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ROBERT BLACK
The Satanists


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(Futura, London, 1978)
price: 75p; 176 pages


The blurb on the back:

The serenity of the countryside is shattered by the dark and brutal rituals of the past...
The undreamt-of horrors of the night herald, for them, the promise of eternal life, despite the memory of one man's shattered body nailed to a cross. But the Messiah has been dead two thousand years. Now is the time of the Anti-Christ...
The Satanists explores the hideous secrets of the occult more disturbingly than ever before.


opening lines:
The battered saloon car drove into the tiny village square and stopped.


Never trust a small English village named St Marywood, where the locals treat you with mute hostility and the pub has a sign depicting a goat wearing a crown. Not even if youíre a Doctor of Theology from Oxford, responding to a cry for help from a vicar who sleeps inside a pentagram and who you last saw in an African village paying his respects to a god of evil. Chances are that there might be trouble a-brewing.

And, bless me, so there is.

In the interests of balance, however, I ought to add that you shouldnít trust a novel with an Authorís Note at the beginning that reads: ĎThis book is a fiction. But do not doubt for an instant that it is based upon a true story.í Too late, Iím afraid, Iíve already doubted. And I shall probably continue to doubt.

This is very poor stuff indeed: hackneyed and dull, it was a very real effort to get through the first half in order to be able to give up it up with a clear conscience. I donít advise that you attempt the same thing. The only interesting point is the claim that it is Ďfrom the film The Satanists - a Tyburn Film production.í If, however, you try to find information on that movie, youíll turn up a blank. A correspondent, John Bourn, tells me that this is because the film was never made, though it was scheduled for production and indeed cast with Peter Cushing, Orson Welles and Shirley Bassey lined up to star. Now, that might have been worth seeing. But this isnít worth reading.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 1/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
3/5


from the maker of:
hairy
'Horror stalked the streets of Paris'
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