Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
'The Jungle Book' brings Disney's Silver Age to an end - listen in our lastest episode of 'Ink & Paint' now!x
review, Hail Satan?, Hail, Satan?, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Lucien Greaves, Jex Blackmore, Nicholas Crowe, Malcolm Jarry, Mike Pence, Chalice Blythe, Sal De Ciccio, Stu De Haan, Cecil B. Demille, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Penny Lane, Documentary film rating

HAIL SATAN?

★★★★

A HELL OF A FASCINATING DOCUMENTARY

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
11th June 2019

The Satanic Temple was founded in the United States in 2013, and has gained an impressive following since its inception. Well-known for the spectacle of their protests, they have caused outrage across the globe with their hell-raising antics. Growing to 50,000 members in just three years, it's a phenomenon which has taken the world by storm. 'Hail Satan?' captures the group's anarchy from its origins, explaining the story of its evolution and ideals in a very tongue-in-cheek documentary.

First of all, put any preconceptions of what you think the Satanic Temple may be aside. The name is easily replaceable with the word "rebels", which gives you a much better idea of what their purpose is. Their motivation isn't devil worship or opposition to Catholicism, but rather disrupting the system and the status quo. They believe that despite the United States Constitution demanding separation of church and state, too often that's not the case. By using Satanism as their figurehead, they're able to both gain attention from people and the press, as well as exemplify why no single religion should be favoured over any other. The prime case study in the documentary features Ten Commandments monuments being placed on Capitol Grounds, so the Satanists push to have a statue of Baphomet placed along side them. This act typically results in the removal of the Ten Commandments.

WATCH: 'HAIL SATAN?'

Far from being demonic, we see the Satanists having to prove themselves over and over again - they hand out socks and sanitary products to homeless people, pick up roadside trash (with pitchforks, of course), run after-school childcare and even organise blood drives. They do good to prove they're not evil, but to no avail - we repeatedly see Fox News commentators trashing the group without any understanding of their motivations, or religious devotees quoting "In God we trust" from U.S. currency or referencing the Pledge of Allegiance, without knowledge that these were only implemented around the same time that fear overcame Americans during the Cold War, and the Founding Fathers in fact deliberately barred religion from the constitution (hence the First Amendment).

The Satanists also have a surprising sense of humour. While what they're doing is very serious business (they describe it as "rebellion against arbitrary authority"), part of what they enjoy about their disruption is the enjoyment they have along the way. With many of the members having been raised within traditional religions and segueing into something more secular, Satanism becomes a natural progression towards action. "Being an atheist is boring," Satanic Temple member Mason Hargett quips, going on to elaborate that there's no sense of community, identity or history with atheism. It's wonderful watching the more mischievous protests the Satanists embark on: one in particular against the Westboro Baptist Church (yes, those delightful people best known for their inflammatory hate speech and brandishing signs like "God Hates Fags") saw them rile up its leader Fred Phelps by holding a "pink mass" involving same-sex couples making out on his mum's grave.

Put any preconceptions of the Satanic Temple - their motivation isn't devil worship or opposition to Catholicism, but rather disrupting the system and the status quo.

As a documentary, the content is fascinating, but its actual composition is quite rudimentary. Director Penny Lane ('Nuts!', 'Our Nixon') has put together a cast of quirky characters, from The Satanic Temple's spokesperson Lucien Graves (not his real name - remember, it's all about the spectacle) through to important and influential figureheads of the group. Interweaving news footage, archive material, relevant cinematic excerpts and fresh interviews, we get a glimpse at both the history of the group and the issues they're combatting, as well as in-depth coverage of their biggest battles. However, there's little that's stylish or slick about the assembly of the film - its construction is very paint-by-numbers, besides a few amusing musical choices like cheerful Christian songs used over the construction of their Baphomet monument, or 'Hallelujah' as the statue is unveiled to euphoric crowds of supporters.

As the ultimate example of judging a book by its cover, Satanism is both a fascinating documentary subject and worthy adversary for religious preference of any kind. It "commemorates what makes America great, and that is religious liberty," Lucien explains. This is an unconventional community battling conformity, asking the population to think for themselves and show respect for others. Set aside your preconceived notions of what Satanism is about and check out 'Hail Satan?' - it's a hell of an eye-opening experience.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 11/07/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 35m
CAST: Lucien Greaves
Jex Blackmore
Nicholas Crowe
Malcolm Jarry
Mike Pence
Chalice Blythe
Sal De Ciccio
Stu De Haan
Cecil B. Demille
Dwight D. Eisenhower
DIRECTOR: Penny Lane
PRODUCER: Gabriel Sedgwick
SCORE: Brian McOmber
www.HailSatanFilm.com
HailSatanFilm
HailSatanFilm
HailSatanFilm
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights. 
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Six Minutes to Midnight - An astonishing real-life tale
TRENDINGWIN SIX MINUTES TO MIDNIGHTAn astonishing real-life tale
The Trouble with Being Born - Controversial, unsettling and intelligent science-fiction
TRENDINGTHE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORNControversial, unsettling and intelligent science-fiction
Endings, Beginnings - Star-studded sex drama lacks substance
TRENDINGENDINGS, BEGINNINGSStar-studded sex drama lacks substance
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Palm Beach - Aussie dream cast, unwelcoming dinner party
TRENDINGPALM BEACHAussie dream cast, unwelcoming dinner party
Love and Monsters - A fun freakshow for the whole family
TRENDINGLOVE AND MONSTERSA fun freakshow for the whole family
Hot Mess - Funny, filthy and heartfelt
TRENDINGHOT MESSFunny, filthy and heartfelt
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
Cross The Line - A gritty descent into a feverish hell
TRENDINGCROSS THE LINEA gritty descent into a feverish hell
Supernova - Colin Firth & Stanley Tucci's comforting yet confronting romance
TRENDINGSUPERNOVAColin Firth & Stanley Tucci's comforting yet confronting romance
Nymphomaniac - Lars, sex and cinema
TRENDINGNYMPHOMANIACLars, sex and cinema
Gunda - Piglets, peace and producer Joaquin Phoenix
TRENDINGGUNDAPiglets, peace and producer Joaquin Phoenix
The Thing About Harry - A gay tale for the romantics
TRENDINGTHE THING ABOUT HARRYA gay tale for the romantics
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge - An animated gorefest for aggressive preschoolers
TRENDINGMORTAL KOMBAT LEGENDS: SCORPION'S REVENGEAn animated gorefest for aggressive preschoolers
Red Pill, Blue Pill - 10 films influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
TRENDINGRED PILL, BLUE PILL10 films influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse - Fairly brainless
TRENDINGSCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSEFairly brainless
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!