More curiously sexless dancing and unscary horror posturing from the Goth pin-up girls, The Satanic Sluts.

This lengthy opus (131 minutes) charts the girls' appearances at Goth Club events earlier this decade, known as "Black Masses".

We begin, rather appropriately, at "The Beginning". After a 12-minute onscreen introduction from Redemption/Salvation mastermind Nigel Wingrove, where he fills us in on how he ran these nights for a while and enlisted girls from his saucy photo shoots, we finally get to the first early performance: "Satanic Nuns". Filmed at Madame Jo-Jo's in September 2004, this involves a woman being rendered topless by two other females and 'crucified' while her teats are sucked.

Then we move on to a bit of tame pole-dancing shenanigans set to a tediously repetitive industrial dirge, made all the more pretentious by it's foreign vocals.

The black eyeliner gets thicker still with a poor live performance from The Nuns, and a frankly cringe-inducing belly dance played out to an irritating bongo beat. This vignette does admittedly have a (intentionally?) funny pay-off.

The film continues unabated in chronological order, charting the performances of the Sluts and their revolving associates in various clubs (including The Marquee) over the course of eighteen months or so.

As with the previous Sluts DVD, the action breaks on occasion to provide behind-the-scenes interviews with performers. On this occasion, we get to meet the "real" Morrigan Hel, Rachel, Patricia, Cecile, Tiara Tart and Dischordia. As with the opening Wingrove "interview" (hard to class it as such, as he directed this project), these chats are a little self-important and almost unwatchable, due to the annoying MTV-style editing and camerawork. Someone's got an art degree in editing, and wants to show it off!

In-between, we're treated to more clips of scantily-clad women dancing to mind-numbing techno, the occasional splatter of blood on breasts (ooh, very shocking) and Dischordia fannying about with flowers in slow-motion during "Bloody Orchids".

Voluptua (a.k.a. Georgina Baillie, that girl who's known for getting shagged by former junkie Russell Brand) turns up later in proceedings, as does past-it Goth queen Eileen Daly and - gasp - the classy Jodie Marsh. Out of character, she keeps her love pillows covered in a laughably sombre stage act ironically titled "Celebrity Sacrifice".

"Voodoo Sex Sacrifice", involving the aforementioned Voluptua dancing with bloody breasts, is admittedly easy on the eye. And "Incest Rape" parts 1 and 2, starring the hot China Girl in a school uniform, is surely what earns the disc it's 18 rating. It's tame in content, but vignettes with that title/theme are never going to sit easy with the BBFC �

But therein lies a lot of the problem with this vanity project. It's incredibly na�ve in its desire to shock, to offend. It's silly, innocuous, schoolboy fluff. The maddening quick-cut editing and incessant repetitive score make it the very opposite of erotica, while the slap of fake blood on a woman's lips and a few surly pet-lips to camera are not going frighten anyone.

It all comes full-circle with Wingrove appropriately bringing things to a close, and the promise that "there will be no repeat performances (of Black Masses)". You see in writing, folks, they can't go back on that � can they?

That's a tad harsh.

I'm sure if you were there, it was a rollicking good time and to see it in the flesh must have been an altogether more satisfying experience. But the DVD is hindered irreparably by the overly-stylised attempts at disguising badly shot concert footage and a complete lack of atmosphere or entertainment.

Despite the cover's claim that the film is presented in a 16x9 format, it's actually offered in a non-enhanced 1.78:1 transfer.

Images are generally sharp and colourful, although the various mediums used do mean that some scenes are grainier or duller than others. Wingrove overcomes this to an extent by framing the images in digital borders.

The English 2.0 is serviceable throughout, offering playback without concern.

Although there is no scene-selection menu, the film can be skipped through by way of 20 chapters.

Extras begin with two stills galleries. The first offers 36 relatively tame post-gig photographs, while the second is a little racier over the course of 61images.

A further gallery offering 19 Black Masses flyers follows, offering some very fetching colour images of blood-soaked breasts and so on. There's no denying that some of these images are extremely striking.

A 40-second trailer comes on like a choppily edited music video, and is followed by a similarly presented 1-minute trailer for the book "Blood & Dishonour".


The most substantial extras on offer are two extended scenes, offering more pole-dancing in the first and more of Ms Daly in the second.

I don't know. I don't want to mock this effort too much. Maybe it's fairer for me to simply throw my hands in the air and admit to 'not getting it'. Is it meant to be scary? Sexy? If only was a spotty 13-year-old, there's a chance I might have seen it that way. Otherwise, I can only assume it's a keepsake for the few who enjoyed the real thing.

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by Salvation Films
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review