Satanic Panic (2019)

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A pizza delivery girl gets more than she bargains for on her last job of the night in this wild and over the top horror-comedy.

Samantha Craft is having a miserable day at her job as a pizza delivery girl. Riding her moped, she isn’t getting enough tips. On her last job of the night, she finds herself at an upscale neighborhood. However, when she is stiffed on her tip, she decides to enter the residence. There, she discovers something shocking. She finds herself in the middle of a party involving a group of Satanists led by Danica Ross. The party involves a sacrificial rite of passage where a virgin is needed. When it is revealed that Sam is a virgin, she becomes the unwilling victim in a house of horrors.

Awakening, she learns from Danica’s husband Samuel that at midnight, a demon is supposed to arrive at the ritual and kill Sam. As Sam attempts to escape, she finds herself coming across a bunch of crazies until she finds a saving grace in Danica’s virgin daughter Judi Ross. Seeing Sam, Judi at first finds a means to want to get out of it. However, as there is a power struggle within Danica’s ranks, Sam and Judi realize the only way they can make it out alive is by working together, but it’s not going to be easy.

When it comes to wild, over the top horror comedies, perhaps the kings behind the genre are Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of the Troma team. This film, directed by the marvelously named Chelsea Stardust and written by Grady Hendrix (author of Horrorstör and Subway Cinema veteran; along with storyteller Ted Geoghegan), is definitely a fun and wild ride that even the Troma team would be proud of. The story of a pizza delivery girl having to escape a bunch of nouveau-riche Satanists is already wild enough, but there’s much more to it.

The cast is exceptional in the film. Hayley Griffith is great as Samantha, the young woman who finds herself in even bigger trouble than she already is in as she struggles not only on a financial level but now risking her life to escape. Ruby Modine is the perfect complement to Samantha’s scared woman as the more strong-willed Judi, who despite being Danica’s daughter, finds herself having a stronger will to escape the house of horrors.

Rebecca Romijn is deliciously evil as Danica Ross, the leader of the Satanists who thrives on doing her best to make sure the ritual goes off without a hitch. Romijn’s real-life husband, Jerry O’Connell, brings some funny bits in the role of Danica’s pot-smoking, gun-toting hubby Samuel, who warns our hero of what’s to come. The power struggle between Danica and fellow cult member Gypsy is highlighted by the performance of Arden Myrin, who brings an over-the-top Anna Faris level to the role of the crazy-eyed, power-hungry Gypsy.

The horrific gags are quite a hoot to watch, perhaps influenced by films like The Slumber Party Massacre, Blood Feast, and of course the likes of legendary horror film directors Ted V. Mikels and Jesus Franco. They tend to be a bit over the top, but that’s to be expected. One incident involves a character being affected by a small ritual and the means to protect that affliction; an unfortunate victim gets his tongue pulled out in such an unexpected manner that is just insane to watch, and the finale is just mind-blowingly insane that it fits perfectly for this film.

Satanic Panic is an over-the-top and wild ride that all horror film fans will want to check out at one point or another. Excellent performances, crazy horror gags, and unexpected chaos makes this a delight to watch. It is as if director Chelsea Stardust and writer Grady Hendrix made a love letter to the likes of the Troma team and any other indie genre director, past, present, and future.

WFG RATING: A-

RLJE Films presents a Fangoria Films production in association with Aperture Entertainment and Media Finance Capital. Director: Chelsea Stardust. Producers: Dallas Sonnier and Adam Goldworm. Writer: Grady Hendrix; story by Hendrix and Ted Geoghegan. Cinematography: Mark Evans. Editing:

Cast: Hayley Griffith, Ruby Modine, Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Arden Myrin, Jordan Ladd, Whitney Moore, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Michael Polish, AJ Bowen, Clarke Wolfe, Hannah Stocking, Gina Hughes.

The film will be coming to select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on September 6.

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