Satan Was a Lady (2001) from Tuna

Satan Was a Lady (2001) was written and directed by exploitation giant Doris Wishman. When her husband died she found herself  at the age of 40 needing a way to make a living. She had been around film distribution, and understood that aspect of the business, so she got herself a camera and started making movies. From 1960 to 1965, she made nudist films, known as nudie cuties. That was the only way to get naked women on film in the USA at the time. From 1965 to 1972, she made roughies, where an innocent girl is led astray and horribly abused by some man. Then she tried making two films with a big star, Chesty Morgan, with disastrous results. Not only could Chesty not act, but, according to Doris, was a pain in the ass to work with. In 1983, Doris retired from film making. She never could understand why she was becoming famous as one of the great woman film makers. She supposedly said that she didn't like her films, because the people were ugly. When someone in an interview suggested that she do some public appearances, she quipped, "What's in it for me?"

Then, in 2001, at the age of 81, she came out of retirement to make this film.

This film could be thought of as a reverse roughie, in that it is about a woman who chews men up and spits them out. Honey Lauren is a hooker and dominatrix who dreams of a fur coat and a better life. Honey was perfect for the part, not that she can act, but that she is both sexy and surly, which was the needed personality type. In the opening sequences, we see her whipping a man mercilessly. We learn that she hates her boss, and has a lazy musician bum for a roommate. She then has a brainstorm. She blackmails the man she was whipping. Once she begins, she can't turn the charm off. When her club's owner tells her a stripper is pretty, she rearranges the woman's face with a knife in the parking lot. Her boyfriend finds and steal the blackmail money, so she goes back for more and also takes care of the boyfriend. Then she also seduces the son of the man she is blackmailing.


  • Honey Lauren shows breasts and buns in the film, and flashes her bush in the "making of" short.
  • Lindsey Amodeo shows everything as a stripper whose act consists of her getting dressed
  • Kerry Johnston shows breasts as the stripper that honey attacks.

DVD info from Amazon

  • The DVD includes a lengthy "making of" featurette showing Doris at work.

Satan Was a Lady was Wishman's most polished, professional film, but that isn't saying much because before her retirement, she had dubbed all sound to save cost. For this film she had the opportunity to shoot live sound in many scenes and employ professional lighting . In general, it is a very polished product by genre standards.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C. Clearly, those who voted at IMDB don't know Doris or her films. Sure it is a bad film. All of hers were, but that doesn't detract from its value. How many films have you seen written and directed by a woman in her 80s after being retired for 20 years? The genre is Doris Wishman exploitation films, and this is a must-see for her fans, hence a C by our system. Of course, anyone not a fan of Wishman or her era is advised to stay away.

Return to the Movie House home page