The Curator of Schlock #131 by Jeff Shuster

The Brotherhood of Satan

Not a brotherhood I’d like to belong to. Not one bit. 

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It’s time for another Satan Awareness Month here at the Museum of Schlock, that time of year where I get serious and try to warn the public of the dangers of associating with the Prince of Lies. This year, I’m going with movies with Satan in the title. You’d be surprised how many movies have Satan in the title, but due to the post 1979 ban here at the Museum of Schlock, we’re only covering 70s fare. First up is The Brotherhood of Satan, a 1971 gem from director Bernard McEveety. 

So the movie starts out with a toy tank, you know the kind they always have in movies where the turret lights up red a makes that ratatatatat sound. I guess it transforms into a real tank and runs over a family in a station wagon. It’s inferred that a group of children were involved with the car crushing. Enter Ben (Charles Bateman), a widowed father on vacation with his daughter, K.T. (Geri Reischl) and his girlfriend, Nicky (Ahna Capri). They drive by the crushed car and scream at all the dismembered legs and entrails and whatnot. 

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Ben drives to the nearest town to report the accident to the sheriff, as any good citizen would do. Well, the sheriff practically has his deputies pistol-whip Ben as his daughter and girlfriend at are held at bay. Apparently, there’ve been a bunch of families being murdered in town. The remaining townsfolk see Ben and try to rush him and his family. They just barely make it out of there alive, but their car must have gotten damaged on the way out because it’s leaking gasoline everywhere. Ben thinks they should go back into town and dial up his brother for help. Ummm. The town just tried to kill you, Ben.

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We’re introduced to the Satanic witch’s coven and it’s made up of old people…again. Why do these covens keep recruiting geriatrics? You’re get not going to tempt twenty-somethings into your cult with promises of lemon squares and gin rummy. I swear. The whole coven feels like a Lions Club except instead of community service, they kill members of the community by possessing their children and sending demonic toys to kill their parents. Don’t get me started on the head Satanic priest of this group.

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He keeps making the members resound Satanic scripture back to him. What’s the point of being a devil worshipper if you can’t have any fun? Aren’t there supposed to be drunken orgies or D&D games?

Ben meets up with the sheriff again, along with a priest,  a doctor, and a Gomer Pile wannabe. They try to get to the bottom of the murders and fail miserably at doing anything to confront the situation. The priest sees one of the boy’s toy knights come to life and decapitate his father. This causes the priest to snap, gibbering nonsense as Ben tries to figure out what happened. It turns out the cult is trying to transfer the souls of their elderly members into the bodies of the town’s children. I guess they got sold on the prospect of getting to live their life again, a chance to do things right a second time. Bah. They’ll probably just make all of the wrong decisions all over again. Plus, how are they going to relate to kids on the playground? The first mention of Lawrence Welk to any kid in the second grade will doom each of them to ten years of swirlies and titty twisters for the next ten years of their new life. Not worth it.

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Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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