The Brotherhood of Satan appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not a poor image, this one felt less vivid than I’d expect.
For the most part, sharpness seemed fairly good. Occasional soft spots emerged – mainly in wider elements – but most of the flick brought reasonably appealing delineation.
Neither jaggies nor moiré effects created concerns, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt natural, but print flaws became a persistent distraction. These never turned dominant, but little specks cropped up too often through the film.
Colors felt relatively natural, with a lean toward a sandy feel to match the desert setting. They didn’t leap off the screen, but they replicated the source in an effective manner.
Blacks felt deep and dense, while low-light shots displayed more than adequate delineation. Lose the print flaws and this would become a better presentation.
Though not terrible for its era, the movie’s PCM monaural soundtrack also seemed iffy, mainly due to speech. The movie’s dialogue suffered from some bad looping, and these lines tended to sound stiff and artificial. The dialogue became a mild distraction.
Otherwise, this felt like a wholly mediocre mix. Music showed passable range, while effects seemed adequate but without much dimensionality. Even for its era, Brotherhood came with a blah soundtrack.
We get a mix of extras here, and we launch with an audio commentary from film historians Kim Newman and Sean Hogan. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of the film’s genre and connected efforts, story/characters, cast and crew, and their thoughts about the movie itself.
While we find a reasonable look at the movie itself, much of this track feels more like an appreciation than anything else. That works fairly well but I wish the commentary delivered more concrete info about the flick. This becomes a moderately engaging piece but not a great chat.
Satanic Panic offers a “visual essay” from film historian David Price. In this 15-minute, 15-second piece, Price covers movies about Satanic cults in the era of Brotherhood, though he emphasizes elements of Brotherhood itself.
Price offers decent notes, though I admit I wish he focused less on Brotherhood and more on the genre as a whole. After all, we already have a full commentary about this movie, so “Past” would work better if it dealt with other films under the same banner.
Next comes The Children of Satan, an 18-minute, 16-second program with actors Jonathan Erickson Eisley and Alyson Moore. They chat about their experiences during the production in this generally enjoyable collection of memories.
In addition to a trailer, two TV spots and a radio spot, the disc concludes with an Image Gallery. It provides 18 shots that mix publicity stills and ads. It’s a decent but brief collection.
Scattered and not especially coherent, The Brotherhood of Satan offers a lackluster genre effort. While it comes with occasional scenes that pack a punch, too much of it seems erratic and meandering. The Blu-ray brings erratic but acceptable picture and audio as well as a few bonus materials. The movie doesn’t stink but it doesn’t impress, either.