*** Out of 5
Release Date- August 14th, 1978
Running Time- 82-Minutes
Writer/Director- Carlos Puerto
Starring- Angel Aranda, Sandra Alberti, Marian Karr, Jose Maria Guillen
Released in 1978 Satan’s Blood is a satanic themed horror movie and despite a couple of DVD releases is a semi-forgotten film, which was produced by Juan Piquer Simon who has been dubbed the Spanish Ed Wood for his films Slugs and the so bad its good Pieces. Satan’s Blood is from Spain and while I’m no expert on films out of Spain the one thing I love from what I have seen is they have some decent atmosphere and that even goes for some of the weaker films I’ve seen. Satan’s Blood is by no means a great film, but it does have an eerie vibe going for it.
Andy (Guillen) and his wife Annie (Karr) who is pregnant decide to take their dog and go for a ride around town. As they are driving a car pulls up along side them with a man and woman in the car and they keep looking over. Finally the guy Bruno (Aranda) calls Andy by name and claims to know him from college. Bruno invites Andy and his wife to come over to his place, which they agree. Even though Andy has a weird feeling about it he goes anyway. But this turns out to be a deadly mistake.
The screenplay by Carlos Puerto has the right idea, but the fact nothing is explained kind of does the film in. First we’ll start with the good; Puerto does attempt at giving the characters a little bit of depth as we find out Annie once cheated on her husband with his brother and that last time she was pregnant she had a miscarriage. Bruno also once attempted suicide. However when all is said and done none of these ideas really lead to anywhere with the plot and seems nothing more than filler, but it was a nice try by Puerto to try and give his characters depth rather than create faceless characters. However the script never really offers much in the way of explaining things and while not horrible it is a bit weak.
Some of the problems of the film is nothing is explained and random things just seem to happen like the opening scene for instance, which has a naked woman and the satanic cult and the scene plays no part of the rest of the film; and the main characters are too stupid to really root for. Even though Andy gets a weird feeling he still goes to the house and while he does consider turning back, Bruno persuades him to keep going and when at the house on a photo Andy sees his home address on the back, but doesn’t mention it until later. Bruno hasn’t seen Andy since college so how would he know his home address? Even though Andy and Annie get the feeling something isn’t right they never really make a real effort to leave. Holding them up is a storm and the next the day the car isn’t working, but if you sense danger common sense is to leave and sure if they leave the movie ends, but the fact Andy and Annie never make a legit effort to leave is rather annoying. There is even a scene where someone enters the house and attempts to rape Annie and yet they still don’t leave the house. One guy is peeping in the window who I assume is a member of the cult and than he gets killed by someone I assume is a member of the cult as well, but nothing here is ever explained.
As director Carlos Puerto delivers a somewhat sluggishly paced film, but it does have a decent feel of atmosphere with an eerie feel that helps keep the film above float. The visual look is strong and Puerto gets excellent use of his locations as well. But the problem with the film is not a whole lot really happens at times and even though the film is only 82-minutes it does feel a little overly long at times. The fact so little is explained with the script does hinder the direction, but overall what the film may be lacking with the writing, Puerto does sort of make up for it with solid direction.
Overall Satan’s Blood does make for a decent time killer, but the fact the film explains as little as possible does hurt the film. Fans of 70s Euro horror should find something here of enjoyment since the film does have an eerie feel as well as some nudity and while I enjoy the film its not a personal favorite, but it does have some decent atmosphere and while this can’t fully make up for the flaws it does help.