James Kirkham (Creighton Hale) is a millionaire, having inherited his wealth from his father. James’ fiancé is Eve Martin (Thelma Todd). James has this dream of having adventure and wants to be a famous explorer. He plans on going into the heart of Africa and discover the oldest civilization in the world. His Uncle Joe (DeWitt Jennings) thinks it’s a stupid idea. He wants James to settle down and marry Eve. Eve is not crazy about James’ plans either. James has made plans to go anyway.
One evening, before James is scheduled to leave, Eve shows up at James’ house to ask him a favor. Eve’s father had a large collection of antiquity. She tells James that she has decided to auction off the collection at a gala reception that night. She tells him that one of the guests will be Professor Von Viede (Kalla Pasha) from the museum of Dresden and she would like James to come. He agrees to be there for her.
One of the items being auctioned off is the Romanoff emerald. While Professor Von Viede is admiring the emerald he is confronted by another guest who accuses him of trying to steal it. Shots ring out. Everyone scatters. Someone tells James that the phone wires have been cut. Eve and James run from the building and jump into Eve’s car to go get the police. Not long after they leave James notices that the windows are covered with steel and the doors won’t open. Eve realizes that they are not in her car. They are being kidnapped. Eventually the car stops. They are taken at gun point into a large building.
Once inside the building they find themselves in the middle of a Satan worshiping cult with strange creatures and deformed people. With no way to escape they are confronted by stranger and stranger surroundings and circumstances. James is told that he must sign a blank piece of paper and pledge his service to Satan. He is told if he doesn’t he will never see Eve again. James signs. When he is reunited with Eve again they continue to try to escape to no avail. Eventually they are brought before Satan as traitors and are doomed to die. James is told that if he wants to save his and Eve’s lives he must survive the ordeal of the Seven Steps of Satan. If he touches the Four Steps of Salvation he will gain his freedom.
“Seven Footprints to Satan” was released in 1929 and was directed by Benjamin Christensen. It is an American silent mystery horror film and a comedy. It also has some old dark house aspects to it. The movie was based on the 1928 story by Abraham Merritt.
It was first released as a silent film and then as a part talkie. The film was greatly criticized but did well at the box office. The film has had some restoration done to it but it is still in rather bad shape. The restoration was done by The Serial Squadron. They added some stylized music and sound effects. The sound version of the film is assumed to be lost. As for the silent version, the length of the movie is in dispute. The Serial Squadron copy is an hour and sixteen minutes long.
The film is largely fantasy and actually kinda fun. There are some unusual over the top characters running around, a man on crutches called the spider (Sheldon Lewis), a dwarf (Angelo Rossitto), a gorilla (Charles Gemora), a Mandarin (Sojin Kamiyama), an old witch (Nora Cecil) and various other Satanists and minions.
If you’ve ever seen the film “The Game” 1997 then I’ve probably spoiled the ending for you.