Watch two metalheads open a portal to hell in this 80s slasher film

Like American Horror Story, but make it black metal

A demon in lycra doesn’t sound like the usual horror film antagonist, but SATANIC PANIC ’87, a short movie written and directed by Bryan M. Ferguson, is about just that. Set in 1987, at the height of the home fitness craze, the film is about two Japanese metalheads who open the gates to hell by following the instructions of a satanic aerobics tape. 

Set in grandma’s house, quintessentially complete with chintz curtains, plastic fruit and embossed wallpaper, SATANIC PANIC ’87 takes us on a gory journey of intrigue, indoctrination, and murder. Beckoned by a peppy blonde in an aerobicize VHS, a couple of angsty teens embark on a journey towards evil. 

Drawing on themes of black metal, Japanese horror, and slasher movies, the film opens with an animal sacrifice, naturally. After presumably listening to a few Black Sabbath cassette tapes, one thing leads to another, and before you know it, they’ve killed granny too. There's corn syrup everywhere, it’s absolute carnage. Despite the ironic kitsch however, the more disturbing moments of the horror include the teens dousing their grandmother in petrol fuel before setting her alight on the living room carpet.

The narrative is intercepted throughout with brief cinematic shots of blood splattered objects: an ornament of the Virgin Mary, a family photo, a china sink, the list goes on. Ordinarily, this would make for an eerie atmosphere but the use of multicoloured low-lighting and the lava lamp-80s-backdrop creates an unsettling, yet light-hearted mood. 

SATANIC PANIC ’87 could easily by a sequel to the latest series of American Horror Story, which also features a vigorous aerobics workout, and (spoilers) ends with a satanic ritual.

Commissioned through Channel 4, the film will premiere on Film4 next week as part of its FilmFear season