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The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) - dir. Robert Fuest [on CoS Video List]

A tortured dark soul grieves his lost love who perished at the hands of nine physicians who could not save his beloved wife, so he becomes determined to avenge her death in this perceived wrong-doing. "Dr. Anton Phibes," a genius in theology and an expert organ player, formulates just punishments to deal with incompetence, using the Old Testament's theme of the plagues, and engineers their consecutive deaths in kind, inclusive of employing talismans bearing hebraic symbols representing each plague. In quite a ritualistic manner, using a torch, he melts the faces of their various waxen effigies to seal the deed done. With the precision of a veritable master Ninja, and with the aid of the silently succulent Vulnavia, a graceful creature who provides the charmingly seductive misdirection of a Satanic Witch to render victims agog, Phibes moves in for the kill. A wonderfully complimentary relationship. Also of remarkable note, she plays the violin as the doomed meet their demise; and at one point, Phibes applauds the spectacle of a plane swirling down towards destruction after the pilot is attacked by a legion of rats in the cockpit. Personally, I found the rats, as well as the bats in an earlier scene, to be absolutely adorable.

Phibes is a man haunted by his past, which he lives as the present, presiding in his total ballroom environment with automatons to create a wonderfully eerie atmosphere reminiscent of Dr. LaVey's Den of Iniquity. His throne is seated before a beautifully ornate crimson-phosphorescent organ, which he plays with diabolical flourish into the night, channeling his pain through his music. He vows to avenge her death as well as join her by her side when the task is completed.

This is an aesthetically-beauteous film, replete with Satanic architecture as well as ideology. Those who know will recognize these subtle and sometimes rather blatant displays. Obviously, to those familiar with the life of our Founder, there are several parallels between the Dr. Anton Phibes character and that of Dr. Anton LaVey - they even share the same first name, and certain propensities. It is no wonder this film is recommended on The Church of Satan Video List. Take a perusal - these films are becoming incrementally more available.

[- Draconis Blackthorne]

Addams Family Values (1993) - dir. Barry Sonnenfeld

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re all together ooky, and they’re in an eccentric, morbidly funny flick that’s bound to satisfy the diabolically-inclined.

When we first join the family in Addams Family Values, Morticia Addams (Anjelica Huston) announces that she is going to have a baby… right now. The subsequent arrival of baby Pubert (Kristen Hooper) signals changes for the family, and young Wednesday Addams (Christina Ricci) seeks to curb this by making numerous humorous attempts on the wee tot’s life. Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia decide that they want more time for themselves, so they hire a nanny (Joan Cusack). Little do they know that this nanny is none other than the infamous Black Widow, a woman who marries and then kills rich men, and who now has her eye on Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd). At the nefarious nanny’s urging, Gomez and Morticia send Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) and Wednesday into the most torturous, horrendous hellmouth imaginable… summer camp. There, a pair of perky camp directors (Peter MacNichol and Christine Baranski) and a gaggle of cheery, well-adjusted, Aryan children subject them to communal activities, Disney movie marathons, and a Thanksgiving pageant, in hopes of making them “normal,” with devilishly hilarious results. Pugsley and Wednesday must escape the sunshine-and-lollipop-tipped clutches of summer camp, to warn their family of the impending doom brought by the Black Widow.

Black humor, deliciously evil one-liners, and the comical portrayal of the herd make this movie a Satanic must-see. The eccentric, colourful Addams clan encounters the drab, petty, idiotic, “normal” masses, and dispatches them skillfully with sinister pranks and witty repartee. What is inspiring about the Addams family is that they have constructed their own lifestyle and their own Total Environment according to their preferences, and are always able to triumph over (and usually just plain disregard) those who would stand in the way of their indulgence and joy. Clearly, this is a sentiment that any Satanist can cheer.

[- TrojZyr]