Satan War (1979)

Bartell LaRue was a character actor and voiceover artist — he’s the voice of the Guardian in “City on the Edge of Forever” on Star Trek — who somehow found the urge to write The Ark of Noah before further getting inspired to make a movie with the greatest title of all time.

Louise and Bill Foster buy a house and as if their life is an Italian movie, we only hear from them via voiceover. Things just smell bad from the first day they move in. Crosses turn upside down. Coffee overflows. Green slime ruins the kitchen. Crosses turn upside down. Louise is assaulted by an entity and Bill causally tells her that “If he tries it again, just tell that ghost that rape, sex, and molestation is my department!” Crosses turn upside down. A psychic tells them someone killed themselves in the house. A sheet is here and it has a knife! A newspaper burns up. And crosses…yeah. You get it.

At one point, a voiceover says, “The oldest war in the universe carries on towards its eternal conclusion.” Then we are destroyed by the soundtrack to this film, the drone, the endless drone, the bass that takes out the dialogue, the grainy low grade footage deteriorated by VHS play uploaded to the internet, generation upon generation of copy and paste.

Anton LaVey once wrote, “The word ‘occult’ simply means hidden or secret,” he says. “Go to the record store, to the corner where no one else is, where everything is dusty and nobody ever goes. Mussorgsky’s ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ is mystical music, dramatic, Gothic, satanically programmed music. But it’s not occult music. “Yes, We Have No Bananas” would be an occult tune.

It’s occult because when you put that record on the turntable, it’s a lead-pipe cinch that there is not another person in the entire world who is listening to that record at that time. If there’s anything, any frequency, any power that exists anywhere in this cosmos, in this universe, you’re gonna stand out like a beacon! It truly makes you elite.”

If this is true, Satan War achieves the murderdrone goal of being akin to second wave black metal: concerned with menace and equally unconcerned with feeble things like audio quality. Much like the fuzzed out riffs and overloaded bass and broken drum sound of those records makes you lose touch with this world if you take away your concentration just long enough — stare into that void — the first hour of this movie is just an acid blotter of long abandoned video signal ready to signal your own journey beyond the wall of sleep.

After a gun and a cross chase out the demon, we’re treated to a non-connected voodoo ritual because I can only assume the running time some padding, as dancers dance to tribal drums and we just watch, wondering where it all went.

Watch this on YouTube please.

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