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Secta Siniestra (Bloody Sect)  Blu-ray Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Vinegar Syndrome

Secta Siniestra Large

Directed by Ignacio F. Iquino (as Steve McCoy)
Written by John Wood, Steve McCoy and Jackie Kelly
1982, 86 minutes, Not Rated
Released on September 24th, 2019

Starring:
Mery Kerr as Helen Payne
Carlos Martos as Frederick Payne
Josephine Varney as Margaret
John Zanni as Dr. Gerard
Henry Ragoud as Satanista jefe
Diana Conca as Elizabeth

Secta Siniestra 01 Secta Siniestra 02

Review:

Frederick Payne is unhappily married to Elizabeth, a mentally unstable woman he keeps locked in the attic. He is having an affair with the beautiful Helen and plans to start a new life with her, one that includes children. Elizabeth escapes and discovers the two lovers in bed and loses control, permanently blinding Frederick in her rage. He survives the attack and she is sent away to an asylum where she can do no more harm. Helen helps Frederick recover and soon they are married. Being blind isn’t his only setback, however, as we learn that Fred is also sterile.

They seek the services of a fertility doctor and it appears their dreams are about to come true. What they don’t know is that a cult of Satan worshipers is using the clinic as a means to bring forth the Antichrist and end the world. Helen is impregnated with a sample of the demon seed and soon a mysterious midwife named Sister Margaret appears at the house to take care of her. The Satanists follow the progress of the other women they have targeted and kill anyone attempting to end a pregnancy early. Fred and Helen are having a difficult time as her due date approaches and things are about to get worse when Elizabeth escapes her confinement and returns to the house looking for trouble.

Secta Siniestra 03 Secta Siniestra 04

In the late 1970s and early ‘80s, Spain enjoyed a boost to its film industry with the rising popularity of the horror genre. Filmmakers like Jess Franco (Bloody Moon) and Paul Naschy (Night of the Werewolf) made names for themselves in the international market with their eye-catching movies that pushed the limits of gratuitous content in terms of violence and nudity. In 1982, director Ignacio F. Iquino (Guns of Nevada) made Secta Siniestra (aka Bloody Sect), his only attempt at a horror movie. What he has created is a trash masterpiece of Euro-sleaze filled with several unexpected elements including surprisingly mean-spirited and brutal killings, satanic possession, zoom-happy cinematography, absurd plot twists and a pounding score to shake things up.

Secta Siniestra is an overly serious, frequently campy film that doesn’t take long to go off the rails and become something of a marvel. The script makes tremendous jumps in logic, with characters drifting in and out of the timeline and behaving erratically. The picture borrows liberally from Hollywood hits, including Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen, and adds a bizarre love triangle into the mix. Other highlights include random scenes of poltergeist activity, vengeful corpses climbing from coffins, an incredibly fake-looking devil baby doll and my personal favorite: the most pathetic bat attack in cinematic history. Despite all of these outlandish elements, the film remains something of a chore with its poor pacing and uneven performances. This is definitely a picture that should be seen, but it plays better with a crowd.

Secta Siniestra 05 Secta Siniestra 06

Video and Audio:

The film’s 35mm negative has received a 2K scan and restoration giving the picture a healthy boost in quality. Presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the image is sharp and colorful with deep black levels and plenty of small-object detail.

A DTS-HD MA 2.0 track preserves the original mono recordings of the Spanish language film. Music and effects cues are prominent but never intrusive and English subtitles are provided for anyone in need.

Secta Siniestra 07 Secta Siniestra 08

Special Features:

Author/film historian Kat Ellinger provides a thoughtful and insightful audio commentary that begins with an overview of Spanish genre output of the early 1980s and a look at director Ignacio F. Iquino’s lengthy career. She talks about the film’s obscurity and negative reputation, referring to it as a “trash classic”. Ellinger provides notes on the cast and performances and shares her thoughts on the characters and the script’s many holes in logic. This is an engaging discussion full of trivia and interesting asides and is well worth a listen.

A short stills gallery (1 minute) of lobby cards, promotional shots and VHS cover art plays as a slideshow set to music from the film.

Secta Siniestra 09 Secta Siniestra 10

Grades:

Movie: Twostars Secta Siniestra Small
Buy Amazon Us
Video: Fourandahalfstars
Audio: Threeandahalfstars
Features: Twostars
Overall: Threestars

About The Author
ZigZag
Author: ZigZag
Staff Writer
ZigZag's favorite genres include horror (foreign and domestic), Asian cinema and pornography (foreign and domestic). His ability to seek out and enjoy shot on video (SOV) horror movies is unmatched. His love of films with a budget under $100,000 is unapologetic.
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