Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review: Satan's Blade (1984)

Yet another Arrow release from the 80's slasher camp, and another that I'd never heard of before. I wonder where they keep finding them! Unfortunately it might have been better if this one had stayed lost!

It's a puzzling story which suggests that a knife is cursed, and that anyone who comes into contact with it turns into a bloodthirsty maniac. We open with two girls robbing a bank, killing people there, heading for their hideaway, stashing the loot, before one kills the other, and then she herself is slaughtered by an unseen assailant. We then leap five years later to when two couples, and a group of five girls, are checking into a holiday lodge which is where the earlier murders were committed. Of course the murders start up again, with people being stalked and killed ... but is it the old fisherman by the lake? Or someone else committing the murders? And what about that stash of money which stays hidden throughout the film ... ultimately it's pointless as it has no bearing on anything ...

Of course who the killer is, is the big payoff, but it's not that much of a surprise.  Elsewhere the film has a lot of nudity, so much so, that it veers into soft porn territory at times ...

Unfortunately the cast are uniformly terrible, with bad delivery and poor acting at every turn. The blood looks like tomato sauce (it probably was) and overall it's a mess of a film. In fact it's the sort of film you get if you have the same person writing, directing and producing it, and the culprit here is one L Scott Castillo Jr. But not him alone as Thomas Cue wrote the screenplay and also acts in the film.

There's an extra in which Castillo Jr, interviewed by a mystery woman called Pam, shows us some of the 'artifacts' from the film, which include reels of the actual film, and old video covers, and a knife which looks nothing like the one in the film ... It's all rather painful.

As you can tell, I really wasn't enamoured with this one, and it's a struggle to come up with anything to praise it for. Even the music score is a synthesised mess ...

It's independent filmmaking at its most raw and unfocussed.


•Brand new 2K restoration of the film presented in both 4:3 (1.37:1) and 1.85:1 versions
•High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
•Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
•Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
•Brand new audio commentary by podcast The Hysteria Continues
•Interview with writer-director L. Scott Castillo, Jr.
•Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Ryan Tobin
•Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Brian Albright, author of Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990

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