Friday, July 23, 2021

Satan's Storybook

Satan’s Storybook
Michael Rider

Satan’s Storybook is an anthology movie of sorts. It is only comprised of two stories and the wraparound segment. None of them are very good but far from the direst of shot-on-video (SOV) films. The whole thing is less than the sum of its parts which aren’t worth much any way. It does show some ambition but fails in the worst way possible by not by being interesting in the process. I love a noble failure, but  I can’t deal with a boring one.

Let’s get the good out of the way. The make-up and costuming are actually quite good, especially considering the budget limitations of the film. Satan has a cool articulated face, the evil jester and undead clown are solid creations. The gore effects are limited to the first story and are very simple but effective. There is clearly some talent behind the lensing of the film, too often SOV films are just point the camera and go, but here there is care taken in setting up of each scene. This all works to give the film more polish than I expected but it also serves to highlights the amateurishness of the script.

"Behold my EVIL NIPPLE!"

Satan’s Storybook’s biggest sin is that characters just endlessly stand around talking. They talk about their pasts, they talk about their feelings, they talk about how much they’d like to kill someone, they talk about being witches or missing their Satanic girlfriend. The film is constant dialogue with just a few scenes of action. It reaches the point of being ridiculous almost immediately and then it just keeps going

The Wrap Around: Satan’s Queen has been kidnapped by another woman and some ninjas. They stand around talking about their pasts like two dorks LARPING in the woods. They like to speak in ye olde speech patterns and one person is named Christeeth (Star of porn and Things (1989), Amber Lynn). Meanwhile Satan has the big sad that his queen is gone so he summons an evil jester to tell him dumb stories.

The Dead Guy and the Witch: A young woman gets yelled at by her parents for reading about witchcraft. They are promptly murdered by the world’s most try-hard spree killer who then gets caught by the cops. He gets the chair and then becomes a murdering ghost who goes after the witch.

"Whoop whoop!"

The Bad Clown and the Other Badder Clown: A clown kills himself and meets death who is also a clown. They talk forever and nothing gets resolved. I like the idea that an evil version of whatever job you do shows up to usher you into hell, like an evil mail carrier or a demonic telemarketer appears before you as you die. 

Satan’s Storybook wraps up with a cliffhanger of sorts promising more chapters to come which thankfully or sadly never materialized. Satan’s Storybook isn’t bad or weird enough to enter the pantheon of cult SOV like Things or Science Crazed (1991) but it has a kind of low rent charm that might win you over if you are in the mood for it.

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