Friday, February 21, 2014

Class Reunion Massacre

Redeemer: Son of Satan
Class Reunion Massacre T.G. Finkbinder
You wonder why some movies were ever made. The ones that perplex me most are the one-off movies made by a team of directors, writers, and actors who never tried to make another movie again. Electraglide In Blue is a recent example I saw. There are dozens of others. When the movie happens to be good it just adds to the question "Why did they just make one movie?" I have friends who make movies, and I know the process is so brutal and exhausting that it seems impossible anyone could ever do it without a passion for the process. The Redeemer: Son of Satan is far more than just a competent first movie from a creative team that got lucky: it's a good movie, period. So why did writer William Vernick and director Constantine Gochis never even attempt to make another movie again? I have no idea.

Only two members of the crew of Redeemer: Son of Satan went on to work in the business at all. Actress Jeanetta Arnette, who plays Cindy, and T.G. Finkbinder, who plays the Redeemer himself. Finkbinder found his was into a couple of roles as an extra, but soon gave up the movie business and is now an English teacher. He's the one pictured in the scene above, my favorite, which demonstrates a couple of the factors that make this movie enduringly successful. The setting is perfect, and not at all wasted by the director and art direction. It was shot in a military academy, and although the school is supposed to have been abandoned for a decade in the film, it has a perfectly maintained grounds, Olympic sized pool, and auditorium. 

Redeemer: Son of Satan
This is Redeemer, Jr. He stars in a concurrent storyline involving kids who sing a church choir. Overall the story is pretty standard, and doesn't allow facts or continuity to get in the way of the fun. It has been pointed out elsewhere this movie has a meanstreak, and I suppose that is true. The six people singled out in the beginning for punishment of their sins by The Redeemer might be jerks, or worse, but probably are no better or worse than everyone else on the planet. They really haven't done anything that would warrant being sentenced to summary execution by a religious nut, and it if it's even explained how this guy even knows them to have known who they were or what sins they were committing ten years after graduation I didn't see it. But those are the quibbles. And if you're a fan of B genre horror of the 70's you have to see this movie.  Pin It

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