Day 6 of the Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge is here. The theme? 666. El Dia De La Bestia: The more Satanic, the better. Well, this one is a Satanic movie made by a pornographer, so why not pile all of our sins in at once?
That pornographer is writer and director Gerard Damiano (Deep Throat). This film was originally intended to be a hardcore movie, but he saw it as a mainstream opportunity and decided to turn the film into a straight-up horror film. That said, that opportunity may have been suggested by producer Lou Parish, better known as Louis “Butchie” Peraino, a member of the Colombo crime family.
Shot on a tight budget and starring unknown actors, the film briefly ran in theaters before becoming part of a grindhouse double bill with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Blood (one assumes that Bryanston Distributing Company, which had rumored mob ties, had something to do with that).
Other than Sarah Peabody from Last House on the Left, who plays a cult member, there’s nobody recognizable in this tale of Maya, a young woman who a Satanic cult has picked to be their new leader. Fantasies overtake her daily existence, synthesizers play at the right time and everyone wears some wonderful 70’s clothes.
There are dream sequences, photos are burned between a woman’s thighs, a glowing sword appears, we witness a black mass, there are portentous (and pretentious) speeches and lots of gorgeous colors. But it’s all a mess. While filmed in 1972, it wasn’t released until much later. And Damiano would bring another better and more Satanic film — The Devil in Ms. Jones — to raincoaters soon.
Despite the budget, this movie looks way better than it should. There are a lot of gorgeous people on display but they really don’t do much for the hour plus running time.
If you want to watch it for yourself, it’s free with your Amazon Prime membership. You can find it right here.