Friday, 18 January 2013

You're Invited To The Torture Party

‘Satan’s Slave’ is a film that director Norman J. Warren sweated blood to make, spending years on getting the finance into place. His efforts were rewarded with a sizeable UK hit and, best of all, a really cool piece of work that still entertains today.
Crazy old Michael Gough stars, here sporting an outsized moustache and, on occasion, a goat’s head mask. He has designs on his niece (Candace Glendenning), believing that her sacrifice will bring about the resurrection of a centuries dead witch. He is aided and abetted by his creepy rapist / murderer son who alternately woos and threatens the girl, who is especially vulnerable as her parents have just been burned alive in a mysterious car accident.  
Full of energy, verve and a keen sense of the grand guignol, ‘Satan’s Slave’ powers towards a surprising finale, but only after knocking off several cast members in a succession of grisly murders. Gough is his usual urbane / psychotic self, but a special mention should go to Martin Potter, who plays the evil son. Potter also appeared in Goodbye, Gemini’, so seems to specialise in deeply fucked up individuals with a habit of stabbing their way out of uncomfortable situations. Potter is aided in his characterisations by his unforgettable face: at first glance rather handsome but, on closer inspection, waxy and haunted, like a contorted mask. It’s a great asset as an actor, although I wouldn’t want it between my ears.    

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