Saturday, May 2, 2009

Legacy of Satan


Revised from two parts originally published at Booksteve's Library on 4/16/08 and 4/17/08
I have finally gotten a watchable (and it IS surprisingly watchable) copy of LEGACY OF SATAN, Christa's first movie. Although our research has yet to really determine how she came to be in this film, here's what we DO know:
1-The R-rated LEGACY OF SATAN was directed by Gerard Damiano who also directed DEEP THROAT right around the same time.
2-Although released in 1974 it was probably made as early as 1972.
3-Her tiny role as "girl" (listed as "the blond blood farm" in IMDB) is miscredited to "Christ" Helm which led to her misbilling on IMDB under that name until just recently.

4-In the film, Christa's character is stabbed to death in an eerie prediction of her own future demise.

5-The relentless and terrible synthesizer score is the worst thing about the picture!
Okay, when I said yesterday that this film was "surprisingly watchable," I did NOT by any definition mean to say that it was any good! The sets and costumes are generally colorful. The photography, although inconsistent and sometimes badly lit indoors, is quite lovely in the outdoor scenes. Even though nearly everyone in the entire cast seems to have made only this one picture, the acting is on a par with that of some Lifetime TV movies and above that of most non-professional no budget films. In fact, being directed by porn film legend Gerard Damiano, it's possible many of these folks were low level porn actors. There are a couple of scenes (none of Christa's) that suggest that this picture may even have originally had hardcore sex scenes in it. If you've seen DEEP THROAT (and I know you have. Don't lie!), forget about the content of it for a second--Damiano's direction is terrible! Long aimless shots of cars driving, no pacing , disjointed scenes, scenes that go on too long or go nowhere at all. Okay, okay, you say. It was just porn. You see, that's just it! In those days there were adult film directors (Radley Metzger anyone?) who were obviously talented and legitimately attempting to make artistic adult films. Former hairdresser Damiano just didn't seem to be one of them. Thus the surprise here that the film is so well above the expected Ed Wood style. Christa's acting, I'm sorry to say, is as bland as it gets. She looks pale and wan and while that's keeping with her "character" in the picture I doubt that they went to that much trouble. One can make a logical argument that this was made just before her fortunes turned around with GODSPELL but supposdly her name change from Sandy to Christa occurred after that so... All I know is that she sure looked a lot better in her STARSKY AND HUTCH appearance from just a few years later.

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