“CLUB SATAN: THE WITCHES SABBATH” (2007)

Starring: Paris Gables, Matt “The Lord” Zane, Dark Funeral, Frank Towers, Kyle Stone, Cassandra Cruz, Dakota, Dominic the Dom, Rick Masters, John West & Scott Lyons
Written by Shane & Amy Bugbee
Directed by Shane Bugbee
EvilNow.com

Polly Staffle Rating: ****

Early in “Club Satan: The Witches Sabbath,” Paris Gables, playing the role of a naughty school girl named Lili, rips up a bible. It turns out this wasn’t the only piece of literature destroyed on the set of the adult film. In his directorial debut, Church of Satan priest Shane Bugbee takes the book on how to make a conventional pornographic movie and tosses it out the window.

If you’ve seen a porn feature or two, or three, or four, or several hundred, you’ve pretty much seen them all. No matter what’s on the DVD cover or how the movie starts out, they usually at some point snap into the same display of acts with the same editing, lighting and music.

The faces, sizes of the sexual organs and boobs change, ever so slightly, as the scenarios stay the same. Man meets woman. Man gets woman naked. Woman gives man oral. Man does woman. Man performs money shot all over woman’s face. Repeat as necessary until seventy to ninety minutes are up. The End.

Not “Club Satan.” No, this film is unlike any porno you’ve ever seen. It has been called “the most shocking and controversial adult film to be released in years.” Mainstream critics and fans say it’s without a doubt hardcore pornography, while the porn community calls it an art film. I’ll admit it is somewhere in between the two. So much so that I’ll as go as far as saying Bugbee’s movie is revolutionary.

It’s not simply because “Club Satan” is the first full-fledged satanic porno. Take away the Satanism. Take away the first black mass caught on film since Anton LaVey’s “Satanis” over 30 years ago. Take away the blood. Take away the upside down crosses, the pentagrams and all the anti-religious stuff. Take away Satan having his salad tossed. Take away the money shot on Jesus’ face, which had some actors feeling Bugbee went too far and walking off the set. Take away all of these things and this still is not your daddy’s favorite high dollar Jenna Jameson DVD he has hidden in his night stand.

What is so ground breaking about “Club Satan” is it looks and feels like an actual movie. One that just so happens to show explicit nudity and sexual acts. It’s a bit too sinister and sexual to simply be labeled an art house film. It’s extremely trippy in a “Natural Born Killers” sort of way, while partially feeling like a surreal low budget exploitation film. It also has a seventies horror vibe to it, possibly even Giallo, but no one dies and there is no mystery to be solved.

The lighting is dark and harsh. The colors of the film are mostly black and red. Some sex scenes were even shot using red gels. The soundtrack is loud and angry, consisting of black metal greats Dark Funeral, who also appear in the film, and Society 1, whose lead singer Matt “The Lord” Zane acts in the movie as a Satanic high priest. Also providing music are Electric Wizard, Crypt 33, Fuck Emos, Wicked Little Dolls, Namsilat, Heathen Barrett Urban, and Acheron. To top it off, the editing of “Club Satan” is pretty bad ass as far as skin flicks go. Tell me, when is the last time you saw jump cuts on purpose, bits of slow-motion or fast-forward and reverse slow-mo used in a porno? The finale’s gangbang black mass even puts the speedy “Lone Ranger” scene in “A Clockwork Orange” to shame.

But make no mistake; this is a pornographic film with a simple pornographic story. Written by the husband and wife team of Shane and Amy Bugbee, “Club Satan” is about Lili descending or transcending, depending on how you look at it, from God-fearing church girl to Satan-loving slut. I still would like a bit more plot, but the fact Lili actually goes through this transformation does give the film a bit more substance than most porn.

When we first meet Lili she is an innocent young lady that is bored with her life. She fantasizes about danger and adventure. Her thoughts turn impure, so she seeks the help of the church. “They’re so bad. They are evil,” Lili says of her daydreams to a priest. “I think about… I can’t even tell you. I fantasize of having sex with men. Many men… and women too.” The blond, decked out in a plaid skirt, white stockings and heels, proceeds to rip her clothes off and masturbate. She also spanks and fists herself during the confessional. Lili wraps up the scene by ripping up a bible, acting inappropriately with a crucifix - kissing it and rubbing it on her body - and shouting profanities at Jesus.

Not knowing what to make of her, the priest (voiced by Bugbee) sends Lili to a pair of nuns. “Perhaps they can help your filthy soul,” the priest concludes. The sisters are no help either. They proceed to spank her backside with a ruler and a crucifix, but do not stop there. They then spank her front, violate her with a sex toy and sprinkle her with holy urine. Yes, holy urine. After they’ve had their fun, they call her a slut and toss her on the street.

While crying in an alley, a creepy old man named Simon (Kyle Stone) dressed in a black trench coat stumbles upon Lili. He tells her there is no sin and that there is nothing wrong with being lustful. “It’s perfectly natural for you to want sex and pleasure,” he tells her. Lili then proceeds to give him oral sex in broad daylight behind what appears to be an apartment complex. The devil is beginning to take hold of Miss Lili as she even throws up devil horns while servicing Simon. Once the deed is done, Simon invites her to an “intimate little get together” that is happening later that night. He promises she will never feel bad again.

While rain pours down, Lili arrives at a door and knocks on it. It opens, smoke pours out and a man (Bugbee) rapidly pulls Lili inside. Here Lili meets Satan (Frank Towers) himself and participates in a black mass, taking the devil’s oath. Lili then takes on five black robed figures at once. In between her moans, Lili yells “Hail Satan.” When the gangbang is all over, she has consumed and is covered with blood, urine and semen. The last money shot is the film’s infamous Jesus facial. Lili then sops up the man juices with a communal cracker in slow-motion and munches it down. The camera lingers on her face as she says one last “Hail Satan.” She’s covered in blood. Her face holds a smile and the innocence is completely drained from her.

No, the Matt and Mark Zane produced “Club Satan” doesn’t offer anything profound. But it is visually pleasing, erotic, a bit campy and features a shock factor that slowly gets upped each scene as it goes. I had never seen an Extreme Associates film or a Matt Zane production prior to this and it made me curious if other porn produced by the company was at all similar. Bugbee tells me no. Everything in the film was his call. He even had to practically fight the producers and crew at Extreme Associates to shoot and edit the film the way he wanted it.

They were probably just a little freaked out since the film ventures into the uncharted arena of satanic porn. Bugbee’s first day probably didn’t help matters. Almost to the minute that he sat down to sign with Rob Black - the often-prosecuted owner of Extreme Associates - a man was hit by a semi-truck right in front of the office where their meeting was held.

Being this was his virgin experience directing an adult feature, Bugbee said he wasn’t really able to make everything look exactly how he wanted . But he is currently working on a sequel titled “Club Satan: Bleed Angels Bleed” and hopes to have even more control over the final product. My guess is it will be filled with even more wicked fun, furthermore destroying the books of good and smut.

- CCF, August 2007

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