“Satan’s Blade” is one of the many films from my childhood
that I remember drawing me in on the video store shelf due to its eerie cover
artwork of a devilish figure clutching a dagger. Being a child of the video
store generation I knew that a majority of the time cover artwork was far better
than the film lurking behind the cardboard sleeve and that is especially true
with “Satan’s Blade” as it is not only a turd of a Slasher film but one of
the worst slasher films I have ever seen.
The film opens with a lesbian couple robbing a bank,
brutally killing the two tellers and driving up into the snowcapped mountains
to hide out in a ski lodge. They end up being murdered by an unseen killer.
Jump ahead to a husband and wife couple and a group of young women renting side-by-side
sky lodges, one happening to be of the afore mentioned murder and according to
the dialogue, a murder that occurred 14
years prior. Of course they too become the target of our knife clutching
The non-existent plot could be workable for a slasher film
if writer/director/producer L. Scott Castillo Jr. had any idea on how to make a
film. His pedestrian directing is bland with poor shot setups and even the boom
mike poking its way into the picture on multiple occasions. Also the film has
literally 3 locations: the sky lodge, the check-in counter and the bank. This
mixed with the sapless dialogue is guaranteed to cause utter boredom. Our two
leading men constantly talking about passing the bar exam seriously almost pushed
me over the edge into pure insanity and made me wonder if this film was ever
used in foreign countries as a substitute for waterboarding torture.
Is there anything to keep this film from me giving it a zero
blood drop rating? Well the synthesizer score is nostalgic, not particularly
good, but it brought back good memories of 80s flicks and a short dream sequence
a half hour in is rather creepy (though it really has no relevance to the plot).
I also somewhat dug the supernatural twist to the plot, and though it may be a
laughable, it at least tried to do something different from others in the genre
(the Excalibur “lady in the lake” sequence is especially hilarious).
This incredibly low budget slasher is rarely talked about
and there is a reason… it fucking blows. Everything from the directing, the
acting to the writing is absolutely the lowest common-denominator of filmmaking. There's not even a gore quotent to help keep attention. Though shot on 35mm for theatrical release, the film ended on debuting on video
to rot on video store rental shelves where it belonged. The production quality
and all around effort of the output reminds me of shot-on-video tape slashers
ala “Boardinghouse” and “Sledgehammer”… yes it literally sucks that bad. “Satan’s
Blade” made its unwelcome debut on DVD and Blu-ray from a small time new
company called “Slasher // Video” and they did a tremendous job cleaning the
film up. Still it proves no matter how much you polish a turd, it still smells
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