Reviews

Killing Of Satan, The (1983)

Jean jacket. Chuck Taylor hi-tops. Fluffy mustache. The power of God. Lando San Miguel is here to save us.

Ah, the Phillipines. It’s nice to be back. Just when the memories of my Blood Island vacation were starting to fade, I stumble upon The Killing Of Satan, an epic explosion of gory, religious nonsense from our friends at Paragon Video. The cover art features a mummy, an invisible woman, a giant snake, Satan himself, and our hero, Lando, airbrushed up with rippling muscles and a bo staff. For once, the artwork does not deceive us. Except for the muscles, of course. Beer guts don’t translate into marketing sizzle, so Paragon HAD to do something, right? Although this film is completely unrelated to Hemisphere Pictures’s Blood Island legacy, the goods are all there: exotic jungles, dead serious emotional turmoil, the scent of sex, ridiculous monsters, the list goes on. Throw in a little Infra-Man, a slight touch of Death Wish, tons of BAD DUDES, and the pot begins to boil.

It all gets down to this: God Vs. Satan! Lando Vs. The Fat Devil In A Tuxedo! While the climactic battle is indeed a sight to behold, it’s going to be a long, confusing ride to get there. After a showdown with The Prince Of Magic (Satan’s sidekick), Old Miguel must transfer his God-endowed powers to a relative before buying the farm. Who is The Promised One? Cue ex-con Lando, now living peacefully with his family after killing some gangster’s brother in self-defense. Said brother returns with his posse and kills Lando’s son. Lando fights back, only to get gunned down himself. Unbeknowst to Lando, Miguel’s powers transfer at just the right moment, restoring his life and deeming him . . . The Promised One! Lando and family make their way to Miguel’s village for an unknown reason. Once there, The Prince Of Magic steals Lando’s daughters and mutilates his wife’s face. Payback time.

Sure, The Killing Of Satan lasts a very long 95 minutes and tends to get a little too involved for its own good; family struggles, moral obligations, and thick religious imagery take up a bulk of the runtime. All delivered with complete seriousness and often hilarious macho dubbing, of course. However, like most Filipino horror films, it’s in your best interest to stay engaged. Once this action-horror-sci-fi-poopfest kicks into gear, there’s no looking back. A crusty zombie attacks Lando at sea. Dozens of laser-fisticuff battles erupt between Lando and the devil’s minions. A dollar store Devil waves his hands before morphing into the final Devil for no apparent reason. Animals morph into Manimals. A group of fully naked women are kept in an electrified cage. Implied assault and frequent snake violence tatter the script. I’d like to tell you more, but that knowledge might rip your face off.

Straightforward in its technique, but over the top in terms of delivery, The Killing Of Satan was one stop short of utter insanity. Do not expect logic or dollar signs. Do expect a night of stupid fun. And a plastic pitchfork.

Like its Fillipino relatives in the Blood Island family, The Killing Of Satan is a giant, R-rated comic book for adults; one foot in thrilling innocence and the other in steamy sleaze. It won’t blow your mind, but the charm is definitely there.

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