"Grimy and sleazy, though not nearly as much fun as that description implies"
Satan Was a Lady is what’s generally known as a ‘grindhouse’ flick, which usually implies A) a low budget, B) amateurish filmmaking, and C) content of a decidedly exploitative nature. To label a movie like Satan was a Lady as “bad” is a rather redundant criticism, as its clear that those responsible for the film were well aware of its poor production value and base attitudes.The question in movies like this one is simply: is it still kinda fun? Aside from a few lovely skin scenes and some acting performances so poor they border on surreal, there’s not much to recommend in Satan Was a Lady.
Directed by longtime B-movie auteur Doris Wishman (director of over 25 movies, including an 1975 ‘hardcore’ version of the same name), Satan Was a Lady centers on a rather unsavory gal called Cleo (Honey Lauren, whom you probably don’t recognize from The Hidden Part 2 and Vice Academy Part 5) who robs, murders, and blackmails just about every person she meets.
Cleo is a paid dominatrix, and she’s recently turned the tables on one wealthy client. After he pays her 25 grand, Cleo tosses out her skeezy (and always warbling) boyfriend, hangs out at a seedy strip club, and eventually meets herself a “nice guy”. Since Cleo is an irresponsible sleaze, she has her cash stolen, and takes great pains to acquire some more. It’s all a rather drab and sordid affair.
Exploitation flicks like Satan was a Lady do have their ‘niche audience’, but based on what this movie has to offer – it’s clear that I’m not a member of that niche.There may be a sort-of low-rent charm to the proceedings (for some), but the shoddy filmmaking techniques and biblically wretched acting performances kept me from finding much entertainment value.