Director: David E. Durston
The Manson Family freaked a lot of people out. Vietnam was pretty fucking horrifying but the fact that it was in a remote part of the world in comparison to our country made it easy for many people to keep at arm’s length. But the Tate/La Bianca murders happened here, to people you’d heard about and for motives that no one could understand. Add acid to the mix and you have the makings of one hell of a horror movie. A nomadic bunch of acid eating hippies roll into a small town and for no reason other than the fact that they’re hippies, they start terrorizing the locals. The mere fact alone that they’re hippies makes it believable that they always dropping acid and are satanists. I mean the prior is easy to accept, but the latter? Sure, why not? Truth be told, there isn’t a whole lot of satanism in the movie just a lot of posturing, the claim that “Satain is an acid head, man” and the beautiful Lynn Lowry. I Drink Your Blood acts as a sort of prototype for Wes Craven’s genre-defining, Last House On The Left.
Director: Roger Corman
’64 was too early to cash in on the evil hippies vibe but it does fall smack dab in the middle of that golden Roger Corman/Vincent Price cycle of Edgar Allen Poe adaptations. The film, starring one of my greatest heroes, Vincent Price, pits Price as a medieval noble with a hangup on the devil only to have his dedication to his dark master doom him in the final act. It’s hokey and Price chews on the scenery like the ghoulish master that he was but set aside the notion that you’re watching the work of Poe. Corman’s Poe “adaptations” are some of the best movies that he and Price ever made together and among their individual filmographies, but they’re barely Poe. The Devil does show up, though, in the middle of the finale’s Renn Faire style bachannal and it’s a doozy.
Director: David Fuest
David Fuest is probably best known for the iconic Vincent Price Dr. Phibes vehicles and The Devil’s Rain is notable for only a couple of things because, in actuality, it’s a fucking boring picture with a few shining moments of delirious brilliance. Fans of psychotronic pictures will find a treasure trove of goofy actors. Ernest Brognine plays a vengeful satanist who terrorizes William Shatner and if that’s not enough to hook you, John Travolta is in this, too, in one of his first parts. Church of Satan founder, Anton LaVey, is credited as a technical advisor, too. It’s supposed to be another terrifying story about those wacky San Francsicites and the corrupting influence they unleashed into the suburbs, but most of the movie takes place on leftover sets from old westerns.
Devil Dog: Hound Of Hell, 1978
Director: Curtis Harrington
I caught this one on a local UHF station back when I was a little kid and it scared the shit out of me. I wish I could tell you why. First Blood’s Richard Crenna plays the head of a family who buys a new dog that happens to harbor an evil power. The power of Satan! This made for TV movie features lots of evil shenanegans and close ups of the dead eyes of a dog that will’s the family to mostly draw elaborate pictures of the devil while other people meet some very Damien-ish ends. It’s all pretty silly and results in a trip to Ecuador where some indians draw pictures on Crenna’s hand that forces the evil out of the dog.