Every now and then a film comes along that is truly bonkers from the get-go……and so we come to Satanic Panic one of the highlights of 2019 so far.
When it comes to stories of demonic possession or satanism, there are two ways the filmmakers can go, they can either neutralize the content or double down and go for it. Lucky this film goes for the latter and is all better for it.
At times it’s disgusting, gory with plenty of practical effects but then it has that awkward habit of making you laugh at awkward times.
What sets Satanic Panic apart is its lead performances from the binary opposites. Director Chelsea Stardust really goes out of her way to make fully fleshed out characters that feel real and relatable; even the evil ones.
Firstly we have Hayley Griffith’ Sam who is a tour de force of character development, going from timid pizza delivery girl to full-blown bad ass in 85 minutes.
On the other side we have the magnetic Rebecca Romijn who was born to play the role of head Satan honcho Danica Ross. Every scene she is in she chews the scenery and creates a role for the ages.
Not forgetting an inspired cameo from Jerry O’Connell who just looks like he is having too much fun. A special mention to for Arden Myrin’s Gypsy who is downright hilarious in her incompetent attempts to become the leader of her Coven.
The plot reads as follows – A pizza delivery girl at the end of her financial rope has to fight for her life – and her tips – when her last order of the night turns out to be high society Satanists in need of a virgin sacrifice.
The screenplay is written by Grady Hendrix, who penned the excellent novel My Best Friend’s Exorcism and more recently We Sold Our Souls, some recommended readin g there.
It’s also recently been announced that Arrow Video will be releasing Satanic Panic on DVD & Blu Ray on 28th October so if you don’t catch it at Grimmfest or Celluloid Screams we recommend you check it out then.
Hail Satan indeed!