Monday, October 31, 2016

Good, bad, and editing

I've talked a bit about my sister's movie month programs, and I've talked a lot about my family's obsessions with media, but I don't know if I've talked about why.

Part of it may have to do with the fact that Strother Martin is my cousin and I basically grew up in a circus family.

My Grandfather, a lifetime performing stage magician by profession, married my Grandmother - a badass lady whose first cousin happened to be one of the more recognizable bit actors in about a hundred films.

Probably his most famous line is as the Warden in Cool Hand Luke - "What we have here is failure to communicate." He played that kind of guy.

At least when he wasn't playing mad scientists or Satanic cult leaders. Because he was my grandmother's cousin (and therefore my dad's cousin and therefore my cousin) my family has seen A LOT of his hundred-plus movies. Some of them (like Cool Hand Luke and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) are legitimately good movies. Others (like Sssssss!) are not. The Brotherhood of Satan is one of Strother's movies that is NOT a good movie.

But, fuck, it almost could be. The director was more competent than I expected, the cinematographer took some chances and landed on some kickass shots. Dialogue that could have been straight-up rotten mostly lands because the casting director got lucky.

I actually feel like this would be a damn decent little film if someone would sit down and do a fan edit and maybe mix up the music a bit. It's an early 70s schlock horror flick about a satanic cult so there's probably no way to make it a great film (some of those costumes and props just can't be gotten around) but it's surprisingly understated for what it is and pretty damn entertaining in spite of all the ways it easily could have failed.

If you're looking for a goofy horror film to throw on in the background of a party you could do a lot worse than The Brotherhood of Satan.

     - Alli

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