The British media circus seems to be lurching from one contrived "scandal" to the next at this present moment in time, with the News Media now operating much like a giant, sensationalistic reality show. Last week it was the revelation that MPs from all the major political parties have been fleecing the British taxpayer for years by exploiting a lax system for claiming expenses. The week before, it was Simon Cowell's latest cash cow, "Britain's Got Talent", exploiting 'vulnerable' children (or more precisely, an annoying little screechy ten-year old brat who went to pieces on stage in the semi final, during an excruciating rendition of Edelweiss) and then the eagerly consumed 'breakdown' of Susan Boyle after her YouTube-instigated rise to international fame failed to secure her the expected win in the final. Last month, it was the death of Jade Goody - the first millionaire Big Brother contestant, who divided the nation in death just as effectively as she did during her short life. But I think it's fair to say that this weird climate of frenzied, media-manipulated hysteria was really instigated by the bizarre sequence of events that, for several weeks last year, resulted in the little-known Redemption films-promoted performance troupe The Satanic Sluts becoming a household name, mentioned in every tabloid and broadsheet newspaper, as well as all the main British TV news outlets. All thanks to the misjudged exploits of cult comedian Russell Brand and the BBC's highest-paid light entertainer and chat show host Jonathan Ross.
For the benefit of non-British readers (I can't believe the rest of the world's media was interested in the story), the debacle began when one of the Satanic Sluts, a young lady calling herself Voluptua, but whose real name is Georgina Baillie, became involved in a tryst with groupie mad Brand, who then went on to announce not only this fact on his Saturday night radio show, but also that her Grandfather was the veteran actor Andrew Sachs, who once played Manuel in classic British sitcom "Fawlty Towers". A few weeks later, with Jonathan Ross as his guest, Brand phoned Sachs (who was due to be interviewed for his show) on air; but in the course of leaving an answer phone message, Ross shouted out thenow infamous phrase, "he's fucked your Granddaughter!" The two then made a series of return calls to Sach's answer phone, improvising a routine in which they both made even more amusingly indecent remarks. All this seemed to pass off without incident, until a hack at the Daily Mail happened to catch the podcast of the show the following week and realised there was a major story here, and a rather big stick with which to continue beating the beleaguered BBC in The Mail's ongoing campaign to have the licence fee abolished. Obviously the stunt went too far and should never have been broadcast, but the scandal they managed to generate was huge, and eventually resulted in Ross being suspended from TV for six months and Brand resigning his radio show and going off to be a big American film star (oh, the pain!). It also meant Georgina Baillie was plastered all over every tabloid newspaper in the land for several weeks; and naturally, Redemption Films didn't waste much time in using the ensuing publicity to promote their Satanic Sluts DVDs, either.
The Satanic Sluts are classic Redemption fare: dressed in leather fetish gear, they perform in staged re-enactments of Black Mass's, vampiric lesbian scenarios and mocked-up medieval torture tableaux, all of which usually involve a lot of fake blood and bared breasts. Previous DVD releases by the Sluts have been arty, Gothic themed documents of their burlesque act. This latest release is different. It's more a soft porn flick in which most of the Satanic Sluts are sidelined in favour of a bunch of British porn actresses. Only Georgina Baillie is given top billing: her photograph adorns the cover, and she takes more of a noticeable role in the lesbian-based domination sex sequences. The blurb on the front cover rather grandly claims that she "brought down Ross, Brand and the BBC!". The Brand/Ross scandal which involved Baillie in real life is used to provide the framing device which launches each of the soft porn scenarios depicted, but the real sexy stuff is always provided by the porn actresses themselves. The on-screen sex action goes about as far as it's possible to under the censorious banner of an 18 certificate; but that really isn't very far, obviously: the Redemption folk are clearly counting on the high profile of Baillie to the punters in.
The film starts off with Voluptua (Baillie) reading a copy of The Sun on a leather couch. Obviously not as excited by that publication's particular brand of right wing tabloid titillation (surely it should have been The Daily Mail?) as one might expect, she falls asleep on the couch and, beneath a superimposed montage of tabloid headlines, dreams up a series of lesbian sex scenarios all of which have been directed by Redemption's head honcho Nigel Wingrove. Things kick off with a rather portentous scene in which some "monsters" made out of tabloid newspapers strip off to reveal themselves to be two rather buxom, lingerie-clad lesbian beauties underneath their tabloid skins — but the end result is the same: a lot of hot lesbian canoodling! Other sequences involve a parody of 'classic' British 60s sci-fi sex film "Zeta One", a Nazi-based, domination themed striptease, and a steamy editing session which turns into a full-on female masturbation fest. Slotted between these rather prosaic sex romps there are a few short Horror-based sequences based more on the Slut's usual exploits, and in which the other Satanic Slut girls actually get to appear: there's a sort of Japanese ghost style scenario in which a long-haired, pale-faced spectre in fetish heels slinks about in the dark chasing a buxom model, and a Ouji Board sequence in which the girls contact the spirit of Jack the Ripper victim Mary Kelly and one of them ends up writhing about in the dark, covered in fake blood, as usual.
It's a bit difficult to see quite who will be attracted to this release. The Satanic Sluts are hardly in it and the sex tends to cut away from the real 'action' just at the crucial moment. It seems more designed to cash in on Baillie's short-lived infamy, but that would appear to already have run its course, with the fickle sensation hungry press already having moved on to other juicer scandals, and Ross having now been largely 'forgiven' for his moment of madness.