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Blu Review – Satan’s Little Helper (Synapse Films)

You’ll laugh ’til you die

Director – Jeff Lieberman (Squirm, Just Before Dawn)
Starring – Alexander Brickel (Palindromes), Katheryn Winnick (Student Bodies), and Stephen Graham (December’s Dream)
Release Date – 2004
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release –

Halloween has so many films that deserve to be watched during the holiday season. Here at my house, I prefer to watch the Halloween series, Ernest Scared Stupid, The Worst Witch, The Midnight Hour, and any film that I have not seen that could become a permanent stay. Halloween is a popular season for horror and there is constantly film’s being released that take place on the pagan holiday. One film that I had always heard of but never had the drive to watch was Satan’s Little Helper.

This 2004 release was directed by Jeff Lieberman who is known for directing the slasher Just Before Dawn. A friend of mine, Jason Limberg, loves the film and talks highly of it so I decided it was time to finally check it out. I checked it out a few years ago and don’t remember shit about it. When Synapse sent this one over I used it as the perfect excuse to revisit it.

**Spoiler alert**The film follows a young boy who is obsessed with Satan thanks to the game Satan’s Little Helper. Halloween is approaching and the young boy refuses to take his Satan costume off. His older sister is returning from college and he loves her even more than he loves Satan. While she was away at college she falls in love with a drama major and brings him home to meet her family. This really upsets the little boy so he sets out to find Satan so he can have him send his sister’s boyfriend to Hell. He meets a man wearing a mask that has just murdered someone and is placing their body on the porch to display. He asks the masked murderer if he is Satan and he shakes his head in comply. The two then go around town where Satan kills several people while the boy watches before returning home to kill his sister’s boyfriend. The boy tricks him into going costume shopping and when they are out Satan knocks him out but does not kill him. Satan then turns his sights onto the little boy’s family where he realizes this is no longer just a game. **Spoiler Alert**

A lot of Halloween horror flicks often lose focus on the Halloween portion of the story and focus mainly on the horror. I’m all for horror films as most of you know but Halloween is about Halloween and this portion of the story should not take the back seat to rape and bloodshed. Satan’s Little Helper did a great job at keeping the Halloween spirit going until the very end. That is one of the film’s saving graces.

The acting in this one is a bit on the bad side. I really enjoyed Satan’s mannerisms. He really pulled off the typical slasher actions and made it fun. Satan was portrayed by Joshua Annex who did a great job. I checked out his imdb.com page and was slightly disappointed when I saw his other major performance was playing a gay guy in Sex in the City and that was it. He deserved more horror roles. The remainder of the cast is pretty much one dimensional.

Not one cast member stands out and are pretty much just reading lines as a way to pay the bills. I know acting is a job for most but there was no passion. No one is clearly trying to win awards and that drags this film down a great deal. The story for this one is a more detailed attempt at a holiday slasher. The film’s use of the video game Satan’s Little Helper was pretty clever but it did date the movie in the same aspect that Brainscan is stuck in the early 90s. I did enjoy that aspect of the film but 10 or so years from now the film will feel even campier than it already does.

The story does get a little more complex as it moves on but this somewhat ruins the atmosphere the film builds when it changes up at the end. I also did not like that the killer is never revealed. Slashers are known for their killer reveals and this one let us down in a big way.

Finally, the film has several kill scenes that are bloody and funny. The kills are nothing brutal but they are still fun to watch and really help move the film along. The practical effects are great for some while others use just the bare minimum. Overall, Satan’s Little Helper is a decent film to watch once you get over the bad. I enjoyed it for the most part but it will be a few years before I toss it back in. Check it out but don’t expect much.

Special Features:
Region A for North America
Audio Commentary from Director Jeff Lieberman
Vintage Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
Promotional Trailer
The Devil in the Details: Making SATAN’S LITTLE HELPER
Mr. Satan’s Neighborhood: A Tour of the Filming Locations with Director Jeff Lieberman
Promotional Trailer

Written by Blacktooth

(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.

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