The Brotherhood of Satan (1971)

THE BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN (1971)
Article 3199 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-23-2010
Posting Date: 5-18-2010
Directed by Bernard McEveety
Featuring Strother Martin, L.Q. Jones, Charles Bateman
Country: USA
What it is: Devil worship thriller

A man, his girlfriend, and his child become stranded in a strange town that seems to have fallen under an evil spell. Children are disappearing, families are being slaughtered, and strange powers prevent anyone from leaving and entering the town.

After having watched this movie, I was quite startled to see it sitting on IMDB with a measly 3.9 rating. Near as I can figure, it’s one of those movies that is more apt to alienate and bore the viewer than entice him; it all depends on who the viewer is. Me, I was sucked in from the beginning. It opens with a child’s toy tank juxtaposed with what appears to be a very real tank crushing a car and its inhabitants during the pre-credits sequence. The story then continues with the travelers discovering the crushed car, driving into town to report it to the sheriff, and then finding themselves threatened by that same sheriff and then by the whole town. Between these two scenes I found myself glued to the screen trying to figure out what was going on and waiting to see what was going to happen next. The movie does have the potential to be dull and confusing, but even the slow scenes have something going on in them; the long conversationless drive near the beginning of the movie will either bore you or entice you, depending on what you’re paying attention to. This movie was part of a handful of productions co-produced by L.Q. Jones and Alvy Moore (who appear in the movie); they also gave us THE WITCHMAKER and A BOY AND HIS DOG. Apparently, this movie was paired with THX 1138, which must have made for a very interesting double feature.

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