For anyone who watches AMERICAN SATAN it should come as no surprise writer and director Ash Avildsen, son of John G. Avildsen of ROCKY and THE KARATE KID fame, is the founder of Sumerian Films and Sumerian Records. Avildsen’s label is packed with progressive metal, metalcore and deathcore bands. And AMERICAN SATAN is a passionate love-letter to the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
The movie follows a young band, The Relentless, made of UK and U.S. musicians who head to L.A. to chase their dreams of success. As they try to find fame while living out of their van, a mysterious stranger interjects himself into their lives and offers a Faustian deal. Fame and success follow, but not without consequence.
AMERICAN SATAN is more than just a surface-level look at celebrity, drugs and sex. It’s a deep film that poses not-so-easily-answerable questions. How far would you go for fame and fortune? Would you sign a deal with the devil? Do you have free will? While the movie doesn’t answer all these questions directly, it poses some compelling answers and explanations with wit, great acting and just enough satire to not feel like parody.
What makes AMERICAN SATAN such a joy to watch is the acting. The cast is stacked with veterans such as Malcolm McDowell (HALLOWEEN (2007), A CLOCKWORK ORANGE), Mark Boone Junior (SONS OF ANARCHY, MOMENTO, BATMAN BEGINS), John Bradley (GAME OF THRONES), Booboo Stewart (TWILIGHT) and Denise Richards (WILD THINGS, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, STARSHIP TROOPERS). There’s also a cameo by John G. Avildsen, who passed away earlier this year.
The veterans are joined by some acting newcomers. Andy Biersack is the lead vocalist for Black Veil Brides and plays the movie’s lead, Johnny Faust. He plays the flawed character exceptionally well. Another fresh actress is Jesse Sullivan who plays bassist Lilly Mayflower. Both Sullivan and Biersack have some serious acting chops while having just a handful of acting credits under their belt.
You can’t have a movie about rock ‘n’ roll and not talk about the music, AMERICAN SATAN is packed with references and killer sounds. The original score is by Jonathan Davis of Korn while featuring music from Deftones, The Pretty Reckless, Skid Row, Crosses and much, much more. There’s even an AMERICAN SATAN soundtrack featuring the music of The Relentless. The film also visits some famous rock venues such as the Whisky a Go Go on Sunset Boulevard.
AMERICAN SATAN could have quickly fallen into the cheese, but the combination of an outstanding, intricate story paired with stellar acting makes the movie a must-see for rock fans and movie fans alike. AMERICAN SATAN is now playing in select theaters.
American Satan [Review]
AMERICAN SATAN is more than just sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a compelling tale what some will do for fame, success and fortune, and the consequences that often follow.