The 1995 documentary Speak of the Devil addresses the life and lore of Satanist Anton LaVey. The head of the Church of Satan, who died 15 years ago today, proves very difficult to dislike in this account as he jauntily fingers his calliope, evoking a vanished world of burlesque, circuses and comic book novelties. LaVey never denied, in fact readily conceded, the sideshow component of his world view, locating the origin of his attraction to occult practice in travelling carnivals.
The rituals and decrees of Satanism are straight-forwardly presented with just a touch of B-movie showmanship. They certainly offer nothing as crazy and obscene as the stories of sex rites and child sacrifice peddled by professional Anti-Satanists seen in archival TV clips, some “induced” by now discredited “recovered memory” therapy.