“In 1989, I met Anton LaVey for the first time. At this time in his life, LaVey was seeing only a select few people. For this film, I’ve met and interviewed some of them, to try and create a composite image of what he was really like, and what he meant to these people. It’s a memory lane trip, filled with personal stories, dark humor, great music and never before seen material with the “Black Pope” himself.” – Carl Abrahamsson
Anton LaVey was many things to many people: musician, magician, writer, wild animal trainer, police photographer, film buff, founder of a magical group, and possibly of a new religion, and yes… He was a Satanist. With his creation of the infamous Church of Satan in 1966, and his bestselling book The Satanic Bible in 1969, Anton LaVey changed the ballgame in many ways. Here was a free-spirited San Francisco based group neither in favour of mind-expanding drugs, nor of peace & love for its own sake. Here was a group that was decidedly, outspokenly anti-Christian. Here was a group that brought dark pro-sexual psychodrama and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche straight into American living rooms and TV couches. Anton LaVey became a celebrity scapegoat who basked in the attention, and made a successful career out of it. But who was Anton LaVey behind the public persona that so easily provoked primitive American Christians and other intolerants? Who was this enigmatic “American Adversary”?
This film contains never before shown interview material with LaVey, private photographs, and rare recordings, plus in-depth interviews with Blanche Barton, Peter Gilmore, Peggy Nadramia, Bob Johnson, Kenneth Anger, Michael Moynihan, Mitch Horowitz, Ruth Waytz, Larry Wessel, Margie Bauer, Jack Stevenson, and Jim Morton.
A film by Carl Abrahamsson, Sweden, 2019. 106 minutes.