The Satan Killer (Thrift Store Mulleted Death Machine Action Thriller Junk)


Sometimes hitting the video shelves at your local Goodwill/Thrift Store of your choice or the farthest reaches of the Internet is like the Lament Configuration from Hellraiser. You either wind up completely peeled or discover a new form of chocolate stroke you never knew existed. This month, we’ll be diving into the discount bin with The Satan Killer aka Death Penalty (among others). This Norfolk, VA-lensed regional obscurity is a hidden gem for trash cinema lovers who went apeshit for movies like Miami Connection, Samurai Cop and Blue Vengeance. Trust your humble narrator, you’ve never seen anything like it. Officer Jim Roberts (Steve Sayre, who directs this bad boy under the name “Stephen Calamari”) is out for vengeance. His beloved wife has become a victim of our local serial killer, a hulking mulleted mess named Jimbo with an impressive arsenal of guns and knives. Determined to get his man, Roberts puts holes in anyone holding out information and stacks up an impressive body count of his own. Joining him on his pursuit of “The Satan Slayer” is a Private Investigator who looks like Cheswick from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and refers to himself as a “ball busting motherfucking death machine.” All three men have their legacies come to a shocking end in a climactic shootout that will make your jaw drop.


First things first: This movie looks cheap…real cheap. The predominant color scheme save for Officer Roberts’ banana yellow shirt are dingy brown and dirt black. The darker scenes are impossible to see. The film sounds like it was recorded with a tin can. This all adds to the charm, as a cursory stroll of the review will point out how many close calls and brushes with death the cast and crew went through in order to get this film in the can. According to the director himself, the finale was accidentally shot with live ammunition when squibs became too cost prohibitive. Things happen in this movie without any particular rhyme or reason. The lone sex scene between Roberts and a sympathetic reporter is more disgusting than any of the violence. Jimbo changes outfits in between shots. God Bless America. If you’re willing to put in the legwork, The Satan Killer will offer you many rewards. Don’t expect taste, subtlety or even coherence. This is sleaze cinema Nirvana, so buckle up and enjoy the ride. Just remember, those aren’t cherry bombs…


Written by David, Comptroller of Your Last Scrap of Existence

The Satan Killer (1993)
Director: Steve Sayre
Distributor: AIP Home Video
4.7 / 5