Hippie psychos on a mad murder spree!
Satan’s Sadists (1969)
Wednesday, October 16th
Film starts at 8pm
Lady Jay’s, 633 Grand St (bet Leonard & Manhattan), Bklyn, NY 11211
Free popcorn, Juke Box Meccanica, $2 Bingo for Prizes. PRIZES!
MOTORCYCLE Maniacs on Wheels — BREEZY RIDERS Roaring to HELL!
This week’s review courtesy of David Zuzelo on Cinema Nocturna, for Troma Team DVD.
The film is directed by Al Adamson, and stars Russ Tamblyn, Regina Carrol, John ‘Bud’ Cardos, Greydon Clark, Kent Taylor and Robert Dix.
With a title like this, and bearing a pedigree as “illustrious” as the great Al Adamson is saddled with, it is probably difficult for anyone to tell if they will enjoy this film until they see it. Myself, I’m an Adamson fan almost by accident… I have to admire his films, and once you take the opportunity to watch them in the context they create as a whole, each entry becomes entertaining. That said, certainly they are “special” films…Fun isn’t how this all starts. Satan’s Sadist are a biker gang, and this is one balls out and hard as nails biker picture. With names like Anchor (Russ Tamblyn), Acid (Greydon Clark), Firewater (John ‘Bud’ Cardos) and Muscle (William Bonner), these scumbags certainly don’t sound like a sewing circle, more like the cast of Mattei’s RATS film only meaner. Opening on a simple day out for our biker badguys, they capture a couple and have some sadistic fun. Rape and murder… is this just another day for the Sadists? Toss in Regina Carrol as Gina (billed bewilderingly as “The Freak Out Girl”) and it’s breasts and beastly behavior from the word go. A little cast of victims/heroes is built up as we meet a grizzled cop and his wife as they are trekking along the desert roads. When they stop to pick up a tough but polite Vietnam vet on his way home named Johnny (Gary Kent), the unlikely party decides to stop and eat at a diner. Bad move, because bikers love diners in the movies… After nearly getting to eat, the Satans bust up the joint (hey… look for Kent Taylor here!) and go kill crazy. Whittling the remaining good side down to two, a cute waitress and our hero Johnny hop in a dune buggy and try to elude the gang.
Maniacs, Psychos and Fiends Seek Revenge!
They fight…and fight…and all the good people die… almost. Some extra girls are thrown in, and get dosed with enough LSD to get their brains stewed. Freakouts, sexups and slaughter follow for dessert. A showdown is brewing and you will be surprised to say the least. Promise. This film follows the biker formula fairly well and is assisted by the fact that Adamson had a great cast to work with! Sure… Russ Tamblyn may have destroyed his career with this one, but hey… it depends on how you look at it. He’ll be remembered for Twin Peaks and this film I hope. Be sure to enjoy every word Russ gets out in his improvised speech about why he kills baby… he was on fire that day!
Greydon Clark and John ‘Bud’ Cardos will both be familiar names to trash film lovers, and for good reason… they prove their love for the cinema du schlock and work under brain rending conditions while delivering great performances. The stable of II (Independent International) performers such as Regina Carrol and Kent Taylor are drive-in fantastic as well. Sure, they are spouting off rough around the edges dialog, beating each other brainless and waving the flag of having fun at the expense of good taste high, but they do it mightily. And that is the genius of Al Adamson. He wanted the audience to have a story and some schlock to go with it, and Satan’s Sadists delivers in more Hell Notes than you could shake at a Taoist priest fighting Mr. Vampire. Fists fly and it all comes to a crashing end… one that even takes on the Vietnam War!!
Adamson doesn’t seem to get a fair shake in film history, but it’s Drive-In time here at Cinema Nocturna, and if any filmmaker in American Exploitation history understood what the big BIG screens needed, it was Al. He uses location, talent and a balls out approach to make this film work for all it’s worth. Not just another biker film, Satan’s Sadists has some grins to go with the gruesome and ghastly behavior, and these are not at the expense of the film or the filmmaker. It is a very easy approach to this fare to simply call it “bad.” Al Adamson and his cast, crew and supporters didn’t set out to be “bad,” but to work on the sly and make sure to toss every available element that would titalate and tease their audience and keep them coming back for the next picture. Works every time for me.
A great trip to the drive in styled good old days, and besides, it’s not every day you can sing along to lyrics like “I was born mean, by the time I was two they were callin’ me – Calling me…Satan… mmmmhhhmmmmm! … by the time I was 12 I was killin’ – killing for SATAN..mmmhhmmmmm!”
I’ll get you, you little bastard. I promise you, I’ll get you if it’s the last thing I ever do.
The DVD for Satan’s Sadists from Troma is a great special edition. A solid transfer in full frame, it looks good and sounds great. A wide variety of extras are available to the viewer who wishes to spend some extra time with the disc. Most importantly is another great Sam Sherman commentary, as is almost always the case with II releases. Sherman is a walking history of American Exploitation and should always be commended for not only his original work in the movies, but his great sense of fun and almost honor in chronicling the stories behind these films. Satan’s Sadists features a complete track (sometimes Sam cuts them short when he finishes up with what he can say about a film). A ton of detail about both the making of this film, as well as about Al Adamson makes this DVD an almost dual purpose. You could easily buy it for the musings of Mr. Sherman. As I have said here in the past, thanks Sam, you have deepened my love of these movies with your work.
Also included is the documentary (on all the Troma II/Adamson releases) Making Schlock. A great bit of work as well on this featurette. Trailers and behind the scenes material are capped off with a lengthy radio interview with the Freak Out Girl herself, Al Adamson’s wife to be, Regina Carrol is also included. The tape is very rare and interesting (hey, it contains the 45 with the themes in their entirety!)… another must have for Drive In movie fans.
Top work for a top flick, and if you want to feel the drive in flavor, this is a great place to start!