The Brotherhood of Satan

The Brotherhood of Satan ★★★½

The Brotherhood of Satan is a fairly entertaining supernatural horror set in the dusty, hot American Southwest. It has a Twilight Zone-style series of twists, but a real 1970s gritty feel. The pleasure of the film is following along the plot as it is parceled out slowly. I spent a long time trying to work out what was going on and I enjoyed the mystery of it.

The film is filled with great 1970s character actors. You get one of the great Strother Martin performances, but also L.Q. Jones, Alvy Moore and Ahna Capri. I was intrigued to see that the film was also written by L.Q. Jones, and he wrote the novelisation later in his career. An actor who I always associated with westerns, it is interesting that Jones really nails an unsettling Satanist horror.

The film is lean at 92 minutes and really well-managed. It builds impressively, with some amusing moments to leaven the tension. It really does work in totality. It made me think of a Stephen King book, or short story, it had that flavour, but before King.