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The Redeemer: Son of Satan! (1978) Constantine S. Gochis

The Redeemer: Son of Satan! (1978)
Genre: Horror
Country: USA | Director: Constantine S. Gochis
Language: English | Subtitles: None
Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.66:1 | Length: 82mn
Dvdrip H264 Mkv - 800x480 - 23.976fps - 1.46gb

Six former classmates receive invitations one day to a high school reunion. When they arrive at their alma mater, however, they find that not only are they the only ones to have receved letters, the invitations were actually sent by a deranged preacher intending to murder them all as punishment for their wicked ways. Will any of them escape from the remote schoolhouse alive, or will they all meet their final judgement?

Director Constantine S. Gochis, working from an unflinchingly dark and grim script by William Vernick, does a sound job of building a considerable amount of gut-wrenching suspense and delivers a potently brooding atmosphere of pure dread and absolute hopeless gloom. Moreover, the murder set pieces are quite brutal and upsetting: one guy gets set ablaze with a flamethrower, another fellow has a dagger dropped on his head, a woman is drowned in a bathroom sink, and so on. 

The solid acting by the capable no-name cast helps a lot, with praiseworthy work from Damien Knight as greedy, cynical shyster lawyer John Sinclair, fetching future 80's "Head of the Class" sitcom regular Jeanetta Arnette as sweet, but promiscuous harlot Cindy, Nikki Carter as stuck-up rich snob Jane, Michael Hollingsworth as vain, preening actor Roger, Nick Carter as gross, lazy glutton Terry, and Gyr Patterson as lovely lesbian Kirsten. Moreover, the main characters are surprisingly well-drawn and even pretty sympathetic individual beings who aren't totally deserving of their ugly untimely fates. 

In addition, there's a striking ambiguity evident throughout which gives this picture an additional profoundly unsettling flesh-crawling creepiness: Whether this singularly sick and mean-spirited film is a savage condemnation of a rigid puritanical ultra-conservative morality run viciously amok or a stark endorsement of the same warped religious values is certainly open for the viewer to decide. Harsh and unpleasant for sure, with some perplexing oddball touches (what's that vague wrap-around stuff about an extra possessed thumb all about?), but undeniably effective and often genuinely harrowing just the same.
The Redeemer: Son of Satan! (1978)

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