Friday, July 9, 2021

Satanic Attraction

Satanic Attraction (aka Atração Satânica)
Fauzi Mansur

Satanic Attraction engages in a long string of satanic nonsense that never comes together as a story but more than makes up for it in bloody mayhem and gross-out gags. Satanic Attraction takes its influence from Italian horror of the era with plots that float along on a sort of dream logic followed by bursts of violent gore. It has its own distinct Brazilian flavor and a few cultural references that probably went right over my head during my initial viewing, but if you need a change from firing up House by the Cemetery (1981) for the 54th time, you might find something here to interest you.


Fernanda (Gabriela Toscano) is a radio DJ who has a gimmick of telling gruesome tales of a murderer stalking the streets. When people start showing up murdered exactly as described, the police and public suspect Fernanda of foul play. This is about the only element of the plot that lands near coherence. Everything else is just a slurry of a masked figure killing people, resurrecting his sister/girlfriend, killing more people and then an ending of absolute nonsense.

If you’re here for nauseating gore this is your movie. There is something especially awful about the grue in this movie. It mixes in a lot of brown and yellow muck with its red viscera creating some truly gross looking images even on the 2nd generation VHS copy that I saw. For all its narrative flaws there are some inventive was to shed blood in this film including razor blades in soap, scimitar through the door, and an overly complicated stabbing though a hammock that must be seen to be believed. There are some demonic shenanigans as well but nothing that rivals the slasher elements.

Every AirBnB ends like this.

There is one gag that is mystery to me and makes me wonder if there is a whole Brazilian cultural element I am missing that would suddenly make this mess become coherent. About midway through the film a character encounters what looks like a pair of severed feet that are also in fact… shoes! Whereas I went, “What?” the character on the screen reacted in complete terror to these foot-shoes. What are they? Why are they so scary? People seemed more scared of the foot-shoes than the maniac wielding two daggers chasing them down the beach. Brazil, what the heck is going on over there?

Satanic Attraction is too long, doesn’t make much sense, and has an ending that might leave you angry if you can invest in the story on any level. That said, the gore is gross and creative. So, your best option here is probably just to fast forward to the all the killing spree moments. Heck the story might even make more sense if you do that. Odds are you won’t be very attracted to Satanic Attraction, unless you are really thirsting for a satanic slasher. If this isn’t you, I’d just go ahead and put House by the Cemetery in your VCR like you were planning.

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