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Satan’s Little Helper DVD Review – 2004

SatansLittleHelper_Poster

Language: English
Original Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Directed by Jeff Lieberman
Cast: Alexander Brickel, Katheryn Winnick, Amanda Plummer

Synopsis
Ten year old Dougie comes across a serial killer that dresses up like his favorite video game character Satan. Being young and naive, Dougie asks him if he could be his little helper as the serial killer goes on his killing spree.

DVD Release
Satan’s Little Helper was released in by Screen Media Films in 2005 and later re-released in 2009. It’s also available as a Triple Feature with Spliced & Blood Gnome in 2010. The DVD is presented in 1.78.1 and looks pretty good for a low budget movie. Even though this is shot in HD, this is probably the only treatment we’re going to get for this “Cult Classic in the making”. The UK release of the film has a slightly cooler cover.

Extras

  • Director’s Commentary
  • Making of Satan’s Little Helper

The Jeff Lieberman commentary track was pretty insightful. It’s filled with the usual “how we did it” and his casual conversation about the cast and filming locations, it was pretty even and never boring. My favorite part is when Jenna (Katheryn Winnick) is getting into her little renaissance outfit and Jeff Lieberman goes “-and this scenes shows you how very attractive Katheryn Winnick is”. He talks about having issues with Amanda Plummer and her never repeating the same line twice. I also learned this movie was actually shot in several states during the summer time. And in order to get the illusion of fall, they color corrected the leaves in post. He talks very nonchalant about the movie.

I was a little disappointed with the Making of featurette. They just detail how they did the Shopping Cart scene and the guy getting thrown through the front window. It’s pretty short and it’s good for what it is, but it should of been a little longer with more scenes. Maybe throw some quick interviews with people while they’re filming? If you know you’re going to release your film straight to DVD, try to get as much as you can for the nuts who love movie extras(*cough*).

Thoughts
I went into Satan’s Little helper not expecting much. While the movie isn’t perfect by any means, I came out satisfied enough with it to watch it twice. Jeff Lieberman also directed Squirm (1976), Blue Sunshine(1978) and Just Before Dawn(1981). He’s been pretty invisible up until now but he’s garnered himself as being a director of quirky and creative cult films.

Alexander Brickel who plays Dougie was annoying at first, but he got better as the movie played out. The only thing I had against his character was the fact this kid was oblivious to everything around him. He meets a guy, who he thinks is Satan from his video game. I always thought I was smarter when I was ten, maybe I wasn’t. Perhaps it’s a social commentary on video games warping and changing our children enough to allow them to think things that this “Satan” does is okay, just because they saw it in the video game. Or perhaps its an easy way to open a narrative that centers around a kid who thinks serial killing is okaybecause it’s like the video game. Who knows.

Katheryn Winnick plays the sister of Dougie. She’s an up and coming star and she would later go on to be in the TV series Bones. Her acting is pretty solid given the script dialog and she’s hot. That doesn’t hurt one bit. Amanda Plummer is probably the most known actor in the film, she’s been in Pulp Fiction and So I Married an Ax Murderer. She seems good enough considering the script.

The guy playing Satan is dreadfully perfect. He’s given no audible dialog so everything he has to say is expressed in body language. While some of it is over the top, it works well for the situation. He seems to show a lighter tone in front of Dougie to keep up the facade that he’s the video game Satan. As the story progresses, he don’s the costumes of Jesus. Which gives us the excellent dialog line “Jesus is Satan”. We can probably read a lot into that statement.

I, for one, didn’t know you could use Cats as writing instruments.

The ending is kind of your typical horror movie ending. You think the killer is dead, only to “surprise” you at the end. I’m guessing our Satan character has some supernatural ability to survive being shot 12 times. Maybe another Horror Icon in our midst?

Conclusions
This movie isn’t going to be for everyone. It’s not a typical horror movie and it’s not a laugh out loud comedy. It kind of walks on that tight space in between the two. But for those who love their black comedy, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Rating

3.5 out of 5