If you’re thinking Christopher Lee and blood-drinking, virgin-sacrificing minions planning to summon demons forth and end humankind, well, you’re not alone. But you are off the mark.
And while I’m not sure documentarian Penny Lane intended recruitment with her film Hail Satan?, it’s really hard not to find yourself rooting for this scrappy group of idealists.
Lucien Greaves (a pseudonym) devoted himself to establishing The Satanic Temple as a simple societal outgrowth, a tumor, if you will, on the ass of a state of Christian theocracy he saw in the country. He doesn’t worship Satan. He doesn’t even believe in Satan.
If the point of a documentary is to enlighten while it entertains, few docs have succeeded on both fronts as entirely as Hail Satan? In turns frustrating, funny and provocative, it is always a clear-eyed image of America as defined by the citizen’s imperative to challenge the government to better realize the ideals of our Constitution.
Hope Madden, UK Film Review