The Ritual of Death (Satanic Splatter Horror)


Sometimes the shiniest bits of gold are tucked away in the dirtiest pockets of soot and slime. This analogy works with certain gore films, especially the late-80’s work of prolific South American pornographer Fauzi Mansur. Little is known on these shores about Mansur yet the man enjoys a small but fervent cult following to this day thanks to his two excursions into the splatter subgenre. In 1992, fly-by-night VHS label Complete Entertainment unleashed both of Fauzi’s splatter works. Leading the charge was Chas Balun, who hyped today’s film up considerably in the pages of Deep Red. These weren’t easy films to find, but lucky viewers who were willing to search were rewarded with a kill for thrills rip ride of sweaty sex, disgusting FX makeup and an Amoco overload of no fucks given. In a shitty apartment building somewhere in Brazil, an equally shitty actor prepares for his stage role in a most unusual manner. Turning to the occult in order to bolster his performance, strange things start happening. After a bizarre bathtub threesome with a succubus and a severed goat’s head, our boy starts suffering from some of the worst acne depicted on film. After suffering enough grossouts for a dozen Cronenberg movies, the transition is complete: the innocent must suffer.


What else am I supposed to say in this review? Oh yeah, this fucking thing is nuts! After seeing it, I’m convinced this was made by people with a legit connection to the dark side as there is an air of casual cruelty and disgust that only exists in the work of someone who has legitimately seen some shit. The gore FX in this movie are top-notch and completely over the top, some set pieces rivaling the best of Fulci and Argento. Above all else, it’s the dime-store kineticism of the whole thing that makes it so astounding. It’s cheap, it’s dirty, it’s offensive, but it makes no bones about it and it’s full speed ahead. In conclusion, The Ritual of Death gets my vote as one of the great underrated wonders of the post-gore era. It’s a wondrous last gasp of imagination from a time when everyone thought splatter was dead. Sometimes the chase is as good as the catch, so enjoy both and happy hunting! Fauzi Mansur, wherever you are, this note is for you!


Written by David, Comptroller of Your Last Scrap of Existence

The Ritual of Death (1990)
Fauzi Mansur
4.7 / 5