Writer-director James Felix McKenney pays kitschy homage to end-times-obsessed Christian horror movies of the ’70s with Satan Hates You, which is a lot more fun in theory than it is in practice. The story follows the crises of faith of a repressed, unemployed alcoholic, Marc (Don Wood), and a pregnant teenage Jezebel (Christine Spencer’s Wendy) who snorts blow before sex and pops pills afterward. Smoking-jacket-clad, martini-swilling demons (Bradford Scobie and Larry Fessenden) make bids for the two heathens’ souls, while earthly and heavenly missionaries, including horror icon Angus Scrimm, try to set our damned heroes straight. The film’s one-note premise is only as fitfully affecting as watching caricatures hit rock bottom over and over again. (Though conceptually, the film’s a hoot: The very idea of having Scrimm, famous for playing a mute extraterrestrial body snatcher in the Phantasm movies, star as an angelic voice of salvation, is perversely perfect.) McKenney’s abstract visual flair gives the film sufficient polish, as in a rape scene that’s represented through a series of ultra-saturated reddish-orange still images, but Satan Hates You never achieves the total batshit craziness of the films it’s trying to evoke.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 15, 2010