Retro Review: Black Candles (1982)


Every now and again I come across a film I have never heard of that blows my mind, but never like this. A lot of things get blown in José Ramón Larraz’s 1982 satanic opus Black Candles aka The Sexual Rites of the Devil . If you think you’ve seen some crazy satanic films before, I assure you, nothing beats this one!!!!
 
Starting off with a young sexy girl having sex with the ugliest man she could get her legs around; not long after, we are soon treated to his murder by voodoo doll! Enter, Helga Line (Vampires Night , Horror Express). Helga plays Fiona, the widow of the dead player who must now grieve for him even though she knew he was cheating on her. Now get ready cause things are about to get weird…
 
No worries because she’ll be OK, thanks to sister-in-law Carol (Vanessa Hidalgo) and her husband Robert (Mauro Ribera). They have come to help settle affairs but since it is a stormy night, the power is out and the estate is lit with black candles. Fiona hints at her allegiance to Satan in passing, which disturbs Carol slightly, but she shakes it off. Turns out that Carol is a little freak herself, sporting a nightie and Knee high boots, she seduces her husband the moment they are alone. Enjoying the show through a peep hole is Fiona, “playing along at home”. Yep, Fiona’s a freak, but still a normal freak, that is, until the Goat!!! Yes I said Goat, I’m not even gonna get into it. Just remember that this was a mainstream movie and no animals were harmed in the making.
The Goats special sauce is needed for the ritual and you know what they say; “chores don’t have to be unpleasant” …moving right along.
They want to induct Carol and her husband Robert into their coven or get rid of them by the Sabbath since a seat or two open up along the way. I won’t say how but there is an anal invasion featuring a sword that you won’t want to miss.The problem is that though Robert is extremely susceptible, (sex is an unfair carrot to dangle in front of a man), Carol is not playing the game and is getting suspicious.
Black Candles came out in 1982 long after his horror hits Vampyres (1975) and The House that Vanished (1974). He is not happy with the film, though it did quite well when it opened. Helga Line headlines the cast and looks as sexy as ever despite her Sharon Mitchell ‘do and being over 50 years old at the time of filming. What’s interesting is that it was contractually obligated to give a nod here and there to Rosemary’s Baby. Though it is similar in some respects, it can be seen as a sister film, perhaps going on at the same time as Rosemary’s New York plight.
Anyways, this is the king of all satanic cult films. It takes it further than rosemary’s baby but doesn’t slip into parody, though it does slip into sleaze (come to think of it, there’s a lot of “slipping into” in this flick). If you want something different, and have some alcohol on hand, this might be the one for you.  It will touch you in places that you shouldn’t be touched, and the weird thing is, you may like it.  Yep, my work here is done.

 

Into 60’s hotrod cool, 70’s horror and 80’s punk. comics, video games.
Favorite Movies:Return of the Living Dead, Re-Animator, Evil Dead, Texas Chain-saw Massacre, Murder Mansion, etc.

Favorite Music:The Misfits (Danzig era), White/Rob Zombie, X, Marilyn Manson