Hail Satan?

Hail Satan?

Penny Lane (2019)

94min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
A documentary about how the Satanic Temple established parity with Christianity in the USA would seem a perfect vessel for controversy, what with the burgeoning power and influence of Christian evangelism in Trump's America. However, Penny Lane's illuminating film has more going for it than just irreverence as the Temple - led by its articulate spokesman Lucien Greaves - also has the backing of the first amendment of the US constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and religion. In the spirit of fairness, the Temple then proceeds to have a statue of Baphomet erected next to a tablet of the Ten Commandments outside Oklahoma's State Capitol. But is this for real or a satirical send-up? There's certainly plenty of absurdity and gasp-inducing provocation - what is placed on the gravestone of the mother of hate preacher Fred Phelps, for instance. However, there is also serious insight into how American secularism was gradually eroded in the post-war era, to the extent that the Temple's followers here come across as rebels of rationalism rather than fanatical devil-worshippers. A potted history of Satanism puts much in perspective, but the real eye-opener is the influence of Charlton Heston and his most famous biblical role.

Cast & Crew

Lucien Greaves Lucien Greaves
Jex Blackmore Jex Blackmore
Nicholas Crowe Nicholas Crowe
Satanic leader Michael Wiener
Director Penny Lane

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: DogwoofGuidance: Swearing, nudity, disturbing imagesReleased on: 23 Aug 2019