Casting of DEVIL’S KNOT near complete

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Devil's Knot, the film based upon journalist Mara Leveritt's book exploring the case of the West Memphis Three, will begin shooting next week. Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, Chloe) is directing, which promises and intelligent and sensitive rendering of the material. One of the first casting decisions announced was Reese Witherspoon as Pam Hobbs, mother of eight year old Stevie Branch, who was murdered on May 5, 1993. Then British actor Colin Firth was … [Read more...]

‘Ritual’ Mutilation in Mexico Inspires Sensationalistic Headlines

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This story has made the headlines today: A Mexican woman has been charged with gouging our her son's eyes with her fingers during some kind of "ritual" or "ceremony" performed by an unknown group in Nezahualcoyotl, a suburb of Mexico City.Though no specific group or cult has been named yet, the media coverage is certainly suggesting some kind of occult connection, and several articles mentioned the "narcos-satanicos" killings of the 1980s including the infamous 'Matamoros Cult' murders in … [Read more...]

THE WICKER TREE: Not a sequel, nor a remake, but a grab bag of vibes and moments

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Perhaps few films in recent years have been the subjects of more anticipation than Robin Hardy's THE WICKER TREE. The director (who helmed the cult horror classic THE WICKER MAN, now nearly four decades old) struggled for several years to obtain sufficient funding, and rejected several previous working titles (COWBOYS FOR CHRIST, THE MAY QUEEN and THE RIDING OF THE LADDIE) before settling on the one that conjured at least a ghost of the original. And though there are similarities, the title may … [Read more...]

“Satanic” Mutilations of Horses

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Well, these stories have been making the rounds for years. But to have a respectable media outlet like the BBC report on it and quote a Lincolnshire horse owner babbling about Satan is starting to get ridiculous."Nobody knows why someone would do something like this, but you can look on the internet and there are all these Satanic cults."I'm sorry...there are satanic cults on the internet? Like, advertising themselves?And even if that was true, why must it be that satanists are the … [Read more...]

Cult Occult Films…Occult Films About Cults? Occult Films with Cult Followings? (Head Explodes)

Season of the Witch

From the excellent website and blog AV Club, I found a thoughtful review of a little-known and seldom seen 1972 film by George Romero called Season of the Witch (also known as Hungry Wives). AV Club's Keith Phipps says, "It’s loaded with references to the occult, but owes as much to Betty Friedan as Anton LaVey." It does seem to be addressing the subject of the occult via the lens of "women's lib" and so might be worthwhile, given the dearth of films from that period which tackle the subject. A b … [Read more...]

THE WICKER TREE: Interview with Robin Hardy

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Oh, you thought *I* conducted this interview myself? Hah, I wish! (Though I did email Mr. Hardy a few months ago and his reply was most gracious)I found two great interviews, actually! The first interview is on Dread Central, and the second is on Crave Online. So, in honor of The Wicker Tree's release on DVD and Bluray tomorrow (gee, that was fast, huh?),  here's some words from the man who, with writer Anthony Shaffer, started it all in 1973.I have not seen the film yet and I'm … [Read more...]

Satanism is the New Pink

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Recent news stories have me convinced that we're entering yet another satanic panic...while at the same time entering yet another occult revival. It may not seem odd for these similarly-themed events to occur simultaneously, but unfortunately for those of who are actual practitioners, scholars, or open-minded cultural observers familiar with new religious movements (including neo-paganism, modern pagan witchcraft, Wicca, druidry, Asatru, etc.) the vast majority of people reading about it won't … [Read more...]

Hello Patheos!

Well, it's official. My blog has become part of the Patheos family. I am very excited to be here and am looking to jump-start this blog with new life in its new home. Life has been very busy and stressful of late but there has been no shortage of interesting pagan media news, so watch for me to report and comment here. I'd like for this blog to be a place for thoughtful commentary as well as news sharing. I also welcome feedback and discussion so I hope you'll all stay with me and share anything … [Read more...]

Secularism: A New Religion?

Like many people, I have been following the ongoing GOP presidential campaigns with increasing levels of amusement, horror and amazement. Mostly I'm amused by how gullible people seem to be (accepting statements as truth regardless of whether they are factual or even logical), horrified by the rampant sexism, homophobia and jingoism that abounds in the GOP's rhetoric, and amazed at how the current administration is under attack for things it has not done. But of course this emotional roller … [Read more...]


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