Direct from the Bureau of 70s Nonsense comes The Redeemer: Son of Satan. I had not seen this in at least five years and I swear I remembered it being better when I added it to my October list. Then I watched it again yesterday and was a little disappointed. I included it here anyway because I planned out the whole month of posts in advance and trying to decide what to watch is the hardest part for me. Oh well, at least it is super eerie like all low budget movies of its time, even if (or maybe because?) it makes no damn sense.
Some kid walks out of a lake, gets on a bus, and joins the world’s worst boys’ choir. The choir goes to a church and sings the Doxology or as it may be better known “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow,” off key, and not in conjunction with the passing of the plate. When the preacher gets up to speak, the lake boy/demon somehow induces him to invite six people he does not know to a fake high school reunion so he can kill them. Why? Because they’re sinners!
Fifteen minutes in we meet the slasher fodder. One is rich and likes to shoot doves for sport, one is a lawyer, one doesn’t have enough money to buy lunch at a fast food drive-in and so he makes his girlfriend pay and then refuses to take her son to the zoo, one is a bitchy and unreliable actor, one is a lesbian who won’t come out of the closet, and one hangs around in a bar with a guy who drinks too much. When they get to the school and find that no one else is there, they foolishly go in anyway and start eating the food that has been put out for them. Then they get killed one by one.
I will admit that some of the kills are inventive, but I used to be more into that kind of thing than I am these days. A couple of the victims are killed by puppets; one of the creepy robot thingies has a flamethrower and the other has a sword. Also, the killer kills the janitor the day before the party and makes a mask of his face to wear, presumably because the reuniters would remember their old school janitor when he comes to let them in. The devil’s kid can whip up some puppets but not a mask.
Of all this movie’s sins, yes, even the sin of being only an hour and fifteen minutes long yet still managing to be too long, I’m most bothered by the singing of the Doxology for no reason during the church scene. They imported a crappy kids’ choir just to do that? They didn’t even sing in a weird kicked in the balls soprano! It’s like when someone wants to write a church scene in a screenplay but they don’t know anything about church so they just have everyone sing “Amazing Grace.” It irritates me when people don’t do their research.
Perhaps the most interesting fact about The Redeemer: Son of Satan is that it was re-titled as Class Reunion Massacre and put out on VHS by Continental Video, and although that awesome looking tape was in every video store I ever went into, it is somehow very rare and collectible now. And I don’t have one; I just have a copy of The Redeemer, which was put out by Genesis Home Video. But even if you have this rare tape, don’t watch it. Watch the far superior 80s movie with a similar plot and the presence of Caroline Munro, Slaughter High. Or maybe I’m just in a bad mood and this movie will be awesome again in five years. Have you seen it? What do you think?