Satan’s Slave (aka Evil Heritage) (1976) Review {by Tim Walker}

 (The following review was contributed by Tim Walker. Tim also writes for his own blog, here.)satansslave2

After a pretty trippy opening credit sequence, the film cuts to a satanic ritual in the woods. We get everything you could expect to see in a satanic ritual; hooded figures with burning torches, a man in a cheap goat mask and of course, a naked woman who is about to become the host to some kind of demonic evil. After this little scene, the film abruptly cuts to a woman having a glass of wine with one of the creepiest looking guys I have ever seen. His facial expression is somewhere between twisted and longing to drown some puppies. The woman he is with is apparently an American, but I honestly wouldn’t have known if it hadn’t been pointed out to me. The Director obviously said to her “ok, you’re an American, but don’t bother doing ANY kind of accent because nobody gives a shit!”. Eventually the two of them end up in bed, and this is where I can shout “told you so!” because suddenly the creepy guy attempts to violently sexually assault her. But after ripping her clothes off, he basically just gives up and starts laughing like a maniac. Now I don’t know about you, but if somebody had just attacked me, and was now laughing maniacally about it, I would run out of there like Speedy Gonzales with mustard up his ass! But apparently this woman doesn’t do that, she instead walks calmly towards the front door as if nothing had happened. As she opens the door to leave, the creepy guy somehow crushes her head in the door, then proceeds to repeatedly stab her corpse. I am sure there was a complex life lesson in all of that, but frankly I just don’t give a shit.

After this, the film makes another abrupt cut and we now see our main character who is a young woman called Catharine. She is getting ready to visit her long lost Uncle Alexander; she is going to be travelling with her parents. But things start to become weird on the drive down there when her dad suddenly gets a sharp pain in his head for no apparent reason. He then crashes the car into a tree outside Alexander’s massive house. When Catharine wakes up from the accident she is still in the car with her parents, but we see that her mother is badly injured and her dad decides to stay with his wife while Catharine goes for help. But as Catharine is running to the house for help, her parents’ car explodes. Now I have to admit, I didn’t see that coming. Catharine’s reaction to this is to almost immediately faint. She wakes up in Alexander’s house, it turns out he is a Doctor and he lives with the creepy guy we met earlier and his ‘secretary’ who we quickly establish is bat-shit crazy.

Catharine proceeds to spend the next few days being remarkably unaffected by her parents horrible death. It seems her grief is manifesting itself in the form of boredom and it is around this point that she begins to have visions. While out walking with Steven (aka: the creepy guy) she has a vision of a medieval woman being branded with a cross and whipped. This whole scene came off less like a horrifying vision, and more like the beginning of some dodgy porn film. Pretty soon Catharine wants to go home, but Alexander isn’t having any of that, because he has some devious plans for her.

Before watching this film I thought it was going to be a basic cheapo Hammer rip-off. And, in a lot of ways it was. But there were strange moments when it felt more like an Italian film. Certain moments in the film seemed so out of place, especially the scene where for pretty much no reason we get a satanic lesbian sword fetish ritual. I didn’t even know that was a thing! There was also a pretty gory moment that looked like it just came from a Lucio Fulci film. Moments like these were, in fact, the best thing about the film, everything else was just formulaic and dull. Something that really let this film down was the acting, at times I couldn’t distinguish between the cast on the screen and the logs in the fireplace. Overall it’s nothing special, so I am going to give this one 3.5/10.

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