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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » The Satanist (Blu-ray)
The Satanist (Blu-ray)
Garagehouse Pictures // Unrated // October 31, 2016 // Region A
List Price: $27.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted November 7, 2016 | E-mail the Author
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The Satanist:
Back in the '60s, certain auteurs brought stylish black-and-white photography to the world of cinematic sleaze. This often resulted in hour-long films that looked fantastic, with the sole purpose of showing topless women in compromising situations. Zoltan G. Spencer (Terror At Orgy Castle, aka Spencer Grilly) is one such director. The fine folks at Garagehouse Pictures present The Satanist, lost for 46 years, and now ready to be found by reprobates old and new, in this shimmering Blu-ray edition.

Let's not pretend such movies have much to say, though Satanist does labor mightily to deliver a plot. In it, a Nervous Norvus-type writer moves to the country with his wife, for a 'rest cure'. Man, I miss the days of the 'rest cure'. Who does that anymore? At any rate, the couple didn't reckon on a small group of Satanists who want only to sex it up and get boned by the devil. Which pretty much happens.

The Satanist earns points for going Mondo Topless within 40 seconds, but loses all those points when you realize that what's in store are numerous 75-minute long sequences of a really hairy guy slowly groping a naked chick on a bed. Hairy guy then moves his typewriter, followed by another 75 minutes of groping. At one point the hot Satanist chick oils down the hairy guy's wife, but before Sappho can make an appearance, the chick turns into a dude. Cue 75 minutes of groping.

The Satanist, though looking spectacular, will be of interest only to serious fans of the Art-house Nudie Cutie genre, and it goes without saying that the sexcapades shown are very, very mild by today's standards. Toplessness, and 75 minutes of groping times six, basically. Were The Satanist the only thing on this disk, even fans might be underwhelmed, luckily Garagehouse has included in the extras an additional Spencer film (Sisters In Leather) with a much less sensationalistic allure, but vastly superior results. With both hour-long movies counted, this release is Recommended, but really only for true fans.

The DVD

Video:
The Satanist is presented in 1.37:1 ratio from a brand spankin' new 4K transfer from the only known 35mm film print. It looks great, far better than you'd expect from a hairy old 'stag' film, with good detail levels, wonderful gray-scale fidelity, and fairly dark black levels. One presumes that Sisters In Leather got something like the same treatment. It certainly looks just as good as The Satanist, though I think it's coming in at something like a 1.66:1 ratio, instead. A great job all-around from Garagehouse.

Sound:
The Satanist finds sound digitally remastered from the original optical tracks, in Mono audio, and it sounds good for a release in which the audio wasn't exactly the first thought. Both movies were shot pretty close to silent, with dialog given over primarily to voice-over narration. (On that note, some audio is missing from the first minute or two of Sisters In Leather, but is replaced with subtitles.) That said, the narration and soundtrack score for both features are solid and free of distortion. Both movies rely pretty heavily on Blues and vaguely Eastern sounding jam sessions for their scores, and as such are pretty simple and most assuredly heavily improvised, as improvised as the 75 x 12-minutes of groping, I reckon.

Extras:
Sisters In Leather, at a little over an hour, packs way more wallop than The Satanist. This tale of a sleazebag opportunist pushes a few fetish buttons in a free, easy and randy way that the title feature can't match. Our 'hero' can't resist getting with a hottie who jumps into his convertible to 'get to know him'. Sure, he was heading home to his wife, but hey, it's a convertible!

Unfortunately, a trio of lesbian bikers catches wind of the shenanigans, leading to a blackmail scheme that can only be described as ... numerous 75-minute-long sequences of groping. Only in this case the chicks are super-cute, the fetishes (leather, motorcycles, huge sunglasses and big hats) are plentiful, and the actors seem to be really getting a kick out of each other.

Yes, this also is black-and-white soft-core, but Spencer elevates the fun, casual nature (albeit fun, casual blackmail sex) to a level where even seasoned sleaze samplers might feel a little tingle. If that's not enough to convince you, I'm sure the champagne orgy, or scenes of completely nude women riding motorcycles will do the trick.

You also get Liner Notes by noted sleaze authority Chris Poggiali, as well as a Commentary Track with Poggiali and Ashley West, and Garagehouse Trailers.

Final Thoughts:
The Satanist, though looking spectacular, will be of interest only to serious fans of the Art-house Nudie Cutie genre, and it goes without saying that the sexcapades shown are very, very mild by today's standards. Toplessness, and 75 minutes of groping times six, basically. Were The Satanist the only thing on this disk, even fans might be underwhelmed, luckily Garagehouse has included in the extras an additional Spencer film (Sisters In Leather) with a much less sensationalistic allure, but vastly superior results. With both hour-long movies counted, this release is Recommended, but really only for true fans.

- Kurt Dahlke

~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com

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