If you dig satanists, blind albinos, and Mick Jagger, then you'll absolutely love Kenneth Anger's Invocation of My Demon Brother. Made in the very dark year of 1969, it's an awesomely evil 11-minute masterpiece that stars Anger, Anton LaVey (AKA the High Priest of the Church of Satan), Charlie Manson sidekick Bobby Beausoleil, and a mummified psychic. There are surface messages ("Zap! You're pregnant. That's witchcraft."), subliminal messages, and a skronky synthesizer soundtrack by Jagger -- not to mention documentary footage from a satanic cat funeral, a ceremonial skull smoking session, and full-frontal male nudity.
See the cut for the full video, the Sweat Records screening deets, and a House of Anger history lesson.
Almost exactly 83 years, 7 months, and 21 days ago, a little boy named Anger was born in Santa Monica, California. (Actually, the kid's birth name was Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer.) He attended a school for child stars, did dance steps with Shirley Temple, and minced about as the changeling prince in the 1935 Warner Bros. movie version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
But all that might be bullshit. There's not much documentation of Anger's alleged child star days. The one legit source that seems to corroborate the claim is Mickey Rooney. He played Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream and he says Anger's mommy dressed him up as the girl named "Sheila Brown" who officially played the Changeling Prince. Makes sense, right?
Even if the child star stuff is lies, Anger was still a precocious little fiend. He made his first short film by the age of ten and popped off three more amateur efforts as a teen before scoring an obscenity charge with Fireworks, a homoerotic movie about butch sailors beating Anger to death.
A string of other avant-garde things -- Puce Moment, Rabbit's Moon, and Eaux D'Artifice -- came next. But it was Anger's 1960 book, Hollywood Babylon, that gave him 15 minutes in the mainstream. It was basically a merciless gossip book detailing the movie industry's most fucked-up hidden scandals and the sexual perversions of stars like Fatty Arbuckle, Jean Harlow, and Errol Flynn.
One example: Anger claims that sweet, apple-faced flapper Clara Bow was a nympho who fucked the entire USC football team. Yeah, it sounds like Hollywood. But the Bow family says it's baseless slander.
Beyond all the living lies, legends, trash talk, and masterpieces that came earlier, the '60s really proved Kenneth Anger's pact with Satan. That decade was packed with occult biker beefcake epics and evil psychedelic tripfests including Scorpio Rising, Kustom Kar Kommandos, and Invocation of My Demon Brother.
Fueled by weed, peyote, and Thelema, Anger was a supreme power who conquered the dark decade and corrupted a bunch of famous people like the Rolling Stones, Marianne Faithful, and Jimmy Page. Go tonight and you'll be next.
A screening of Kenneth Anger's Rabbit's Moon, Invocation of My Demon Brother, and Lucifer Rising, presented by Ai Miami International University of Art & Design. Thursday, August 26. Sweat Records, 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and admission is free. Call 786-693-9309 or visit sweatrecordsmiami.com.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.