Never in my wildest dreams would I have predicted to watch an upbeat documentary about satanists. But, here we are: I have watched such a movie and, here I am, suggesting you do the same.
Hail Satan? chronicles the establishment of The Satanic Temple (TST), and the suggestive concepts that have helped spread awareness of inclusivity. These ideas mostly target religious organizations that hold specific ideologies that continue to disassociate different beliefs. The movement created by TST has a fascination with hardcore visual representations of the occult (as seen in symbolic pop culture), but the members of the various chapters across the globe are more inclined to expose fraud and hypocrisies – usually using variations of post-modern satire to make their point. Hail Satan? documents that the ratio measuring their wins and losses is balanced, but TST always manages to leave a thought-provoking footprint.
Director Penny Lane (Our Nixon, Nuts) uses quirkiness as an effective bridge between her audience and her “intimidating” film subjects. Aside from a few instances that lean heavily on offbeat comedy provided by the editing and the original score, Hail Satan? finds an amusing and teachable element to enlighten viewers on this niche culture and their brand of subversive, provocative activism.
The consistent playfulness of Lane’s film will also develop loyalty with movie goers, making Hail Satan? the type of documentary you’ll want to watch over and over again.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie