A suicide cult (films original title actually), the second coming of Christ, the second coming of the Virgin Mary, the Devil, astrology, and science. When you throw all of that together, or in this case put in in a blender you get the cult classic film The Astrologer, from director and writer James Glickenhaus of Exterminator fame. It’s a weird blend of movie making to say the least, and. I had never heard of it. But when Severin announced they were going to be releasing it, I knew it had to be good, as Severin is my new go to company for these lost classics. And I have to say I was not disappointed.
The government has a secret group called InterZod. Its lead by a man named Alexei. See they have a theory they call “Astrological Potential”. It’s a cross between astrology and simple mathematics. Alexei has created this combination and by simply typing in a persons birthday can determine if they are “Privileged”. The majority are not, just normal everyday folks, but there are a very select few that come up with “Negative Potential” that basically means your evil. One of these negatives is Kajerste, a cult leader in India who is believed to be evil incarnate. He leads a cult where he convinces his members to commit suicide, amongst other horrible things. Now one of the reasons they are keeping an extra close eye on this guy is because it turns out we are days away from the Second Coming of Christ, and the government cannot let Kajerste get his hands on him.
To make things a bit worse, or I guess in this case a bit more confusing, Alexei’s girlfriend Kate is actually the second coming of the Virgin Mary who it turns out has already given birth to the Christ child, and sent him to live in an orphanage. Now because of this Alexei and one partners travel to India to take this guy out. Well, not kill him themselves. They plan to implant a vision in Kajerste brain convincing him to commit suicide via poison knife. He figures this out pretty easy and dispatches of her. Now during all of this Kajerste learns of the Christ Baby and kidnaps Kate to find out its whereabouts.
This films makes little to no sense, not because of the plot points, just because it contradicts itself every other scene. That doesn’t make it bad, in fact it sort of makes it better. This is not an action packed film like Glickenhaus’s Exterminator film but it is just a grimy. This is a great low budget gem from the 70’s that really needs to be seen to be believed. Explaining all of it would take longer than the actual run time. Overacting, out of focus shots, trippy visuals this has it all. Now as I said its not a slam bang action film or a blood soaked horror film, its like watching a fever pitched dream.
I had never heard of this so this was a first time watch for me, and Severin once again did not disappoint. I really look forward to their releases. They always bring out an obscure title or lost classic and the transfers are always amazing, especially considering the negatives they are working with. This transfer is no exception. It looks great and sounds even better. The audio transfer is great as its probably clearer now than it was when first released. All the bright scenes are vibrant, and all the dark scenes look smooth and not that awful blue color that plagues a lot of restorations. Its even loaded up with special features.
Sign of the Times – James Glickenhaus on The Astrologer
Monica Tidwell Remembers The Astrologer – Interview With Actress Monica Tidwell
Tales From the Set – Interviews with Filmmakers Brendan Faulkner and Frank M. Farel
Zodiacal Locations – The Filming Sites of THE ASTROLOGER
Suicide Cult Reversible Cover
Definitely different and most definitely a must see for fans of grindhouse films. There really is nothing that even comes close in terms of comparison so I have to highly recommend checking it out. Pick one up today.
Overall 3out of 5 Stars!