Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shitty Movie Review - "The Killing of Satan"


It's been quite some time since I've seen any shitty movies. Good movies, yes, bad movies, most definitely. Some movies, like "The Dragon Lives Again" which I saw recently, were very entertaining and intentionally so, so I couldn't truly consider those shitty movies. However I have one for you today.

Much thanks goes to Everything is Terrible for continuing to be the curators par excellence for all things terrible, and for bringing "The Killing of Satan" to my attention. Trying to acquire a proper copy took quite some time, but eventually, through the power of Amazon, I was able to get it on DVD no less, so, you know, top notch quality.

Now, unlike some of the other shitty movies I have reviewed, "The Killing of Satan" does have a discernible story and plot. But before you fret that I am getting lax in my coverage of truly shitty movies, let me reveal that this movie was released in 1983 in the Philippines and was originally filmed in Tagalog. I watched the English language dub of course, because if I've learned anything about shitty movies, it's that one way to instantly bump it up to the next level is to re-dub it.

Now here's the short story. A small, deeply religious village is under attack from the Prince of Magic. When their priest and elder is struck down, they contact his nephew Lando San Miguel via, wait for it ... magic; because everyone knows that phone calls, letters, or even leaving your village to actually find a guy are far less reliable means. Somehow their message gets through and Lando shows up, but now must rescue his kidnapped daughter and cousin from the clutches of the Prince of Magic, and, ultimately, his master (Betcha can't guess who, but here's a hint: check out the movie title).

Pretty straight forward, it would seem. Except for all the MAGIC! Strange magic. Once Lando has reunited with the rotting corpse of his dead uncle, he is endowed with strange magical abilities, like elbow-generated force fields, super breath, and punching power that even Manny Pacquiao would envy. But the Prince of Magic is no slouch in his red tights—he commands an army of black-tights-wearing, telekinetic boxers and shape-shifting seductresses. And don't forget he's being backed by an even greater power (dammit, it's Satan okay). This isn't the hideous beast of Dante's Divine Comedy, no. He's more like ... Beck. The singer. Kind of small and wiry, with facial hair and horns and tights and a pitchfork. Eventually he morphs into a slightly better nourished version of himself, but the secret's already out.

Perhaps the best part of the film is the dubbing. For some reason, albeit a great one, the American distributor cast all but Lando's part with English-speaking Filipino actors, so that everyone save for Lando has accents. Lando's voice is sonorous and clear, and while he is the most understandable, he is also the most ridiculously out of place when it comes to speech. Combine that with the tritely rewritten dialogue, and you have a recipe for success.

There are plenty of other gems in the film, and while it does drag in a couple of spots, stick with it since the trippy-ness ramps up towards the end. I guarantee you some snake slapping, a mute boy, gun fights, lots of spinning, cheek ripping, and a cage stuffed with nearly-fully nude girls (they're wearing classy black ribbon chokers).

My shitty movie review: 8.5 turds out of 10. This movie is a headscratcher, since it's not necessarily poorly executed, but it's not well-made either. You get the feeling the creators met their intentions, and yet it comes off badly. Great if you're looking for a shitty movie.

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