Hail Satan? Review

Hail Satan? Theatrical Poster

When you think of the word Satan, what words typically come to mind? I bet it’s something extremely negative. Now, when you think of those people who call themselves Satanists then you’ll probably think negative things about them too. After all, why would anyone want to worship the total epitome of evil? This is the stigma about Satanist is what Penny Lane’s documentary, Hail Satan?, is trying to change. But will the film successfully change people’s views about Satanists?

Yes, it does. As a Catholic, I’ve had these beliefs about Satanists for the longest time. Yet Penny Lane’s documentary has given me pause as to who Satanists really are. I won’t be the only one that’ll think differently either, it’s definitely an eye-opening documentary.

Hail Satan? follows various members of the Satanic Temple as they attempt to advocate religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority to bring social and political justice to the United States.

Hail Satan? - Baphomet Statue

No matter how you view Satanists, chances are you’re going to view them in a strongly negative light. After all, society views Satan as the epitome of evil. Penny Lane’s documentary, Hail Satan?, will bring to light a completely different view of Satanists. What you’ll learn is that they don’t really worship Satan. Instead, you’ll find out quickly in the film that they’re actually trolls. Not to mention, they champion the jurisprudential concept of separation of church and state. It’s one of the basic beliefs that the United States were founded on.

Yet, if you look at today, there are government officials that never really follow those beliefs. The film brings forward a lot of evidence towards the rise of Christianity in the government.
It’s not something that’s been around for a long time. It’s been around since the mid-20th century as a way to combat Communism. It’s crazy to think that the actions of one man back in the day brought forth a seismic ripple that is still felt to this day.

So it’s admirable that Satanists are ones trying to combat the rise of Christian zealots in our government via the state’s own rules. They don’t do it through protesting or with violence, though. Satanists do it by beating them at their own game and reminding the government about being religiously neutral. They don’t always succeed but their efforts are admirable. That’s why Satanists are the relatable heroes in this film. The Satanic Temple is full of people who are outcasts and people who try to do the right thing. In other words, they’re kind of like the X-Men.

Hail Satan? - Protestors

In addition, the film also establishes where the modern day views of Satanists came from. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t that long ago either. These beliefs only came about with the “Satanic Panic” of the 80s. For those of you who are too young or weren’t even born yet, the “Satanic Panic” is very similar to the witch hunts of the past.

Can you imagine being put in jail for playing Dungeons & Dragons because people thought D&D was evil? It happened back in the 80s. Although things have livened up since the 80s, those beliefs are now a part of our consciousness now. If you think about it, it makes sense why you see all those religious protestors outside of cons.

Overall, Hail Satan? is the type of eye-opening documentary that’ll change your view on Satanists. Of course, when the title of the film is Hail Satan? there’s going to be a one-sided view in this debate. Regardless, this is a film that’s bringing to light a side that people never talk about.

Rating: 4/5 atoms

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1488 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.