September 2, 2019 Satanic Panic (Movie Review)
All hail cheese! It’s sex, Baphomet and pizza in Satanic Panic, featuring Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell. RLJE Films deliver the piping hot Horror-Comedy to select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on Friday, September 6, 2019.
Look, it’s not easy being a pizza delivery girl. It’s a tradition whose fine techniques have been handed down for generations, however, someone forgot to pass along the skills to Sam (Hayley Griffith: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll series, The Mysteries of Laura series). Struggling to survive her first day on the job as the tips fail to be plentiful, and with no help from her co-workers Duncan (AJ Bowen: You’re Next 2011, I Trapped the Devil 2019) and Karim (Mike E. Winfield: Conversations in L.A. series, Pimp 2018), she becomes desperate. When a call comes in for a delivery in the far-off but swanky neighborhood of Mill Basin, Sam mounts her Vespa. Little does she know that legend has it that you enter Mill Basin a delivery girl, but leave a delivery woman.
Meanwhile, at an extravagant mansion in the aforementioned swanky enclave, an elite coven are congregating beneath the full moon to celebrate Beltane and worship Satan. All that is necessary to bring about the rebirth of Baphomet is a virgin sacrifice, but the red-cloaked members—headed by the beautiful Danica (Romijn: X-Men 2000, Star Trek: Discovery series)—are having some trouble with fiesty virgins and Danica’s pesky husband Sam (O’Connell: Stand by Me 1986, Scream 2 1997).
With dissention in their ranks and sunrise fast approaching, the coven—which includes turban-clad Gypsy (Arden Myrin: Shameless series, Insatiable series) and dippy Danielle (Gina Hughes: The Owl 2014, Special series), along with Kim (Jordan Ladd: Never Been Kissed 1999, Cabin Fever 2002) and Gary (Michael Polish: Twin Falls Idaho 1999, Before I Wake 2016)—will have to get their spells together if they want to complete their necessary evil and resurrect their dark lord.
Predictably, Sam is on a collision course and headed straight towards their dastardly celebration, and a faulty scooter will force her to tango with a babysitter from Hell (Hannah Stocking: Boo 2! A Madea Halloween 2017, Amigos series), a “kill-do,” a murderous bedsheet, and one truly sadistic little girl (Maya Perkins in her acting debut). However, amidst the manic panic Sam will join forces with spoiled brat Judi (Ruby Modine: Shameless series, Happy Death Day 2017) to forge an unlikely friendship that pits them against the odds. Sunrise is coming and time is running out, but there’s much more to this delivery girl than meets the eye!
It’s “death to the weak, wealth to the strong” in Satanic Panic, directed by Chelsea Stardust (Seeing Green 2018, Into the Dark series) and written by novelist Grady Hendrix (Mohawk 2017). The film also features the acting talents of Whitney Moore (Casual 2016, House of Demons 2018); Jeff Daniel Phillips (The Lords of Salem 2012, Westworld series); Clarke Wolfe (Where Are You? short 2015, The Drawing short 2016); Skeeta Jenkins (Summer of ‘67 2018, Mismanaged series); and many, many more.
When it comes to the cast of Satanic Panic, it’s all about the ladies! Miss Romijn is so gorgeously wonderful at being so horrible, and she absolutely steals the show as the wretched Danica, hellbent on bloody sacrifice no matter the cost. Always elegant and striking in her lush red attire—including an exquisite headdress from designer Missy Munster—Romijn travels across the screen with a feline grace as she does her dastardly deeds and leads her coven to glory. Equal parts intense and comedic, Romijn truly delivers a stand-out performance.
In the lead role of Sam, Griffith appropriately alternates between sweet and fierce—a blue collar badass who just wants some respect from the scroogie bougie locals. Griffith anchors the entire production with her wonderful portrayal of her dynamic character, always likable no matter the ridiculousness that she’s facing. Meanwhile, her perfect counterpart is presented in Modine’s Judi. Initially just another spoiled brat bedazzled in Tiffany trinkets, we learn that there’s much more to Modine’s character as she fights alongside the equally well-rounded Sam. Together, Modine and Griffith display an on-screen chemistry that allows them to fluidly and organically play off one another, and adds a bit of depth to the film beyond its comedic antics.
Not to be outdone by the ladies, you have to give O’Connell credit for delivering an entirely amusing performance in his tighty-whities. But this is the heart of Satanic Panic: carnal humor aimed at “Millennial moppets,” quite a few chuckles, and that aphrodisiac known as pizza. Sure, it lags a bit in its second act and it could have been funnier if they had pushed the envelope further, but as it stands the film is an entertaining watch.
Featuring music from Chelsea Wolfe, Brass Hearse, Folsom Keller, and Actress Hayley Griffith, Satanic Panic is young and fun. Pairing overt sexual undertones with plenty of bloody good times, it’s hard not to appreciate the film’s light-hearted approach to the dark lord. There’s monsters and mayhem, along with an orgy and plenty of extra cheese, which all makes the film enjoyable and easily digestible. Perfect for the upcoming fall, Cryptic Rock give Satanic Panic 4 of 5 stars. And we ask you, who puts corn on pizza?