I’m on the record at F This Movie! as saying that if given the choice I would rather watch writer-director Jeff Lieberman’s Satan’s Little Helper than John Carpenter’s Halloween. Let me clarify: Satan’s Little Helper is not better than Halloween (1978). I would have to have serious brain trauma to believe that claim. What I’m saying though is while there’s a lot to appreciate in Halloween, there is more for me to enjoy in a viewing of Satan’s Little Helper. I think it’s clearly influenced by other bonkers horror movies like Sleepaway Camp and Silent Night, Deadly Night. This is a movie made by someone who makes crazy, fascinating choices that are so strange and misguided that they circle back around and end up being almost transcendent.
10. The way the movie is shot is so weird. At times, it looks like good, crisp digital photography and then sometimes it looks like it was shot on a camcorder.
9. The movie gets violent and ends in a very dark place which is made more effective in contrast with its sillier and more comical first half.
8. There’s a neat sense of Do-It-Yourself to Satan’s Little Helper. It’s obvious this movie was shot on a micro budget (e.g. the costumes, the reuse of the same locations) but that low budget gives the movie a lot of creative freedom to be over-the-top and audacious and Satan’s Little Helper sure uses that freedom to its advantage.
7. I am blinded by the beauty of Katheryn Winnick. She makes Helen of Troy look like a bag lady. I have a new movie crush; enough that I will watch Hellraiser: Hellworld this Scary Movie Month just because she is in it.
5. The performance by Amanda Plummer is also noteworthy. It’s as if language is her second language. There’s mugging, clapping, weird turns of phrase and then, near the end, she’s dressed like the Chiquita Banana Lady, wrapped in duct tape and falling down all over the place.
4. This movie is surprisingly mean-spirited and unapologetic about it. I usually don’t like that but every once in a while it works for me in a horror movie such as in The Mist. I admire it for having the balls to be really ugly. By the time the slasher (dressed as Jesus) is killing people off at the end, I’d say it’s gotten pretty edgy.
3. In the character of Satan, it unveils an interesting slasher villain. Not an all-timer but someone I would rank alongside say a Victor Crowley from the Hatchet series in terms of impact. He’s funny, he’s mean and he’s unstoppable…sort of like Michael Myers in the Halloween series.
2. The movie succeeds on its intentions – to be a slasher movie with a comic edge. It’s brutal, suspenseful and amusing. It has a weird, almost charming, authorship to it.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of Satan’s Little Helper. It’s definitely a love-it-or-hate-it affair and I’d really enjoy reading your take on this crazy movie.
Happy Scary Movie Month everyone!