• Satan’s Blood (Katarina’s Nightmare Theater)

    Released by: Scorpion Releasing
    Released on: 11/8/2011
    Director: Carlos Puerto
    Cast: Mariana Karr, José María Guillén, Ángel Aranda, Sandra Alberti
    Year: 1978
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    The Movie:
    A nice young couple, Ana and Andres (Mariana Karr and José María Guillén) go for a ride in the city with their German shepherd Blackie (whose not all black) when they are stopped on the road by another couple. The male of the other couple, Bruno (Ángel Aranda), knows Andres from college, although Andres doesn’t remember him at all. With the help of his wife Berta (Sandra Alberti), Ana and Andres are convinced to follow them to their house to catch up on old times.

    Once back at the house, which is huge, Andres struggles with recalling anything about Bruno, even though Bruno seems to know a lot about Andres. Ana notices some Satanic items in the house and mentions them, and it is decided a Ouija board session is in order. From there, weird things start to happen and even weirder is the way Ana and Andres react to all the weirdness. A missing pooch, attempted rape, and a trance-like orgy with oiled up bodies. Oh and devil worship, of course.

    That plot description seems pretty straight forward, but the movie is anything but. Rather, it’s full of moments that make you scratch your head and say “wha--?” Like for example, why would someone pass out from fright in a strange house under strange circumstances, then screw the one they love in a bathtub? Or better yet, go have an oil-soaked orgy with strangers. And they just have to get out of the house, but no…it’s dark and stormy night so they’ll stay and leave in the morning. But when they get up they feel it is more important to get something to eat rather than split the scene. And for whatever reason a doll that can move on its own doesn’t seem to be as big a problem as one would expect it to be. And while we’re at it, what’s the deal with the doll? Since when can Satanists come back to life? Maybe they aren’t Satanists at all. Maybe they’re something more sinister than that. Is it worth spending the time to figure it all out? Not really.

    Also known as Don’t Panic, this Spanish horror movie features plenty of sleazy nudity and a decent amount of bloodshed to make up for what it lacks in cohesiveness. The female characters leave little to the imagination as they parade around totally naked. The men do too if that suits your fancy. There’s a bit of lesbianism and even some mano y mano contact (though more suggested than anything else), softcore sex, and decent atmosphere. The creepiness level never really gets up to where it could, but the building they filmed and the time of year (dreary looking fall) help with the mood, as does they manner in which the story is photographed. The movie’s dubbed, so if performances are good it’s tough to say. But what can be said is that Sandra Alberti is incredibly sexy, and Mariana Karr (still working) is pretty darn hot herself.

    Satanism, full frontal nudity, an amazing Quija board, a bizarre introduction by an “expert” in the field of the occult (which is in Spanish but spoken over by an English translator), cannibalism, a freaky organ score, and stupid protagonists help make this late 70s horror schlocker a fun watch.

    Scorpion delivers Satan’s Blood with an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen. It looks pretty good, with plenty of grain, and very minor damage (white flecks appear). Some spots look better than others but the movie is entirely watchable. Colors look decent, as do black levels for most of the movie, although a few spots were murky and tough to see. The audio is a 2.0 Dolby Digital track, and there’s a Spanish language track on here as well, although not advertised. No subtitles are available. The English track sounds fine, with a couple of spots where the audio cuts out, presumably from the source material and not an authoring issue. No real noticeable pops or hissing to report.

    The extras are slim. One can view the movie with the option of having Katarina Leigh Waters give an intro and outro, or watch without that. Also the DVD cover is reversible, so you can have that with or without the “Katarina’s Nightmare Theater” logo banner. There’s a four-minute still gallery that is mainly images from the movie, but with a few neat items thrown in like some press stuff and production stills. Lastly, some trailers for more releases on the Katarina label are there: Final Exam, The House On Sorority Row, Humongous, Nothing But the Night, Human Experiments, The Incubus, and The Devil Within Her

    The Final Word:
    It's really a pretty bad movie, but with such great elements in it Satan’s Blood is a fun and sleaze-filled attempt at a horror movie. Except the part with the dog. The presentation is satisfying, but the disc falls short in the supplemental material category. Still, if you don’t have this one, you can’t go wrong with Scorpion’s release of it.