With the click bait style reviews, blind fan bases, along with the streams of remakes and juvenile style films that are coming out, it can become easy to forget that there was a point where cinema was in a much more pure state. Filmmakers use to put more time into trying to get around the restrictions of their time. These extra hurdles have birthed the creations of some extremely iconic but almost forgotten about pieces of film and various sub-genres.
One of these almost lost sub-genres is experimental films. While some do exist today, they are generally films that you would expect to find in a basement theater on the dark side of Moscow. Many of the modern day experimental films are either done by people who are able to truly capture something unique, or hipsters attempting to be artsy. The older films from this sub-genre, not only present interesting visuals that you would not see with the main stream of Hollywood flicks, they also contain cast members, that by default of their reputation add a new level to the film.
This is where Lucifer Rising comes into play. This 1971 piece of experimental film contains a look at the occult that is rarely captured in cinema. With occult based stories, they tend to focus either on the common misconceptions and cliché style plots that make almost any of these stories to be on the predictable side. With Lucifer Rising, the normal pacing and narration that exists with in standard film is completely done away with. Instead, it is replaced by a visual journey that guides the viewer through a bizarre odyssey through the world that exists behind closed doors.
For most the name Lucifer ends up conjuring up an image of a red devil that is bent on stealing the souls of mankind. With the more mainstream cinema, you normally will find an archetype that fits into this. With what Anger shows however, is a continuation of the mystery schools that made up the religion of the ancient Egyptians. These mystery schools are not organized like the normal religious outline that many have come to expect. Rather, they where diverse practices that where centered around a common version of mythology. Anger manage to convey these ancient practices using nothing but a visual representation of these archetypes using a cast of actors that are now associated with one of the most horrific murders to occur in the history of Hollywood.
Besides the actors at the start of this short film, members of the Manson family also took part in the making of this experimental film, including Bobby Beausoleil. Beausoleil was the one who was giving the orders the night of the Sharon Tate murders and was the one who was trying to initiate the race wars that Manson had claimed would occur. This film might not have the shock value that many from the internet generation have come to expect, but when you watch Beausoleil with other members of the Manson family take part in a ritual, it adds a heavier air to the scenes than what they would have been without knowing this bit of history.
The deeper you go into the film, the more esoteric that the images become, including scenes that make references to the birth of man kind. These references paint for the viewer a pre-history that you are not going to normally find with creation stories. Instead it is a theory that has been portrayed on different history channel shows that are filled with theorists who, for the most part, make great leaps of faith to prove their point. With Lucifer Rising however, you are not watching it for any thing but to take an odyssey into a world that very few can say they have walked down. The overall journey is on the psychedelic side, while being able to hit all of your senses without having to use dialog to tell you what to think. The images shown in the film are enough to get your brain thinking on a different path. Below is the film in case you are curious into watching an iconic piece of occult theater.