Hail Satan? is a 2019 American documentary film about The Satanic Temple, including its origins and grassroots political activism. Directed by Penny Lane, the film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released in the United States on April 19, 2019, distributed by Magnolia Pictures. The film shows Satanists working to preserve the separation of church and state against the perceived privilege of the Christian right.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Penny Lane|
|Produced by||Gabriel Sedgwick|
|Music by||Brian McOmber|
Hard Working Movies
|Distributed by||Magnolia Pictures|
Lane wanted to combat the widespread view of the Satanic panic of the 1970s through 1990s, during which Satanists were described as rapists and murderers, usually of children. She described the editing for the film occurred in approximately six months, "concurrent with the bulk of shooting." She made the conscious decision to leave out known details about inner conflict within the organization and external criticisms from other Satanists. After completion of editing, Lane joined the Satanic Temple as a member.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% based on 99 reviews, with an average rating of 7.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Hail Satan? challenges preconceived notions of its subject with a smart, witty, and overall entertaining dispatch from the front lines of the fight for social justice." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 76 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
- "Hail Satan? (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- Robinson, Tasha (January 26, 2019). "Hail Satan? puts the fun in Satanic fundamentalism". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
- "Hail Satan?". Sundance Institute. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
- "Sundance: Hail Satan? Documentary Picked Up by Magnolia Pictures". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
- ""I Was Watching Midcentury Hollywood Biblical Epics, Anti-Communist Propaganda Films, and 1970s B-Movies about Devil Worshippers": Penny Lane on Hail Satan?". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
- Lee, Benjamin (April 18, 2019). "Hail Satan?: the film that will change your mind about satanism". The Guardian.
- "Are We Comparing Trimming Unnecessary Footage with Murdering One's Infant Child?: Director Penny Lane on Hail Satan?". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
- ""I Was Watching Midcentury Hollywood Biblical Epics, Anti-Communist Propaganda Films, and 1970s B-Movies about Devil Worshippers": Penny Lane on Hail Satan?". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
There was and is a lot of interpersonal conflict within the Temple — including some high-profile chapters leaving The Satanic Temple, and a controversial lawyer that was hired, and all kinds of accusations and callouts left and right. And it was all at least sort of important, and at least sort of interesting, and we filmed a lot around those conflicts. But ultimately my artistic goal was not to make a 'portrait of an organization struggling to cohere in the specific cultural moment of 2018,' so it all got left out.
- @lennypane (16 April 2019). "I was super bummed the interview we did with a CoS spokersperson didn't make it in" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @churchofsatan (16 April 2019). "Lane did interview us for the film and she chose not to include any of it" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Satanic Temple Leader Lucien Greaves Warns the Women's March 'Didn't Achieve Anything'". Retrieved 2019-04-16.
- "Hail Satan? (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
- "Hail Satan? reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 31, 2019.