Legacy of Satan (1974)

This was supposed to be a porno, but somewhere along the way, the director decided it should become a straight up horror movie. Yet the scariest thing about it is that the 1970s were full of bad taste. I’d rather it had stayed porn.

A cult worshiping a doctor who might somehow be related to Satan and/or some guy named something like Ferdinand decide that drinking blood is a great way to do anything. Also, they have a prophecy to find their doctor leader a bride, which can only be done every thousand years when certain astrological events occur, mainly because at this point they’re all just a bunch of jaded hippies. One of the guys, an architect who apparently thinks he is a mechanic, finds the perfect woman in his best friend’s wife. The cult then invokes magic to make her orgasm at night before finally just inviting her to a costume party. They drug her husband, introduce her to the doctor, and then try to have a wedding. Unfortunately, the doctor’s jilted love slave gives a magic sword to the husband, who kills a bunch of cultists and wounds the doctor before his wife kills him. No, this movie still isn’t done yet! The remaining cultists feed the doctor their blood until only is bride-to-be remains. The doctor dies, and the lady gets a weird birthmark on her face that looks like it might be made of shag carpeting. God, the 1970s were weird.

How do you tell a cultist in 1970s New York? Look for the folks weird either cheesy faux-bondage gear or whoever happens to have an absolutely massive moon necklace. All the cultists have them, and they use them for either murder, torture, or weird blood-fueled sex games. Seriously, these guys get off way too much on blood play. This is definitely not my scene. Also, they have long hair and turtlenecks on, but poor fashion choices was kind of a thing. Hell, poor design choices were also big. The couple in question live in an apartment building with terrible burgundy polka dot wallpaper and pictures of optical illusions that clash with the walls in both color and design aesthetic. It physically hurts to look at.

That’s fine though, because the movie also mostly hurts to listen to. The folks doing the soundtrack decided that a droning noise was the best way to handle every single situation, so every scene is punctuated by a steady high-pitched whining noise. It’s good in like one scene; the rest of the time, it will make you want to take one of those moon amulets to your ear drums. Combine that with a script with repeating dialogue and words that most folks wouldn’t say in normal conversation, and you realize that it really is just a porno without the porn parts…so the best parts are missing. Joy.

Look, this might have been an attempt by Gerard Damiano to try and “legitimize” himself. He’s perhaps most famous as the director of Deep Throat, which is famous more for the use of its name than its plot (it has a ridiculous plot). Perhaps he wanted to cash in on the success of religious horror films like Rosemary’s Baby or The Touch of Satan. Cults were pretty big in the 1970s too, though we hadn’t gone full tilt into “Satanism is everywhere” yet the way we would once the Son of Sam killer was arrested.

Sadly, no trailer this time. Or maybe that’s a blessing, so you don’t have to hear the perpetual drone.

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