by Steven Wandling
Fangoria’s new horror-comedy Satanic Panic was just released in theaters and on various VOD platforms on Friday. If by any chance you haven’t caught Chelsea Stardust (Into the Dark: All That We Destroy)’s devilishly hilarious satire of the rich then you’re really doing yourself a disservice and potentially dishonoring the Dark Lord himself. In case you have, you already know what a shotgun blast of a good time Satanic Panic is. Throughout its all too brief 89 minute runtime, it manages to weave together a story that shows glimpses at a larger universe that you just want to get lost in as an audience member.
Satanic Panic delivers on all fronts in spades. The film never disappoints, always surprises, and doesn’t waste a single second. There’s no bloat to be found here. It’s the type of horror film that should inspire any filmmaker to want to pick up a camera and go see what they can do. The imagination and creativity throughout its entirety should be applauded at a time when it’s harder to get audiences to even pay attention to original ideas.
Chelsea Stardust and company have, quite successfully, done a lot of world-building here. Satanic Panic was really made for those with great imaginations. The film comes through like gangbusters and seems like it was an absolute blast to film. Each of the actors turn in lively and often hilarious performances: Rebecca Romijn (Danica) vamps it up to great effect as the leader of an extremely wealthy coven of Satanists hell-bent on securing a virgin sacrifice to conjure up Baphomet and remain wealthy and powerful. Much like the recent horror hit Ready Or Not, the fear of the rich losing their power through supernatural means (real or imaginary) is a central conceit here…and what those in power will do to maintain it.
Sam, the unfortunate pizza delivery person who ends up at the wrong house on the wrong night to still be a virgin, is perfectly portrayed by Hayley Griffith. Her doe-eyed innocence matched with Ruby Modine’s foul mouthed, hard drinking Judi Ross, daughter of Danica ostracized from the coven, sees Satanic Panic at its absolute best. In a film filled to the brim with absolute bonkers shit, that’s a testament to the people in front of and behind the camera. Please put these two in more films together, as soon as possible.
This movie never lets up. Wealthy asshole tongue-in-cheek Satanists committing a virgin sacrifice to literally raise Hell? Check. Brilliant creature designs that seem to pop out of nowhere that only add to the experience and hint at a much larger world? Got ya covered. Power plays, hard drugs, creepy children, killdo fucking (don’t ask), and more fun gore than you can shake an entrail at? Check, check, and fucking check. If you’re into loud, fast, hilarious, bloody, Satanic, rock’n’roll films then you’re in for an absolute treat with Satanic Panic.
The performances are all top notch as well. The ensemble cast in Satanic Panic really brings so much to this script. Everyone in this movie is a familiar face: Rob Zombie (3 From Hell, Lords of Salem) mainstay Jeff Daniel Phillips and Jordan Ladd ( Cabin Fever) kill it as the perfect yuppie upper- crust Satanic couple with some extremely fucked up children (Hannah Stocking and Whitney Moore). Many of Satanic Panic‘s best lines go to Arden Neumeier (Gypsy) (“Fascists get things done!”), who spends most of the film attempting to usurp Danica as leader of the coven. Jerry O’Connell has a great scene as Samuel Ross, the husband (and prisoner) of Danica who just wants to save Sam from her virginity. Yikes!
Even the smallest roles in Satanic Panic are filled by familiar faces, including a hilarious scene with Clark Wolfe (Gracie) asking Sam on a pizza delivery if she wants to make a little extra cash by pissing on a john she has inside the hotel room. The entire film is a blast on so many different levels, but it isn’t all just fun and games. Underneath all of the supernatural happenings and hilarious hijinks, including attack by possessed expensive sheets, there is a message that is very resonant in today’s America.
The wealthy keep keeping more and more rich while regular hard-working Americans like Sam keep getting fucked over again and again. It’s increasingly becoming a society of haves and have nots. What’s perhaps most frustrating is the fact that the majority of extremely wealthy families aren’t self made chasers of the ever-illusory American Dream, but were simply born into unimaginable wealth and spend their lives lording over whatever serfdom they inhabit.
Satanic Panic is one of the best horror films skewering the wealthy since Brian Yuzna (Bride of Reanimator)’s Society (1989). The movie takes off and never lets go. Under Chelsea Stardust’s direction paired with an outstanding cast performance; a great script by novelist Grady Hendrix (Horrorstor), based on a story from writer/director Ted Geoghegan (We Are Still Here), Satanic Panic is a calling that you definitely don’t want to resist answering. Death to the weak, wealth to the strong! Hail Satan!!!
Satanic Panic is currently playing in select theaters and on VOD platforms nationwide. Thanks for reading! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with all your dark and lovely entertainment needs! Share this article with all your horror loving friends. If you would like to write for us shoot us a private message or DM on social media!