Satan’s Slave – UK, 1976

Satan’s Slave is a 1976 British horror film directed by Norman J. Warren (Prey; Terror; Inseminoid) from a screenplay by David McGillivray (House of Whipcord; Schizo; House of Mortal Sin).

The film’s distinctive soundtrack was composed by jazz musician John Scott. Despite its low budget, Satan’s Slave was shot in Techniscope.

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Main cast:

Michael Gough – Konga; Horrors of the Black Museum; The Corpse
Martin Potter – Goodbye Gemini
Candace Glendenning –Tower of Evil
Barbara Kellerman
Michael Craze
Gloria Walker
James Bree
Celia Hewitt

 

In the UK, having been heavily censored by the BBFC, the film was initially released by Brent Walker on a double-bill with Thriller: A Cruel Picture, a Swedish rape ‘n’ revenge exploiter, and then later with Ruby and Squirm.

In the US, the film was picked up by Crown International although the print they distributed was the censored British version. In 2004, Anchor Bay released a longer widescreen version on DVD.

In 2016, specialist label Moscovitch Music have released John Scott’s soundtrack score in both gorgeously packaged 12-inch vinyl and CD.

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A young woman, Catherine Yorke (Candace Glendenning), shares a ride with her parents to visit her uncle Alexander (Gough), that no one had met before. But the drive ends in tragedy when, during an accident, the parents of Catherine die charred.

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Catherine is then hosted by the mysterious Alexander, who lives in a beautiful house with his son Stephen (Martin Potter) and the faithful Frances (Barbara Kellerman). Catherine takes a taste for life and notices that Stephen is far from being insensitive to her charms. But Catherine is soon the victim of terrible hallucinations.

As time passes on, Frances then informs her of what her uncle and cousin are planning to do to her. She tells them they plan to sacrifice her in order to avenge an ancient ancestor of hers named Camilla York (because the only way to resurrect the dead is through the body of a decedent) who was said to possess evil powers, she tells her that they plan to use Camilla’s powers for Alexander’s own evil…

satans slave + thriller tom chantrell

Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Reviews:

“As usual, Gough (and his co-starring moustache) is a joy to watch, especially when he gets to let loose in the final half hour, and Glendenning makes for an appealing and attractive scream queen, even more or less pulling off the unlikely twist ending pretty well. Also noteworthy is the eerie score by John Scott…” Mondo Digital

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“The high production values even stretch to some particularly gruelling gore effects, and despite only really being known of amongst diehard horror fans, it stands proudly as a worthy successor to Hammer (it even has the look and feel of one of the better Hammer House of Horror TV episodes).” British Horror Films

Satan’s Slave still shows some hints of the Hammer style, with the middle-class characters and rural locations, but its gritty atmosphere was more in keeping with the popular American horror films of the time, and gives the film a realistic edge that Hammer rarely achieved with their bright colours and elaborate sets.” Mondo Esoterica

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Buy: Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

“… despite its ceremonial nudity and lashings of gore – like the sort of subject likely to turn up on Sunday afternoon children’s television, with its kid-in-trouble/blame-the-older-generation theme. Devilish cunning and Satanic mumbo-jumbo lurk beneath the genteel surfaces of the stockbroker belt, and the twisting suspense plot is well constructed and written by David McGillivray.” Michael Grossbard, BFI Monthly Film Bulletin, January 1977

Buy Satan’s Slave poster – main image above – from Amazon.co.uk

Offline reading:

All You Need is Blood – Norman J. Warren tribute magazine, Midnite Media, UK

Ten Years of Terror – FAB Press, UK, 2001

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk

Filming locations:

Admiral’s Walk, Mill Lane, Pirbright, Surrey, England (also featured in Virgin Witch, 1970)

 

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