A Very Particular Knife – Satan’s Blade (1984)

Despite having many of the ingredients that make many a movie in this genre fail, Satan’s Blade is a surprisingly engaging slasher that grabs ahold of its audience right from the very first scene until its last.

There is nothing overly complicated about the plot of this particular picture, as it begins with robbery and murder and soon transitions into the legend of a local mountain man who likes to kill. It finds a group of co-eds in one cabin and two married couples in another where this supposed killer hunts his prey, but it is, after all, just a legend. Soon enough, all of the young women are killed off with one left standing and when she rushes to get help from those in the other cabin, they too are soon murdered with Stephanie being the only survivor. It is not long after this that director L. Scott Castillo, Jr. reveals just who the killer is and the final fate of poor Stephanie, the final girl of this picture.

The most interesting facet of this movie that most slashers do not share is an ending where the bad guy gets away with his crimes and everyone is killed off with no one to tell the tale. Here, evil reigns and each killing is a thing of brutality, despite the sometimes lack of blood. Each person that dies is either stabbed or shot and they are remorseless in nature, all of them done up close and personal and while the practical effects are not top-notch, the way everyone dies is merciless and cold. The film is better for it and it looks great and drives home the horror and while there is no real attachment to any of the characters that do end up dying, one cannot help but feel bad for them. If there was one thing that this ending did not need, it was the supernatural element. While it did not take anything away from the film as a whole and opened it up for a potential sequel should anyone have cared to have made one, it felt tacked on and the movie could have done without it.

Again, the film does sport many of the same cliches and production values that other movies in this genre seem to generate, from dialogue that may not be the strongest to some bad acting and editing and more, but it never dissuades the viewer from what is happening on-screen. Satan’s Blade is not a great movie, but it is a good slasher and for those that enjoy pictures such as these, they will no doubt find a lot of entertainment in this one.

3 out of 5

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