Saturday, July 06, 2019

Satan's Sadists (1969)

I keep meaning to watch more Al Adamson movies.  Damn it, everyone should watch more Al Adamson movies.  But until I get around to doing so, we'll just have to make do with this trailer for Adamson's seminal sixties biker flick, Satan's Sadists.  In the true spirit of schlock, the movie throws together a number of exploitable subjects which were in the headlines at the time - biker gangs, drugs, sex crimes, the permissive society and even the Vietnam war (the protagonist is a recently discharged Vietnam vet) - to form a typically feverish concoction.  An interesting cast includes Russ Tamblyn ('in his greatest role since West Side Story') cast against his usual type of light leading man in family orientated films, playing the vicious and deranged gang leader Anchor, Western veterans Scott Brady and Robert Dix, B-movie favourite Kent Taylor, future schlock movie director John 'Bud' Cardos and Adamson's sometime wife, Regina Carrol.

Interestingly, bearing in mind the film's theme of a charismatic, but crazy, gang leader who inspires his followers to join him in murdering various innocent, mainly female, victims, it was mainly shot at the Spahn Movie Ranch in California during 1968, while the Manson 'family' were still in residence there.  As with most Adamson movies, Satan's Sadists was generally condemned by critics upon its release, complaining about its violence and apparent delight in the sadistic scenes it portrayed.  Such reviews were, of course, guaranteed to act as a recommendation for schlock movie audiences.  Distributor Independent-International Pictures played safe, releasing the film regionally, territory by territory, rather than engaging in an expensive general release.  It remains one of Al Adamson's best known titles, enjoying several re-releases and multiple DVD releases.



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