My Master Satan: 3 Tales of Drug Fueled Violence is an anthology film comprised of (surprisingly enough) three separate short films. This is going to be a slightly different review in that I have previously seen all three of the films as stand alone shorts. Not only that but the first in the movie's trilogy; Satan's Coming For You I have previously blogged about, and so I wont go into much detail on that one.
The trilogy (roughly ten minutes, then two half hour ones) follows Alister (Dakota Bailey who also produced, wrote and directed) and his collection of despicable friends as they go about their messed up lives. In Satan's Coming For You him and his friend Bubba (Matt Marshall) see the Devil while on LSD and go on a killing spree in his name. The middle piece titled Nights of Depravity has Alistair help out his drug dealing friend Charlie, while the last film My Master Satan has him and Bubba reunited where they go on another acid trip and see Satan once again.
The film is made to be very low quality indeed, in fact 80% of the film was made using a VHS camcorder and this shows with frequent scene changes having a 'play' icon displayed in the top left of the screen, while on occasion the time and date pops up. Added to this is plenty of static showing at times. This all adds to the charm and reminded me of a lower budget Acid Head: The Buzzard Nuts County Slaughter or Music Store Massacre. For the first and third parts this works out well, but unfortunately the middle part suffers a lot from bad audio. There were times when even after turning up my speakers to max I just could not make out what characters were saying which was a real shame, especially during the finale when a key scene at a graveyard was let down by this.
The strongest performance comes from Marshall as the quietly psychotic Bubba, his monologue in Satan's Coming For You still really stand out, the matter of fact way he describes killing his cheating wife is so smooth and understated. His departure for the middle section felt keenly missed as despite a plethora of new and depraved characters none could match him, apart from one scene the middle felt like a variety of random situations going on, with characters going to various scenes but not too much really happening (though a few humorous parts involving a sex doll entertained). His absence just made the final part all the better when he reappears. The films all interconnect more than at first appears, I likes the ongoing saga with the golf cart riding busybody groundskeeper, while the final part of Nights of Depravity led to a good story beat that was revisited in My Master Satan.
Rather than being cruel for the sake of being cruel a lot of the violence and abuse comes across as darkly comical. A dog being lured into a bin bag before being beaten and thrown in a river, a cat in a box that gets run over, and even Alister stealing a small childs push bike; all come across as funny and bizarre, like an alternate reality where life is super cheap. The seedy locations really help with this and are solid throughout. Also the brief LSD moments where Satan is seen I still think look fantastic, especially the one in the final part, very trippy.
I feel like the genre films like this exist in is still small enough that each one has it's own charms, it is hard to just go out and find anything really similar, I think it's because of that that I enjoyed this despite the issues I had with sound and pacing towards the middle. If you get the chance check this out for yourself and see just what a film made on VHS in modern day (this was filmed March 2015 to April 2016) looks like.