Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Satan's Children (1973)

Directed by:
Joe Wiezycki

SATAN'S CHILDREN is another barrel scraping, low-budget regional production from Florida, home of the equally ill-conceived Christian papier-mâché turkey monster biker opus BLOOD FREAK (1971). Leave it to those southerners to mix good old fashioned family gore with trite moralizing! This one revolves around a miserable 16-year-old kid named Bobby (Stephen White), who can't even mow the yard to his stepfather's satisfaction. Putting up with stepdad (Eldon Mecham, gotta love that name), who's a complete and utter ass, is nothing compared to his sick and obnoxious stepsister Janis (Joyce Molloy). She continually taunts him with sexual come-ons and digs at his small manhood, then laughs in his face about how he'll never get laid. Listening to these three scream at each other for the first 20 minutes is quite grueling indeed! Thankfully, Bobby soon comes to his senses and runs away, ending up at a bar. But this is no ordinary bar, it's a (eek!) "queer bar!" An older guy sees fresh meat and immediately tries to cozy up to Bobby, forcing the inexperienced one to scold the bar troll with a hilariously delivered "Look, dude..." Another guy named Jake (Bob Barbour) comes to the rescue and saves him from the advances of the horny geezer. Next thing you know, Bobby's the bitch riding on the back of this guy's hog and ends up at his pad, where the guy forces him at knife point to strip down to his tighy-whities! Oh no... this one's "queer," too! Before long, Bobby is hog tied and bare-assed bent over this guys knee as his calls his buddies and tells them to come over and party. Each guy initiates Bobby into the world of homosexuality by taking turns raping him... in a moving car... in one of the most awkward and unconvincing rape scenes ever committed to film...

At this point, my "Well that's not a very nice thing to say/do"s turned into "What the hell am I watching and why was this movie even made?" And it doesn't get any better from here on out. When the rapists are done with Bobby, they dump his used and abused body in a field. He's rescued by a group of hippie teenagers who have nothing better to do all day than sit around in a field smoking pot and nothing better to do at night than huddle around a cross chanting "Satan, Master, Lucifer" over and over again in their monotone voices. Yes, these wastes of perfectly good oxygen are actually, you guessed it, "Satan's Children." The catch is that all these "kids" hate gays and lesbians. To them it's a sin punishable by death. Even those wacky Mormon electro-shock treatments have nothing on these kids' brand of gay "rehabilitation." Stoning, anyone? When they get their hands on Bobby, they think he might be gay, until slutty, high-ranking coven member Sherry (Kathleen Archer) proves otherwise. Another coven girl (Rosemary Orlando) is stupid enough to admit she has a crush on another girl and gets slapped across the face for it. Well, they actually also tie her up, threaten to kill her and make her bleed, too. And here I was under the impression that Satan actually loved lesbians. My bad! Naturally things get a little too weird-o for poor Bobby, who promptly flees the cult and ends up back home equipped with knowledge that may help him enact revenge on his family as well as the guys who popped his man cherry.

I still don't see the point of this movie, but one thing's for sure; for a movie that seems to have a bone to pick with homosexuals, this one sure does spend an awful lot of time making sure Bobby is running around in his underoos. And why do the male actors who aren't even playing gay characters act so fey? And why does that pit of quicksand looks suspiciously like a giant pit of Quaker oats? This movie is also victim to the worst hack editing job in memory. It cuts to one character just sitting there for five seconds in silence before saying their line, then cuts to someone else who sits there for five more seconds before saying their line. Very awkward. Maybe they were trying not to snicker having to say things like "Have you ever in your life as a follower of Satan entertained in your mind erotic desires homosexual in nature?" One plus is the theme music that plays over the opening and closing credits. It's actually quite good. It also is probably just "borrowed" from another film.

Director Wiezycki was the director of Florida television station WTVT at the time this was made. It was his second shot at directing a feature but apparently his first didn't go over so well, wasn't finished and/or never released. Unfortunately for him (but fortunately for the rest of us weird movie lovers) this second one was. It was filmed on location in the Tampa Bay area in the summer of 1973 with a crew consisting of fellow TV station employees and a cast that included theater students from a local college who still needed a lot of work at that point.

The DVD release from Something Weird is a must for camp fanatics. Packed with Satanic goodness, it includes both this film and ASYLUM OF SATAN (1971). The latter comes with a commentary track. There's also a clever devil dance burlesque short, a 30-minute condensed version of THE SOUL SNATCHER (1965), loads of trailers and other goodies.


Deeky said...

my theory was that the director was a repressed homosexual. that whole 15 minute scene (15 minutes!) of bobby running through the woods in nothing but his underwear? come on now.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

I agree with your assessment. The whole thing had repressed homo written all over it.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Dirty pansy queer bastards, KILL `EM ALL ! ! !.

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