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Something Weird Video presents
Satan in High Heels (1961)

"A girl has to have a roof over her head."
- Stacey Kane (Meg Myles)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: February 14, 2002

Stars: Meg Myles, Grayson Hall, Bob Yuro, Del Tenney, Ben Stone
Other Stars: Mike Keene, Earl Hammond, Nolia Chapman, Pat Hamer
Director: Jerald Intrator

Manufacturer: Ritek
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (sensuality, brief nudity, violence, implied drug use)
Run Time: 01h:29m:56s
Release Date: February 12, 2002
UPC: 014381117721
Genre: cult


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B-B+C D

DVD Review

Classifying this little bit of misogyny wasn't the easiest, but since it came out under the Something Weird label, the "cult" tag seems to be a natural, even though I don't know of any particular cult following this picture has. For those with a grudge against women, for whatever reason (and this picture supplies quite a few), this will be a treasured part of their movie collection. Carnival stripper Stacey Kane (Meg Myles) is greeted by Rudy, her junkie husband who has managed to score a satchel full of cash (the now ridiculous amount of $900); she promptly gives him a story to keep him busy and heads for the big city with the satchel. Stacey loses no time in picking up a sleazy hotelier, who sets her up for an "audition" for Pepe, a nightclub manager (Dark Shadows' Grayson Hall). Pepe is a lesbian, and she too succumbs to Stacey's charms, as do the nightclub owner, Arnold Newman (Mike Keene) and his son Larry. This leads to certain inevitable complications, particularly when Rudy catches up with Stacey and she decides to use the moment to rid herself of several pieces of male baggage in one fell swoop. Stacey is just about the most vicious wench you'd ever want to meet, though she moves a bit subtly at first. Yes, ripping off your junkie hubbie is definitely in the not-nice category, but we also have every indication that he's a piece of work himself. Once in New York, Stacey will jump anything that she thinks might further her career, and while somewhat objectionable, that's neither outlandish nor far beyond the everyday ladder-climbing that goes on in many places. In a way, she's kind of admirable as a Survivor. But when we get to the last third of the picture, all bets are off. There's a malevolent glee in the way that Stacey's machinations both wreck the lives of all the men who've fallen to her, and in the ways that they all backfire on her. Indeed, the movie's not very kind to men either, since they are either disposed of as gay, drug-addled or unscrupulous lechers; all of the foregoing are irredeemably stupid and dependent, and they more or less deserve what's coming to them. Even though this is hardly a classic and I can't believe I'm mentioning it in the same breath, I was left with the kind of feeling I got at the end of reading The Count of Monte Cristo. Sometimes it's just a lot of fun to see these terrible things unfold upon the heads of those that made their own beds.While most of the cast is nonentities (many of them doubling as crew, always a bad sign), there are a couple of standouts. Meg Myles is suitably awful, pleased with herself and just a bit tawdry, capturing the bad girl in a big way. She embodies fading eye candy perfectly, almost as if she recognizes that time is catching up with her and she needs to make a big score, now. I very much enjoyed Grayson Hall's acerbic performance as Pepe as well; I think this may be the first non-Dark Shadows work I've seen her in, and she has an intriguing range though still with that famous gravelly voice. The rest of the cast isn't worth much, but manage in a decent enough manner.Nudity is quite limited (a brief split-second peek, really), although there's plenty of cheesecake on screen throughout. There's also a commendably erotic nude swim sequence that makes up for the several overly lengthy songs that eat up the running time here. But it's pretty much worth it to get the climactic number, "The Female of the Species (is More Deadly than the Male)", a perfect marriage of a song and film if there ever was one.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: For a low-budget trashy movie that's over 40 years old, this looks exceptional. The black & white full-frame picture has excellent detail and good black levels, without visible artifacting. The grayscale is generally broad as well. There are some expected minor speckles, but overall this looks better than it has any right to look.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: The 1.0 mono audio doesn't measure up, since it features a fair amount of noise and static throughout. Dialogue is almost always clear, however. The music has a fairly shrill quality that isn't too distracting but is hardly pleasant. It's acceptable for what it is, on the whole.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
7 Other Trailer(s) featuring Confessions of a Bad Girl, Girl with an Itch, The Love Cult, Satan's Bed, Satan's Playthings, The Soul Snatcher, The Unsatisfied
Packaging: EastPack
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Second Feature: The Wild and the Naked
  2. Two shorts
  3. Sexploitation art and radio ads
Extras Review: The extras here are, sadly, only fair to miserable in quality, though copious in quantity. First up is a second feature, the utterly incoherent The Wild and the Naked (1962), a 01h:00m:59s badly spliced nudie-cutie following "photographer's model" Paulette (Tana French) to a photo shoot, then to a poolside, where the picture launches into a bizarre fantasy sequence that takes up most of the running time. This features extended hitchhiking, rolling in dirt, desert islands, lust-filled hermits, bondage, naked unattractive Mexicans and the star in a nearly constant state of undress. I have a fondness for strange cinema, and certainly don't mind skin aplenty in my movies, but I found this tedious to an extreme. The film is effectively silent, with a boring music score and an incomprehensible voiceover from Paulette, punctuated by repeated cries of "Hurt me!" I have to say that this is one of the bigger embarrassments on celluloid to which I've ever been subjected. Nearly as bad are two shorts included on the disc. Satan and the Virgin is a ludicrous little piece of a scantily clad woman with a devil dummy on her arm, with her left arm and leg done up as part of the devil body, so that she can grope herself and sort of make it look like the devil is doing it to her. Where did Something Weird find this, and why did they think we might want to see it? The other short Latex She-Devils is more purely sexploitation, and features two women in a round bed who are surprised by an intruder; they overpower him and subject him to mild torture with paddles and chains as they don latex dominatrix gear. One of the women is kind of attractive in a tawdry way, but the other is a fairly hideous advertisement for plastic surgery disasters that pretty much killed any enjoyment that I might have otherwise gotten from the picture. Both shorts are mercifully brief. The other extras are somewhat of an improvement. The trailer for the main feature is blurry and smeary, and really points up how exceptional the source print is. A variety of other bad girl pictures wrap up the trailer section, including Confessions of a Bad Girl, which was sold as "an informative documentary about promiscuous girls." Uh huh. None of them really look like they're worth watching, though a couple bits from The Unsatisfied looked a little intriguing. Wrapping up the package is an 11m:46s set of sexploitation art (posters, mainly, with a few stills and lobby cards thrown in), set to radio announcements for such masterpieces as The Sinful Dwarf. I'd frankly trade an hour of this for having to watch The Wild and the Naked again. Brrrrr!As usual, all of the extras have the "SWV" bug plastered all over them. If the grade for the extras weren't already so low, I'd dock it some more for that.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

A surprisingly entertaining misogynistic and misanthropic little gem given a decent enough transfer, but saddled with a bevy of unpleasant extras. I suppose that these make the DVD more saleable, but don't expect much entertainment value from them.

 


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