Satan's Slave

1976

Horror

7
IMDb Rating 5.1 10 1410

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
September 23, 2019 at 08:13 PM

Cast

Michael Gough as Uncle Alexander Yorke
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
778.95 MB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
P/S 1 / 6
1.39 GB
1920*816
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
P/S 1 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by parry_na 8 / 10

Enjoyable and unsavoury cult English gothic.

This is a terrific, wintery horror film not dissimilar to a Pete Walker production with, I suspect, slightly more available budget. That said, star Michael Gough agreed to take a pay reduction for his Cushing-like role as Alexander Yorke, Uncle to suddenly orphaned Catherine (Candace Glendenning). This haunted house mystery is steeped in what I really love about British films around this time - beautifully spoken RP, skeleton trees, rolling grounds surrounding a sprawling mansion miles away from anywhere, and some excellent performances from a mainly little-known cast; English countryside so icy you could almost bite it.

Catherine's bereavement puts her entirely at the mercy of her Uncle, who is only too pleased to be of assistance. And yet such is Gough's excellent performance that there is clearly much unsavoury depth to his character (if only he'd put this much effort into his role as Arthur Holmwood in Hammer's 1958 'Dracula'; but I digress...). His kindness slowly becomes suffocating, and we are entirely on Catherine's side.

Cult director Norman J. Warren pulls out all the stops to make this as spooky as possible. Seedy cousin Stephen (Martin Potter) and secretary Frances (Barbara Kellerman - dubbed by Stephanie Beacham) ensure their shadowy characters are as imposing as can be and, although the story is a slow burner, the atmosphere of foggy unease is wonderfully conveyed.

Unsurprisingly, the narrative is laced with sporadic scenes of Satanic cults, ensuring we are aware - as if we weren't already - that evil forces are behind everything. There are harder and softer-core versions of this; I don't know which version I saw - somewhere between the two, possibly - but there are a few gloriously bright moments of gore to punctuate the autumnal gloom. There is nudity too, and no dilution of some of the unsavoury relationships between certain characters. An obscure gem, my score is 8 out of 10.

Reviewed by haxan-1 8 / 10

Clever & Surprising

This is actually quite a bright spot in the late 70's Brit Horror Film Industry breathing its last few gasps. It comes in a few different versions, some bloodier and sexier than others. It actually works in either the softer or hotter versions. The grue-- including a nude woman threatened with scissors, a head crushed in a door, a gory fall of a ledge, a woman slashed with a jagged piece of glass, and a nail driven into an eye-- is lively, but the central story about the traumatized heroine being cared for by her malevolent uncle and his murderous son is strong enough to stand on its own. There are also the expected scenes of black mass and nude female worshipers. The film plays nicely on our expectations and manages to surprise. With all the garish colors and hazy turn of events, we're never quite certain if everyone is off their rocker, the heroine especially possibly going off on some flight of fantasy triggered by the accident and exacerbated by the legend of the ancestress witch. Plus, characters you expect to play a pivotal role die suddenly, it's hard to tell who is trustworthy and who isn't, and Martin Potter as the cousin vacillates so perfectly between being a morose companion to the girl and a frenzied monster to everyone else that I found myself just as lulled in by him. The violent scenes are shocking and unpredictable, while the talkier sequences have a weirdly cold atmosphere to them. For me, this one gets unfairly written off far too often.

Reviewed by Libretio 4 / 10

Sex-horror concoction baits censor, delights fans

SATAN'S SLAVE

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Techniscope)

Sound format: Mono

While visiting her uncle's country estate, a young girl (Candace Glendenning) becomes involved with satanists who believe she's the reincarnation of an ancient witch.

A key work from cult director Norman J. Warren (TERROR, INSEMINOID), SATAN'S SLAVE combines gratuitous nudity and horrific violence in a censor-baiting concoction designed to compete with the gore and cynicism of its contemporary American/European counterparts. Tellingly, SATAN'S SLAVE was written by David McGillivray, a film critic-turned-scriptwriter whose collaboration with another Brit maverick (Pete Walker) resulted in some of the most memorable exploitation movies of the 1970's, including HOUSE OF WHIPCORD and FRIGHTMARE (both 1974). McGillivray's scripts were always distinguished by their tongue-in-cheek attitude and gleeful subversion of accepted morés, and SATAN'S SLAVE is no exception. Sadly, despite its lip-smacking excesses, the movie is a disappointment.

In fact, much of the film's problems can be traced directly to McGillivray's screenplay, a skeletal mixture of witchcraft and paranoia, driven by dialogue rather than action, which coasts along on auto-pilot in between bouts of skin and sadism. Cast for her waif-like beauty and startling blue eyes, Glendenning (in what appears to have been her final appearance in a theatrical feature) fits the bill as a stereotypical heroine, but she emerges as little more than a colourless wimp, and her one-note performance is a liability. Second-billed Martin Potter gives an equally lacklustre performance as Glendenning's cousin, a psychopathic brute who subjects a pretty young girl (Gloria Walker) to a terrifying ordeal in the opening sequence (more of which later), before turning up as a resident in the home of Glendenning's enigmatic uncle, played by Michael Gough. SATAN'S SLAVE may not have been Gough's finest hour, but he rises to the occasion with predictable flair, delivering his fruity dialogue with Shakespearean relish and acting everyone else off the screen; his obvious talent and lack of pretension has earned him the devotion of cult movie fans worldwide, and with good reason.

Warren uses the widescreen format to visualise the gulf between the characters, and to exploit the landscape and décor of Gough's isolated residence. In fact, the film's threadbare production values are clearly bolstered by its primary location, a Gothic-style mansion located within the Surrey countryside, filmed in all its autumnal splendour. But the movie's rough-edged beauty is frequently tempered by scenes of horror and brutality, visited mostly on female characters who are often stripped naked before suffering the kind of cruel indignities which characterised exploitation cinema of the period. The downbeat ending is also typical of the era, though die-hard horror fans will guess the outcome long before the on-screen characters.

During post-production, Warren was asked to beef up the sleaze quotient for a number of European and Asian markets, so the director prepared a variant edition at odds with his original vision: The rough foreplay between Potter and Walker in the opening sequence (preceding Walker's murder) was extended by having the killer run a pair of scissors over his victim's naked body (the original version develops in a different way and features alternative dialogue, which means the 'new' material can't simply be edited back into the print), and a brief flashback was added to a later scene, in which Potter is seen stabbing an unidentified woman to death. The BBC dispatched a film crew to cover the production for a documentary entitled "All You Need is Blood: The Making of SATAN'S SLAVE", which they subsequently refused to show, though it has since been issued on video.

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