hearing more about TST.
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10/10
the devil is in the details
lee_eisenberg4 November 2019
I've heard loosely about the satanic panic of the 1980s (when people assumed that board games and heavy metal were turning young people into devil worshipers), and about video nasties (movies labeled excessively violent and horrific by the British government). Penny Lane's "Hail Satan?" focuses on the Satanic Temple, whose members pull pranks to emphasize free speech and religious freedom, and challenge favoritism towards specific religions. Their tenets are some of the most progressive and forward-thinking of any entity. You should definitely watch this documentary.

I wonder if anyone ever alleged that "Bewitched" promoted satanism for depicting a witch as the protagonist. Hell, someone probably found "Mr. Ed" satanic for portraying a talking animal.
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10/10
Don't be an offended baby
bichbebitter23 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This documentary has nothing to do with Satanism and more about a political movement. The Satanists of the Satanic Temple are leftist atheists. They push to keep the separation between church and state still flowing through America. Religion has no place in Government issues and laws, and the Satanic Temple makes sure that keeps happening. AMERICA isn't a Christian nation. We are a country that was founded on religious freedom. This documentary was serious, but also funny as hell. I would definitely join their movement and proudly call myself a Satanist. Hail Satan 🤘
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8/10
Despite this movie's title it shows nor says anything blasphemous. The movement, however, uses symbols bound to confuse people to think they are really Satan's followers
JvH4825 February 2019
Saw this at the Rotterdam film festival 2019, where it was part of the Big Screen Competition (but another film got the price). There is nothing blasphemous in this movie, though one could derive it from the title, especially when overlooking the question mark. Nevertheless, this movement gives rise to frequent controversy, as shown in many examples. Such an amount of resistance can be readily expected in a country where "In God we trust" signs are everywhere, on banknotes, in governmental buildings and many other public places. The mere existence of this sentence all over the country, is always the standard argument against The Satanic Temple (TST for short), to point out they have no place in the USA, and even to suggest they are unconstitutional.

The seemingly obvious fact that religion and the existence of God is laid down by the Founding Fathers and hence in the Constitution, proves incorrect as per the talking heads (I did not verify it). The binding role of religion came about in the 1950-ies as a determining (uniting) factor in the days that Communism was deemed something dangerous, the "red scare" as it was perceived at the time. Think of McCarthyism and more such political phases in USA's history. In 1956 US Congress made "In God We Trust" the national motto.

TST fights for separation between religion and state, and they lay their fingers on many aspects of life that are (inadvertenly?) grounded on Christian beliefs. USA may advertise adhering a strict separation between religion and state, in practice it is not. Take for example the prayer in schools, which should also be allowed to be led by someone belonging to a non-Christian belief. Thus, by extension, prayers could also be led by someone from TST. Be that as it may, a negative side effect of this (in my opinion) is that TST outings state that one could also praise Satan in those prayers. This will inevitably lead to uproar, being purposely controversial in its choice of words. So, though their basically proper intentions about separation of religion and state, they also create resistance while bordering on what is allowed versus what is frown upon in "standard" religions. The naming of their TST movement alone is evoking resistance, both from people basically supporting their principles, and (even more so) also by everyone else balking on their name, their rituals, and particularly the "black mass" events they organize.

As a documentary, this movie does a good job in showing many aspects of this movement, regardless of being against them, for them, or somewhere in the middle. As I wrote in previous paragraphs, I see their cause and what they stand for, but their attributes and their outings are deliberately confrontational. This is not really helpful in spreading their word. Each time when Satan is mentioned or when satanic symbols are shown, resistance can be expected, with the result that their actual cause is overlooked and drowned in the upheaval.
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9/10
nothing's wrong with a different point of view
It's frustrating to watch these free thinking and harmless people, fail after fail in their every attempt to convince people theu are NOT violent and on the plus side; they all love theatrics, how cool is that
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10/10
Fantastic Film
baileycrawly24 January 2021
What's truly sad when you talk about a documentary like "Hail Satan?" is the 1-star reviews from "concerned Christians" who either didn't watch the movie or were so insistent on having their own beliefs represented and satisfied that they completely missed the point of not just the film, but of the organization for which it represents. This is a really great look into the Satanic Temple. It covers a lot of ground in its relatively short running time. It details, in as much detail as any intelligent human being could ever need, the beliefs of the organization as well as the things they stand for. No longer is Satanism a closeted belief system wherein society lives in perpetual fear of their animals and young children going missing and being sacrificed to the Lord of Darkness. In fact, when you talk about The Satanic Temple, you're not even talking about a group of people who believe in the devil. They view "Satan" simply as an adversarial being, and their core message is very simple: If you open the door for God, you have to be willing to open the door for Satan. This film is an example of a struggle for equality in society, a governmental fight to have equal religious representation. Perhaps the finest moment in the film is the discussion on the Ten Commandments monument that The Satanic Temple fought in court. The short of it is that there was a monument, which was donated to the state Capitol by Paramount Pictures following the release of their "Ten Commandments" film in the 50s with Charlton Heston. The Satanic Temple, seeing the blatant support of Christianity, constructed a large monument of Baphomet and had to fight to be included on the state grounds. It's little things like these that really represent what the organization stands for, and for anyone who has any kind of misconceptions otherwise it's recommended that you check this film out.. You can agree with their belief system or you can be opposed in every possible way, but to say that they bring nothing of value to the table or that they are, in any way, shape or form, a threat to society or to "the children" (everyone loves to clutch their pearls and whine about "thinking of the children," as though they can't make their own decisions). They exist, they are as valid as everyone else, and they deserve to be heard and given consideration to just like any other human beings on the planet. Whether you believe they should or not. Lucien Greaves is running a really great organization that uses symbolism and titles to shock, offend and, most importantly, to troll. And Christians around the world have taken that bait. Over and over and over again. And they'll continue to do so. Just shut up and watch the film.
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9/10
Hell yeah
neverends19 December 2019
I'm impressed. I thought this was a joke but it really opened my eyes. Give it a shot, you'll be surprised and possibly shocked at what you believe in.
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3/10
RADICAL RESISTANCE
kirbylee70-599-5261794 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
One thing that should be brought up immediately when discussing the film HAIL SATAN? The movie is about The Satanic Temple and yet has virtually nothing to do with the religious character of Satan. Instead the film is a documentary about the group as a radical political group who chose the name with the intent of upsetting and poking a figure into the eye of the religious right.

The Satanic Temple were co-founded by Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry with Greaves taking the role of front man for the organization. Self-proclaimed atheists the pair make it their mission to take on the religious groups for what they consider infringing on their rights and the separation of church and state. In their view the two entities should never mingle and all things religious should be removed from public locations or other icons should be allowed to co-exist in the same place.

The films shows the group beginning as a sort of merry prankster type organization that just wants to ridicule and attack those they disagree with. But as it progresses we see that the more people that join the more serious their views on things solidify and become more meaningful to their members.

One of the center pieces of the film you've most likely heard about and that is the construction and emplacement of a statue of Baphomet at the state capitol in Arkansas. Their desire was to have this statue of a horned satanic goat creature located next to the statue of the Ten Commandments there. While the claim is that they believe in their religious freedom to do so it's painfully obvious this is a way to thumb their noses at those who have religious convictions.

As the film progresses we see some of the other events that the group has promoted. One is an after school Satan club complete with coloring books and another a "Menstruatin' with Satan" program that provides feminine sanitary products for women. In the eyes of the group and the director of this film, this is simply trolling those who they seek to offend and upset, harmless harassment of people they consider rubes for believing the way they do.

But something amusing does actually take place as the film nears its end. The group has become so large that this anarchistic organization formed to stick it to those tethered by rules and regulations suddenly becomes the entity they seek to destroy. They come up with their own set of rules to be followed. When the leader of the Detroit chapter violates one of those rules by calling for the assassination of the President, she is kicked out of the organization. The group has gone full circle and become that which they claim to hate the most.

Perhaps it's showing my age but as I watched the members of the group rattle off about their beliefs and the organization I felt like I was watching a large group of malcontents who looked like the kids most picked on while in high school. I don't know how to describe it. It's not the tattoos or body piercings that make one believe this (I know plenty of people with both) but their general attitude towards things. They might have legal legs to stand on in the various events they stage but at the same time after watching this film I find it hard to believe they do them out of concern and more out of just an attempt to garner attention for themselves and laugh at others as if they're above it all.

Would I recommend this film? Sure. It gives people a chance to see how ridiculous a group like this can be. Or if you're a believer in the organization you'll cheer for their antics. They distance themselves from the religious version of Satan but have no problem using icons or ceremonies that have ties. In the end it's a movie about people who seem to have nothing better to do than make waves.
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10/10
Excited for this
Nebz27 February 2019
It gives me hope to see people band together and fight injustice. If deluded worshipers get to erect monuments on courthouse steps, then other groups such as the Satanists should have the same privilege.

Hopefully this opens the doors to every religion placing their monuments on the property. Equality for everyone.
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7/10
A factual review....Worth a watch.
paulmcpartlin-824638 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I don't often write reviews, but I felt compelled after viewing this. The title of the documentary or should I say mocumentary sums it up.

We have a bunch of people who grew sick of the state and its politicians constantly using religion as a political point scoring system. They decided enough was enough... So then cane the problem. How do you fight back??? The answer was pretty easy....

Establish a movement of similarly minded individuals into a collective unit to fight the political status quo.

Unfortunately this is the documentaries undoing... It exposes the The Temple of Satan as nothing more than a bunch of Liberal minded individuals who are sick of politicians using God as vote influencer and winner.

They initially hold a Satan worship speach outside a political hall... It gets some news coverage and snowballs from there to becone something that they struggle to control. They admit their event in Boston was ill thought out.

I started to wonder where was the debauched hedonistic, evil lifestyle that sticks a middle finger up to society and it's rules? With this religion, you won't find it here!!!

The rub here is they don't actually believe in Satan... And they admit it... A news anchor actually states he can smell a fake news story setup. The founder simply smiles.

They said they couldn't think of a better name... Unbelievable, but true (see 60 mins in). Here's where it gets interesting.

They state they don't believe in Satan as a theology!! At this point I was giggling. They have a moral code / tenets... Yep... Satanism with morals...they clean garbage, run clubs, help those affected by homelessness, challenge public policies etc... It's brilliantly obtuse and even subversive... But its not satanism.

The public are missing the point of this documentary... Are they really worshiping Satan as in the question mark in the title??? Or have they stumbled on a great way to start a small, but influencial political uprising? Judge for yourself... It's worth a watch.

Remember, the sign of a good documentary is one that makes you think afterwards.
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7/10
Hail Satan? shows how divided we have become
Grumpyfish20 April 2019
Hail Satan? is an entertaining ride and shows how divided we have become as a nation. I understand how some might view this film as provocative but honestly its as dark as vanilla ice cream. The real darkness comes from those with pitchforks ready in hand fearing the unknown, the others, maybe our selves. While not the most daring doc I've seen this year, certainly a good one.
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6/10
Hail Satan
ashfordofficial8 January 2022
"You're gonna go to Hell!" "I believe in it and I'm very excited about it."

It's hard to imagine that one of the most powerful country in the world is overrun by Christian zealots. Even the local governments are nothing but a failed institutional entity.

Hail Satan? Is a smart, witty and thought provoking documentary film that focuses on The Satanic Temple, a nontheistic religious and political activist group that struggle to change the political landscape in the United States by demanding the separation of church and state.

Now I'm pretty much convinced that Penny Lane is a Satanist. Hail Satan Baby!
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7/10
HAIL SATAN? JUDGING FREEDOM OF BELIEF?
babyjaguar12 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This interesting documentary by Peggy Lane follows the Satanic Temple, concentrating on their evolution from a small group of practitioners into a network of chapters across the nation. The beginning of the film show past U.S. Satanic groups going back to the 60s founding of Satanic followers, by San Francisco's Anton Szandor LaVey. The film uses archival TV footage showing this bay area followers and interviews with LaVey (Church of Satan).

The director uses a humorous tone in the beginning, introducing the founders like Luciens Greaves, founded a new school of its believers, the Satanic Temple. I feel it was not needed, because of the rest of film really questions the notion of sustaining a freedom of beliefs and speech.

It shows the formation of these chapters working together but critical when, even those amongst the chapters chose to go an extreme way of expressing Satanism. It highlights how these chapters joined forces in challenging the legal system in trying to place their public monument next to a monument of the ten commandments.
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9/10
Hail Separation Of Church And State!
Pairic29 August 2019
Hail Satan? If you're expecting Satan Worship or human sacrifices then you will be disappointed. The Satanic Temple are Secular Humanists who defend Religious Freedom. Their point is that no one religion should be privileged above all the others. Their campaigns to erect statues of Baphomet next to Ten Commandments monuments on State property is part of the fight against the privileged position of Christianity in the US (and now in other countries). The satanic Temple did start off with stunts such as supposedly supporting Florida's fundamentalist Governor Rick Scott and holding a Black Mass in Boston but now is more careful about how it organises protests and has a strict code of conduct for it's Chapters to adhere to. This has caused a split with some of the temple's more militant Detroit members.



The Boston Black Mass provoked an incredible reaction from the local RCC Arch-Diocese, with mass parades, and descriptions of the Black Mass as an attack on Catholics. Rather hypocritical given the history of abuse and cover ups by the RCC in Boston. Indeed those who turned out to protest against the Satanists looked far weirder than the Temple supporters. This is also evident in Arkansas where the "Christians" tend to carry Confederate flags. Death threats against the Temple are common and it's main spokesman Lucien Greaves had to wear a Kevlar jacket at the Little Rock Arkansas demonstration.

Many Temple members speak to camera giving their reasons for joining, they are united in a love for freedom and tolerance. Some are ex-Pastors and Sunday School Teachers. One of those prepared to identify himself is an Ex-Muslim, he is really taking a risk in his support for Religious Diversity.

The director Penny Lane as well as supporting the Temple was moved to make this film out of a desire to expose the Satanic panic of the 1970s - 90s and how it destroyed lives through false accusations and resulted in many people serving long sentences. She emphasies that there has been no apology from either the State, Federal, Court or Church bodies involved. Even playing Dungeons and Dragons or having an interest in Heavy Metal music was accepted as evidence of Satanic behaviour.

A powerful film with many inspiring images and messages. These Satanists stand for Religious and Political Freedoms, for the separation of Church and State. See it! 8.5/10.
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10/10
Humorous and brutally honest
angie-246931 June 2019
This documentary takes an honest look at what our government is not doing for its people and how some really witty and hilarious Americans are fighting for justice over archaic laws and institutions.
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10/10
Entertaining and informative
omenfaust31 May 2019
Penny Lane did a great job showing the start of the Satanic Temple. As always there is room for critique but you will never please everyone. I personally enjoyed almost every second of the film even the uncomfortable parts and there are a few. But they are equally matched by hilarious parts. I made devil horns at the screen several times and I am not an audience participation type person nor was it called for. I just felt like it needed to be done. Hail Satan!
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8/10
Undeniably Compelling
truemythmedia5 December 2019
This documentary is an eye-opening look at a rising controversial group, and I, personally, and very glad I watched this film, for it helped me to better understand what that group is about. I don't agree with a lot of stuff that they do in this film, but that didn't keep me from finding it fascinating. I do think that Lucien and his Temple have plenty of valid points, and maybe this will help our country heal a bit in the long run; maybe he, like Lucifer in Milton's Paradise Lost, is the evil that helps to push humanity to eventually find its salvation.
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2/10
Overrated
take2docs18 February 2021
Warning: Spoilers
That the majority of reviews have been favorable should come as no surprise. The provocative title and cover art, alone, I suspect, probably deters many a moviegoer from wanting to see something they likely would immediately take as being too weird and thus not to their liking. Were it not for this theorized deterrent, one might expect a lot more interested entertainees and by extension negative comments to outweigh the positive ones. Instead, it's as if the movie preaches to the choir so to speak, attracting the already converted and with it an excess of unmerited two-fingers-up reviews, that ooze groupthink, but for the few dissenting voices who have taken an independent stand.

Those who do the panning need not be Christian. Others, like myself, would like in on it as well.

Welcome to a world where to commit the act of littering upsets one's conscience, whereas the act of abortion does not. Where a man can be heard scolding a grown woman -- one understandably angry and frustrated -- for her letting slip a swear word, while in the heat of the moment; meanwhile, legitimate causes for offense over obscenities, like images of disturbing mock rituals and obscene performance art, are seemingly the norm.

Here where you take up the tactic of making yourself out to be the noble ones, the good guys, via contrasting yourself with outright hypocrites and the very worst examples of those among your ideological opponents.

One or two interviewees confess to having been brought up in a Christian environment, only to abandon it, not on any solid theological grounds, but on account of the hypocrisy they saw within the church. it makes one wonder just how deep and sincere their Christian faith was to begin with. (Did the apostles abandon Jesus just because there was a Judas in their midst?)

So these ones left, seduced by the other side, here where they almost uniformly dress in black.

The entire premise, it could be argued, is built on an oxymoron. What next: atheist Christians? In this topsy-turvy world where increasingly (read: "progressively") it has been said bad is considered good and good is considered bad and degeneracy is for some a synonym for "freedom," should anything be of surprise, anymore?

This is a film where most of the people clad in colorless attire and costume look like they've just stepped out of a traveling carnival or off the set of a modern remake of "Caligula." Compare their look to the Christians they mock and demonize and it's enough to make one believe in the supernatural realm, of the forces of light and darkness operating behind the scenes of fashion and grooming.

Family units are difficult to detect in this movie. One may wonder how many of these tattooed, darkly clad folk were perhaps raised in dysfunctional settings? Maybe some have taken up this anti-faith of theirs as a way of acting out in response to an upbringing they considered restrictive? As psychologists have explained, it's not all that uncommon for children to rebel, either out of a want to spite their parents or as a means of identifying more with their peers.

Recall the account of Jesus in the wilderness, being tempted by the Devil? Most Bible readers, even if non-Christian, understand the subtext of this passage in scripture and that it was not out of love on the Tempter's part in wanting to get Jesus to miraculously feed himself. The simple-minded if not consciously twisted apologetics that is offered here is utterly fantastic.

More could be said and examples given of pseudo-wise and sophomoric remarks that are made; of the smug self-righteousness on the part of some, this as equally off-putting as that which they accuse supposed prigs and prudes as possessing. Suffice to say, HAIL SATAN? came across to me as primarily anti-Christian propaganda, first and foremost, in its painting of the other as censorious and intolerant when, if anything, in actuality, such fascist behavior nowadays, one could argue, is almost the sole domain of the atheist Far Left, which some say are out to bring down the moral foundation of Western society.

A history professor appears about mid-way through to address the question of whether America was founded as a Christian nation. It wasn't really, but rather than trace the question back to the pilgrims and a few of the Founding Fathers who were not Freemasons, this talking head goes only so far back as circa the Billy Graham years, in keeping with the entire tone of this film.
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