Sunday, 30 January 2011



We're all different. Some people like fried onions, some people don't like fried eggs. Some people enjoy Antiques Roadshow and some people don't like harpsichord music. And yet, we're all the same: my likes and dislikes are just as identically different as yours, and hers, and that bloke's over there. Everybody's right, nobody's wrong, especially where art and your subjective reaction to it is concerned. I liked No Country For Old Men, you liked The Bounty Hunter. Whatever. Just keep an open mind and don't judge these things too harshly. That's kind of normal, isn't it? It extends into whatever works for sexual persuasions and I'll confess here and now that I never understood the whole fetish thing. Pain/pleasure, domination/submission, rope, cages, rubber, gasmasks, needles, blood, bondage and spiky collars - it means absolutely nothing to me and has all the erotic charge of whatever's left of the cast of Last Of The Summer Wine discussing EU fishing quotas.

Thus the only possible appeal a DVD like The Black Order Cometh - the first of three volumes (so far) featuring the Satanic Sluts - could have for me will lie in its crossover to the world of horror rather than its sexual fetishism. Well, there's a bit of horror there: not just the old traditionals such as vampires, but surgery, self-mutilation and sudden cold-blooded murder, but no characters, no story and no significant points of interest. Because this isn't a film. It's a string of brief, badly-shot and over-processed vignettes - mostly about three minutes long - all entirely unrelated to each other in which women do horrible things to other women, and none of them particularly well done. It comes across as a second-year Media Studies degree project, and not one that's going to get top marks either, or perhaps the imagined kind of softcore filth that a serial killer would masturbate to. Although the BBFC note that nearly three minutes of unsimulated footage of a "....restrained woman's arm being cut with a scalpel...." had to be cut for an 18, they were apparently okay with a sequence in which a woman is tied to a chair and apparently beaten to death with a sledgehammer. Phwooooar.

And it's not just ugly to look at but incredibly dull. Even though it goes on for less than 70 minutes it feels absurdly long. And the kinky bits are interspersed with talking-head interviews with the Satanic Sluts' views on abortion, the death penalty, immigration and crime: presumably we're supposed to care about what they really think, as though they're standing for election to the local council or something. They're all filmed in a different ratio to the smut sequences so you spend chunks of the running time adjusting your TV set for the optimum viewing presentation. It's absolute garbage and you wouldn't believe the speed with which Satanics Sluts Volumes 2 and 3 were removed from my rentals queue.


Horrible-looking, isn't it?

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