Satan's Lust is part blood and thunder horror movie and part show-case for the X rated antics of Judy Angel, a doe faced, pasty blond iconised as the loopy mother in Mona The Virgin Nymph, a feature often pegged as the first theatrically released X rated adult film. Satan's Lust was shot sometime in the early Seventies under the shadow of the Hollywood Hills, its penny dreadful narrative flirts with topical nods to the Manson murders and Anton LaVey. Judy Angel headlines as Pamela Goodright who along with chemist boyfriend Wayne is investigating the death of her school friend Carla 'Oh Wayne we've just got to find out what happened to Carla'. The shock realisation that Carla couldn't drive a car makes her recent fiery death behind the wheel seem most unlikely. Sure enough Carla has been snuffed out by a loopy Satanist racket led by film producer Manheim Jarkoff, 300 year old Salem witch Edith and their idiot assistant Boris. A casting couch producer (or to be more precise a casting alter producer) Manheim disposes of his employees in perverted black masses that end in mad Boris burning their faces off. 'She shall live no more heh, heh, nor night nor day'. Tracking the murderers down to their Hollywood Hills office (under the apt banner 'Satanic Films') Manheim brushes off Pam and Wayne's claims telling them that Carla was a speedfreak lowlife, but both parties know theres a scam somewhere and later Manheim bellows that they know 'far too much for the safety of the order'. In a plot detour Edith falls for Wayne, beginning her doomed love affair by creeping up on him in the shower in cat form before having her wicked way with him 'What's happening?...you goddamn witch'. It's a somewhat dubious premise as Wayne is played by a heavy who could pass for a low rent door to door salesmen- fat, balding sweating and moustacheod a guy whose chat up line is 'you just let me be your Daddy' is nothing to hop on your broomstick for lady. As her star status demanded Satan's Lusts most kinky moments are reserved for Judy Angel suffering at the hands of the Devil's men. Attempting a kidnap, Boris jumps on top of a sleeping Pam Goodright whispering vile indignities into her ear. When Pamela tries to confront Manheim he hypnotises her into a private strip-show- you expect him to start frothing at the mouth as he tears through his office to get to his 'little songbird'. Satan's Lust argues its case as a horror film and an X-rated grinder and works as both- its sordid raunch plays well against its maniacal horror stance and vice versa. It's chock full of horrific images- Wayne discovering his latest partner has been turned into a mouldy old skeleton and Pamela succumbing to the titular lust as she is offered to a guy in a joke shop Devil mask. The actors are appropriately unhinged and overblown, Boris is part horror movie imbecile and part hippy gone bad, Edith has the look of a wide eyed Manson follower, her pale waif like figure and perched eyebrows are a perfect incarnation of a salem area witch chick. The apex to Satan's Lust's cast of freaks lies in a tubby bleached blonde guy's turn as Manheim, a performance seemingly pitched at a Dwain Esper/Maniac casting call of forceful, violent overacting. Manheim dressed in a swingers red smoking jacket is your atypical Transylvanian sex fiend - an insane caricature of Bela Lugosi by way of Latin tantrums and endless cackling that fills the sound-track like a ghost train- its somehow both funny and troubling. Satan's Lust emerges as both repulsive and silly but for all the 'ghastly business, ghastly' on display the film has a playful 'Devil may care' atmosphere of a 70's LA swingers party with Satanic chic in full force. The sound-track offers mad monk chanting, absurd classical music, thunderstorms, jazz grind and even an instrumental rendition of Yellow Submarine, it's somehow fitting for the inventive brush with LA sleaze that accompanies it. Satan's Lust is great goofy fun and as any twisted X rated horror film should be its a Devilish delight from start to finish- the climatic scenes serve to remind you of what a joyride you've just been on.
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