Tormented Marc wages war with his inner demons while unknowingly getting locked into an infernal collision course with his wild sister Wendy, who’s appetite for bad boys and hard drugs is positively insatiable.
I’m not sure, but I think I just watched what very well may have been the first Evangelical horror exploitation movie. The kicker is that I actually enjoyed Satan Hates You! far more that I thought I was going to.
Essentially, Satan Hates You! is a low budget satire of the old Evangelical style Turn or Burn! films that were staples of youth group outreaches in the 1970s and 80s. The 1990s, too, if you factor in the transfer to VHS. And if you’re lucky enough to have been subjected to any of these kinds of films, you know that making a satire of these films are probably the easiest things to come across. Some would say the original films are satires unto themselves. But I digress.
Going into watching Satan Hates You!, I had a few preconceived ideas of what I was getting into: low budget, cheesy effects, horrible acting, a hack script, and ham-fisted editing. There was no evidence that I was going to get otherwise–this wasn’t my first tractor pull, after all. However, when I pressed play and braced myself for the inevitable, I was greeted with a film that was indeed all of these…but one gets the sense that it was all deliberate. A method to the madness, if I maybe allowed to butcher the Bard. Everybody else does, after all.
Satan Hates You! follows the lives of Marc and Wendy, two people being tempted by a couple of lounge-lizzard type demons in hopes of harvesting them for eternal damnation. Marc is an unemployed alchoholic with serious insecurities about his sexuality. Wendy exists in a constant purple haze of drugs and sex, around friends that encourage and enable the behavior. They’re inching their way towards their own destruction…but unbeknownst to them and the demons that are following them around, there are other forces serving a Higher Power that are secretly working to save and protect Marc and Wendy’s souls.
There were a few points that impressed me about this movie: For starters, there was absolutely no nudity, and the only vulgarities came from the myriad of punk rock tunes in the soundtrack. If you’re familiar with a lot of micro-budgeted films, you understand that this is not the norm. And if that’s your main reason for watching these things, sorry to disappoint. Actually, I’m not sorry, but whatever. The acting is sub-par, but as I mentioned before, I have my suspicions that it was somewhat deliberate, considering the subject matter it’s spoofing. And make no mistake–this is a spoof. This is not for the squeamish and easily weirded out. There’s even one sequence that I couldn’t make through without looking away, and I’ve been known to consume food while watching these, no problem. Hint: It involves an abortion. Yeah. It goes there. You’ve been warned.
Impressive, though, is the inclusion of a couple of bigger names in the horror genre in minor roles: Michael Berryman as the motel owner Mr. Harker, and the late, great Angus Scrimm as an archangel.
Overall, I found myself enjoying Satan Hates You! far more than I thought I would. It’s cheesy, hammy, over-the-top and gads I enjoyed mostly every moment of this. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for some over-the-top exploitation that has some fun with religious tropes, Satan Hates You! is worth checking out.