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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Evil Heritage" )

 

directed by Norman J. Warren
UK 1976

 

As her twentieth birthday approaches, Catherine Yorke (Candace Glendenning, TOWER OF EVIL) experiences ominous premonitions that nevertheless compel her to agree to travel with her parents (James Bree [ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE] and Celia Hewitt [THE SHUTTERED ROOM]) to the remote countryside to meet her father's long-lost brother Alexander (Michael Gough, HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM). As soon as they reach the grounds of Yorke estate, her father suffers a migraine and crashes into a tree. Catherine gets out to get help only to witness the car explode, killing both of her parents. Alexander takes her in and allows her to stay with him for as long as she needs to recover. Amidst disturbing hallucinations involving witch burnings, torture, and black masses, Catherine falls in love with her cousin Stephen (Martin Potter, FELLINI SATYRICON) who likes to mutilate women on the side. Alexander's jealous secretary Frances (Barbara Kellerman, THE MONSTER CLUB) clues Catherine in to her family's evil heritage: she's the direct look-alike descendant of witch Camilla Yorke, and her uncle and cousin have very special plans for her on her twentieth birthday.

There's nothing particularly original about SATAN'S SLAVE. Producer/cinematographer Les Young and his wife Moira checked the trades and found that the only profitable options for a low-budget film were either a horror film or a sex film. Together with Warren, they hashed out a four-character plot and writer/actor David McGillivray (who scripted some of the more pointed Pete Walker horror films) banged out a script in nine days. The audience is way ahead of Catherine - she spends a lot of time telling the other characters about her visions and being talked into believing they are the result of her shock and grief - but Warren and McGillivray toss in plenty of crowd-pleasing exploitable content (usually involving the combination of blood and bare breasts, a big no-no with the BBFC who had to hack it up just to get an "X" certificate rating). John Scott's score builds upon a simple clarinet melody and into the more experimental for the scenes of psychic and corporeal violence, while Les Young's Techniscope cinematography combines 60's/70's psychedelic distorted wide angles and superimpositions with the burnished woods and mossy greens of more traditional English gothic horror. Production designer Hayden Pearce found the fully-furnished Tudor manor house (which also popped up again as the main location in Warren's follow-up TERROR) and the occult paraphernalia (including Gough's glowing-eyed Satanic goat mask). Pearce also designed the distinctive title sequence. The film also features Michael Craze (who appeared in Warren's short FRAGMENT and also in TERROR) and Gloria Walker (who met her make-up effects artist husband Nick Maley [THE KEEP] on this film and they would later collaborate with Warren on INSEMINOID and Tobe Hooper on LIFEFORCE). Associate producer Moira Young had to double as the topless initiate in the opening black mass sequence when the cast actress was arrested (for unspecified reasons).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 1979 (USA)

Reviews                                                                          More Reviews                                                                            DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the DVD Screen Caps!

 

1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Part of Indicator's Bloody Terror: The Shocking Cinema of Norman J Warren, 1976-1987 with Satan's Slave, Prey, Terror, Inseminoid and Bloody New Year

  

Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Scorpion Releasing
Region 0 - NTSC
Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:24:03 (4% PAL speedup) 1:29:39 1:29:49.509 / 1:28:10.874
Video

2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.11 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.34:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.24 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,277,943,728 bytes

Feature: 24,531,467,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.09 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection)

 

Bitrate:

Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater)

 

Bitrate:

Indicator Blu-ray

 

Audio English DTS 5.1; English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1121 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1121 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -31dB
* Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -31dB

Subtitles English HoH, none none English HoH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.32:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with director Norman Warren and writer David McGillivray
• Devilish Music: interview with composer John Scott (16:9; 13:05)
• Deleted and Alternate Scenes:
• - Tea Party (16:9; 2:56)
• - Dream Sequence (16:9; 2:06)
• All You Need Is Blood: The Making of SATAN'S SLAVE featurette (4:3; 13:12)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:03)
• BONUS DISC (disc 5):
• Norman Warren Autobiography (16:9; 27:22)
• Cast & Crew Biographies
• Photo Gallery
• Creating Satan: SATAN'S SLAVE featuette (16:9; 30:14)
• Featurettes for PREY, TERROR, and INSEMINOID
• FRAGMENT short film (16:9; 10:04)

DVD Release Date: 22 November 2004
Coffin Box

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.34:1

Edition Details:
• Playable with optional KATARINA'S NIGHTMARE THEATER introduction and post-script
• All You Need is Blood: The Making of SATAN'S SLAVE (4:3; 13:11)
• Devilish Music: interview with composer John Scott (16:9; 12:31)
• Creating Satan: SATAN'S SLAVE featuette (16:9; 29:47)
• Deleted and Alternate Scenes:
• - Tea Party (16:9; 2:56)
• - Dream Sequence (16:9; 2:06)
• U.K. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:03)
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 3:12)
• FRAGMENT short film (16:9; 10:03)
• Trailers for TERROR and DEATH SHIP
• KATARINA'S NIGHTMARE THEATER clip reel

 

DVD Release Date: March 20th, 2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,277,943,728 bytes

Feature: 24,531,467,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.09 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Two presentations of the film: the director’s cut (89 mins); and the export version (90 mins)
Audio commentary with Warren and screenwriter David McGillivray (2004)
Audio commentary with Warren and composer John Scott (2019)
Before the Blood (2019, 28:42 mins): Warren recalls his earliest experiences in the film industry
All You Need Is Blood (1976, 13:46 mins): vintage ‘making of’ documentary, presented in High Definition for the first time
All You Need Is Blood Outtakes (1976, 32:42 mins): rare and previously unseen footage shot on location
Creating Satan (2004, 30:14 mins): archival documentary featuring interviews with Warren, McGillivray, actor Martin Potter, and others
Devilish Music (2004, 13:05 mins): archival interview with John Scott
Two deleted scenes with commentary by Warren
Censoring ‘Satan’s Slave’ (2019, 15:51 mins): video demonstration of the cuts imposed by the British Board of Film Censors in 1976
Original ‘U’ certificate theatrical trailer
Original ‘R’-rated theatrical trailer
Image gallery: promotional and publicity material
UK premiere on Blu-ray


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 12th, 2019
Custom Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (August 2019): This is the 'UK' premiere of "Satan's Slaves" on Blu-ray, as part of Indicator's Region 'Free' Blu-ray boxset of the director's films, "Bloody Terror: The Shocking Cinema of Norman J Warren, 1976-1987". Satan's Slaves is billed as a "2K restoration, newly supervised and approved by director Norman J Warren." Indicator present two versions of the film, either the 'Export Version'(89 min) or the 'director's cut' (90 min) version. A title card before the feature explains the two versions of the film offered here, "Both versions of 'Satan's Slave' are presented here fully uncut. However, the Export Version features a more explicit version of the scene which begins at approximately 6 mins 45 secs. The less explicit version of the same scene, as included in the original UK 'X' release, was preferred by Warren, but that release suffered a number of BBFC-imposed cuts to other scenes. By reinstating all previously censored material to the UK 'X' version, this Director's Cut represents Warren's original vision." Now that's out of the way, let us discuss the image quality. The film is located on a dual-layered Blu-ray disc with a very high bitrate (almost maxed out). There is a thick and rather heavy grain to the picture, not unlike a theatrical presentation. Colors seem to certainly lean on the green-side of things, with certain forest scenes showing an almost unreal-level of forest-greens. That being said, there is a fair amount of clarity on display here, with many scenes showing a much greater amount of detail when compared to previous DVD releases. The image is also less squeezed, with a more faithful framing to the original release. Probably not the best looking of the bunch in this set, but it is a real treat to have this included.

Offered up as the audio for this Blu-ray release is a 1.0 DTS-HD mono track. This track is in 24-bit DTS, and for the most part sounds very true to what I can imagine the original theatrical presentation must have sounded like. John Scott (A Study in Terror,
1920 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well as Ted Kotcheff's classic Wake in Fright, Billy Two Hats, plus Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, Cop-Out, Symptoms, and Cult Camp Classics like 1970's Trog with Joan Crawford
) once again scores this picture from Warren, decorating many scenes with undertones of uneasiness and tension. There are all new and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing on this Region 'Free' Blu-ray release from Indicator.

First up for bonus features is the 2004 commentary with Warren and screenwriter David McGillivray. Following this is an all new 2019 commentary with Warren and composer John Scott. "Before the Blood" is a half-hour interview with Warren recalling his earliest experiences in the film industry and speaking on his career. "All You Need Is Blood" is a 14-minute vintage ‘making of’ documentary, presented in High Definition for the first time. As if that wasn't enough, "All You Need Is Blood Outtakes" is a 33-minute collection of outtakes from said documentary, frequently underscored by music from the film. "Creating Satan" is a 3-minute archival documentary featuring interviews with Warren, McGillivray, actor Martin Potter, as well as others. "Devilish Music" is a 13-minute archival interview with composer, John Scott. The two deleted scenes that previously appeared on DVD reappear here, with commentary from the director. One of the most fascinating extras is the 16-minute "Censoring 'Satan's Slave". A title card states that, "When Satan's Slave was submitted to the British Board of Film Censors, several changes were requested before an 'X' certificate was granted on 8 November, 1976." Both the original (with added scenes of salacious material) and 'X'-rated (the version passed by the ratings board) versions play out, sometimes in split-screen. They are broken up into 8 sections; 1. The Bedroom Scene 2. Janice's Murder 3. Branding and Whipping 4. John's Death 5. The Satanic Ritual 6. Stephen's first murder 7. Francis' death 8. Stephen's Death (featuring an elaborate effects shot that was heavily censored in the 'X' certificate version. Following this piece is a collection of trailers, as well as an image gallery. The
Blu-ray boxset includes a limited edition exclusive 120-page book with a new essay by Adrian Smith, archival interviews, articles and on-set reports, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits and more.

Satan's Slave was perhaps director Warren's most talked-about picture, usually discussed with regards to censorship and scenes depicting violence against women. Indicator have a very loaded
Blu-ray here with this new 2K restoration, the extras help to give context to the film, and its numerous controversial aspects. This Blu-ray boxset is truly something to treasure, especially for fans of such offbeat and interesting material.

 - Colin Zavitz

***

ON THE DVDs: Scorpion's progressive, dual-layer anamorphic transfer features more information on the sides of the frame and consistently superior colors (lacking the slight greenish tinge of the UK transfer). Although the cover touts it as being uncut, it is uncut in that it is the film's export version featuring a more explicit version of the bedroom scene early in the film (Warren disliked this version which was present in his surviving source print, so he elected to replace it with his preferred softer version [the export scene was intended as an extra in the UK set, but the BBFC objected]). As such, the Anchor Bay transfer (which is longer and more explicit than the British cinema "X" certificate theatrical cut) is still of value for being the director's preferred version (even though viewers will no doubt prefer the export version).

SATAN'S SLAVE was never released on legitimate VHS in the states, but Crown obviously prepared a 1" master for sale since a cropped uncut version showed up on DVD from Rhino as part of their HORRIBLE HORRORS set (which featured all pre-remastered prints of Crown titles). BCI released a widescreen DVD (paired with Warren's TERROR, which they already paired with LAND OF THE MINOTAUR on another disc [Scorpion has since released a superior double billing as THE DEVIL'S MEN/TERROR), but BCI's new anamorphic transfer was incomplete (reportedly reflecting the heavily-scissored British cinema cut).

Scorpion's extras have been largely ported over from the Anchor Bay set, including the deleted scenes (in b&w workprint film [the magnetic tracks had disintegrated so they are silent]) with commentary from Warren, the vintage "All You Need is Blood" behind the scenes shoot, the contemporary "Creating Satan" documentary (which features input from Warren, actor Martin Potter, producer/cinematographer Les Young, producer Moira Young, art director Hayden Pearce, and screenwriter David McGilivray), and an interview with composer John Scott. Besides the ported UK trailer, Scorpion has added a US trailer (it features the UK Brent-Walker distributor subtitle under the title card but it is followed by an MPAA R-rating card). Warren's short film FRAGMENT (which features Michael Craze from this film and TERROR and Simon Brent from Warren's LOVING FEELING) is also included as an extra. The short was also ported from the Anchor Bay set (BFI has since remastered the short in 1080P for inclusion in their Blu/DVD combo release of Warren's rare film HER PRIVATE HELL).

Missing from the Scorpion release is the audio commentary with Warren and McGillivray, which could not be included because it would not have synched up with the export version (this was also the case with Scorpion's longer transfer of TERROR). It may also have been produced by Anchor Bay while the other extras were produced by Warren himself. It is an entertaining and informative listen, but it is only available on the OOP Anchor Bay set (which also contains Warren's TERROR, PREY, and INSEMINOID); however, the three documentaries ported over to the Scorpion set are fairly comprehensive.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(
Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray Captures

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 
Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Part of Indicator's Bloody Terror: The Shocking Cinema of Norman J Warren, 1976-1987 with Satan's Slave, Prey, Terror, Inseminoid and Bloody New Year

  

Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Scorpion Releasing
Region 0 - NTSC
Indicator - Region  FREE  - Blu-ray

 

 




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