The Brotherhood of Satan (1971)

As if we needed another reason NOT to drive through the desolate region of America’s Southwest! 

The Brotherhood of Satan reminds us of all that could (and probably will go wrong) with an idea like that.  Come across a car full of dead people?  Just keep driving faster!  No one is going to be helping you.  Not in Hillsboro, that is.  Chilling idea, isn’t it?  This is the ax-wielding territory of The Brotherhood of Satan, a movie which pits age against youth as a sickly group of satanists have stamped their presence upon this town with demented demands. 

"proves to be yet another demonic offering of the ungodly good scares"

Directed by veteran TV director Bernard McEveety (One Little Indian) and written by L.Q. Jones and William Welch, this demented creep-fest of the senile kind rings all sorts of alarms early on when Ben Holden (Charles Bateman), his daughter K.T. (Geri Reischl) and his new girlfriend Nicky (Ahna Capri) find themselves facing a town full of people who are too afraid to come outdoors.  

Something is quite wrong here in Hillsboro, New Mexico.  It’s a town afraid of its own shadow because over twenty people have been killed in the past three days. All lines of communication are down and, weirdly enough, no one can seem to escape the town’s city limits.  Even the town’s enigmatic physician Doc Duncan (Strother Martin, Cool Hand Luke) seems a bit sketchy.

Not even Holden and his family can believe what they are witnessing here.The Brotherhood of Satan (1971)

So when they stumble upon a car with a dead family inside and, upon reporting it to the angry sheriff (L.Q. Jones), are met with nothing but contempt and hostility, everyone is a bit on edge.  Including the widower.  Turns out that the past 72-hours in the New Mexico town has been nothing but an endless nightmare.  Even the children are going missing!  

As Ben investigates, a local priest (Charles Robinson) informs him that a Satan-worshipping cult is to blame. They want the youth of their town for their own!  Say no more.  It’s going to be a HOT TIME in the old town tonight!  But can they figure out just where this Brotherhood of Satan is meeting in time to stop their unholy plans?  That’s the real question.  

Unsettling and owing a bit to the success of Rosemary’s Baby, The Brotherhood of Satan proves to be yet another demonic offering of the ungodly good scares thanks to its atmosphere, a more-than-willing-to-believe cast of characters, and a script that knows just how to scare the pants of its audience.  The ending is a shocker and so, too, is the unwinding of everything we know to be reliable - such as lines of communication - as one small town falls victim to a cult’s ravishing.

So much for a quiet trip to grandmother’s house!  The Brotherhood of Satan is now on blu-ray thanks to Arrow Video.

3/5 beers

The Brotherhood of Satan (1971)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Arrow
Available on Blu-ray
- August 31, 2021
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
: English SDH
English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Recently widowed Ben, his glamorous girlfriend Nicky and his small daughter K.T. are on a road trip across the Southwest, which comes to a screeching halt when they witness an accident. Heading to the nearby isolated desert town of Hillsboro to report it to the Sheriff (played by L.Q. Jones), they are met with a hostile reaction from the locals, who are gripped by paranoia and fear due to a series of gruesome deaths, as well as the mysterious disappearance of eleven of the community’s children. As the bodies continue to pile up around them, Ben and his family find themselves joining the sheriff, a local priest and the town’s enigmatic physician Doc Duncan (Strother Martin, Cool Hand Luke) in the midst of a mystery that points towards a deadly satanic cult.  Produced by Alvy Moore and L.Q. Jones, a veteran character actor best known for his work with Sam Peckinpah, The Brotherhood of Satan is an atmospheric and chilling tale of terror that provides a crucial missing link between Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Devil’s Rain (1975) in the cycle of turn-of-the-seventies shockers involving sinister devil-worshipping cults lurking within the dark shadows of modern-day America.


Framed in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the HD presentation is indeed a step up from any version we’ve seen previously of this film. Colors are saturated a bit more. Black levels are thickened. There’s a nice new coat of paint to much of the house in this feature – even if the film suffers from filler. The rooms are expressively detailed. The grounds surrounding the town are dry and detailed and, if you look hard enough, you will see texture through the grain in some of the scenes. The clothing is detailed and certainly interesting to look at; all those lines seem chiseled a bit deeper thanks to this expressive transfer. 


The sound is presented in a solid DTS-mono track



  • Once again, Arrow Films delivers with a brand-new commentary from Kim Newman and Sean Hogan.

Special Features:

Fans of this flick also get an Illustrated booklet featuring new writing by Johnny Mains and Brad Stevens and reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Richard Wells.

  • Satanic Panic: How the 1970s Conjured the Brotherhood of Satan, a brand new visual essay by David Flint
  • The Children of Satan, exclusive new interview with actors Jonathan Erickson Eisley and Alyson Moore
  • Original Trailers and TV and Radio Spots
  • Image Gallery

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars

Film Details

The Brotherhood of Satan (1971)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
92 mins
: Bernard McEveety
Mark Frost, Daniel F. Bacaner
L.Q. Jones
: Horror
A demon-spirit of madness and murder holds a California town in the grip of terror.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Not your baby, OUR baby, SATAN'S BABY!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Columbia Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 3, 1972
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 31, 2021.
Synopsis: A small rural town and a family of outsiders, both trapped in the demonic grip of… The Brotherhood of Satan


The Brotherhood of Satan (1971)