Sunday, March 12, 2023

Satan Wants You (2023) SXSW 2023 (contains profanity)

If you lived through the satanic panic of the 1970’s and 80’s SATAN WANTS YOU is going to put a lot of the bullshit into perspective. Forgive me for calling BS but it was and continues to be bullshit. The film is the story of Michelle Remembers a BS memoir about how one woman was abused for decades by a network of satanic cults. Arriving after films like THE EXORCIST and THE OMEN were in the consciousness, it burned its way into the minds of people who took movies much too seriously and were looking to explain the evils of the world.

The book was the product of Dr Larry Pazder who said he was an expert at recalling lost memory. He became entangled with Michelle Smith who after several sessions seemed to have been repressing stories of being held hostage by a satanic cult. The cult stretched across the world and was responsible for all sorts of crimes. The tale was bolstered by the supposed recovered memories of other people. Sadly Pazder didn’t really know his ass from his elbow and none of it was real, it was all made up. The worst part was lives were destroyed as a result.

Going back to the start of the nonsense, SATAN WANTS YOU is a warts and all look at what happened and why. While it doesn’t speak with either Pazder (he’s dead) or Smith(she refused) it talks to friends, family and effected parties. We see how the river of BS stank up everything it touched. Most importantly it lets us hear what transpired between doctor and patient (later husband and wife) via the recordings made of the sessions. It’s a trip to finally hear how the nonsense was birthed. While the sessions are tough to listen to, owing to Michelle’s agitated state, the content of what she is telling is continuously WTF. I mean the insanity of her story would seem to be bogus on the face of it  but no one ever questioned it.

And the truth is no one really questioned it, not the book publisher, not the news media who amplified the tale and caused the frenzy, no one. It’s sad that this all could have ended just as it started if someone, anyone had done research, such as looking into Michelle’s school record which puts her in classes  when she was supposed to be with the satanists.

If I seem a bit over the top there is a good reason, I had to deal with this crap since it happened. Yea my parents knew it was crap, and we laughed when the stories came out, however other people bought the bullshit and tried made things difficult for us kids because one did not question adults, even if they were clearly being stupid. Worse we watched as the whole satanic panic devoured lives and got spun into things it had nothing to do with (local criminals blamed satan for crimes).  Satan and rock music was a way of not taking responsibility for all sorts of crimes including murder.  You may laugh, and I did, ultimately it stopped being funny. The book caused a riff between my mother and close friends of hers. They were born again Christians who bought the book and the related evilness of rock and roll whole cloth and were upset that my mother wouldn’t follow their warning and stop listening to rock and prevent us from doing the same.

SATAN WANTS YOU is a super film. It goes a long way to correcting the record and showing how utter nonsense destroys life. It’s a warning about how the nonsense of the past can cause all sorts of problems in the future.

Highly recommended.

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