The Brotherhood of Satan (1971)

brotherhood of satan poster 1971 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 5/10

Nice quality picture

Low quality story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Brotherhood of Satan

Studio:  Columbia Pictures Corporation

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  August 6, 1971

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

brotherhood of satan children

You’ve got a nice shine to you…

A family finds themselves trapped in a dusty desert town where something odd is happening.  For days, the residents have been unable to leave the town and no one seems to be able to get in…and children are disappearing.  With the danger growing, a coven of witches could be responsible, and their ultimate goal could be revealed!

Directed by Bernard McEveety, The Brotherhood of Satan is a low-budget horror film.  The movie was partially produced by L. Q. Jones who also stars in the film as the sheriff.

The early ’70s were a stomping ground for the occult.  With Rosemary’s Baby in 1969, witches got the center stage and in 1973, demonic possession became the rage with The ExorcistThe Brotherhood of Satan falls in the period between the two films and is a minor foray into the genre.

brotherhood of satan strothers martin ending

What we have here is a failure to communicate…with the Devil!

The movie has an odd grindhouse tone.  The story doesn’t flow very well and almost feels a bit like Manos:  The Hands of Fate at points in theme and arc.  The two storylines (aka the people in the town and the witches) feel oddly disconnected and feel like two separate movies.  It also begs the question if the characters could simply walk out of town since what generally stops them is spirits and visuals which cause them to wreck vehicles…I know it is the desert, but maybe it is worth the risk of trying.

The cast is rather bland and it also struggles to find a star because of the story.  While the family seems like the obvious lead, the movie constantly leaves them to develop the town elders and the witches…it seems to hurt the overall script and doesn’t help the actors who are struggling to make their characters relevant.

brotherhood of satan witch children

Only witch children play with candles!

Visually the movie is a bit cleaner than many of the films of this style.  In addition to being shot with nice visuals, clean transfers of the film exist (including HD versions).  Until the story was presented as set in the desert, I would have thought it was a foreign Hammer film at points due to the bright, clear colors.

The Brotherhood of Satan isn’t a very interesting movie, but it is short.  If you’ve seen all the witches and demon movies of the time, The Brotherhood of Satan is simply another entry in the genre.  It isn’t revolutionary, shocking, or that surprising, but it does have evil kids….and that is a plus.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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