Friday, November 5, 2010
Satan Hates You (2009)
Wacky. Batshit crazy. Off kilter and left of center. Totally raucous. On the surface, this pretty much encompasses the whole of James Felix McKenney's film Satan Hates You. But there is a lot more going on with it and ultimately, the message to be gained is entirely up to the viewer to decide.
The film starts off at a bar where people are being their wild and debaucherous selves: drugs, alcohol, having sex in the bathroom. One girl in particular, takes no issue while men wait in line to have their way with her. Intermingled with the goings on, is a couple of scheming and drinking demons, watching over things with a gleeful giddiness about them. In addition, a mid to late 30 something guy and regular of the bar, heads outside to grab a smoke with another man. When his overt sexual advances are rebuffed, he immediately flies off the handle and brutally takes a 2X4 to the man in the back alley of the bar. What a way to kick off a film, eh?
Our story centers around these two characters: the young girl who we come to find is knocked up but still not averse to doing drugs or drinking and the man, the daily patron of the neighborhood watering hole who can't come to terms with his sexuality and becomes incredibly violent as a coping mechanism for the shame he feels in being himself. And trailing them both, are our co-conspiring demons (Larry Fessenden playing one of them, almost stealing the show with this creepy, maniacal glee about him) who egg and prod them on to do terrible things. The height of which, includes the girl going through with a late term abortion and the man going through a string of killings in a nearby hotel room.
Interspersed with the proceedings, are various religious types reaching out to both. For the girl, one on TV stands out in particular (Angus Scrimm playing a grandfather-like figure) as he's not your typical over the top bible beating televangelist. She's entranced by him and even goes so far as to thinking he's reached out to her well beyond the confines of her boob tube. Another figure, a local church goer, reaches out to the man, staying with him in his hotel and telling him about the love that Jesus has for him despite his terrible wrongdoings.
Not your typical horror film, right? So how does the film end? I don't want to give it away. But I will say that tragedy befalls the pair and you are left pretty much on your own to come up with what it all means. For me, I questioned whether or not the pair really achieved some sort of salvation.
So if you like horror films that are a bit different, thought provoking and open ended (not to mention, totally wacky and over the top), then Satan Hates You is right up your alley. Highly recommended.
A neat-o fun fact: Reggie Bannister also appears in the film, playing the bar owner/bartender. This is the first time he's appeared in a movie with Angus Scrimm since the Phantasm films.
Cortez the Killer