Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sexcula - Impulse Pictures DVD Review

"The stories about this place would curl your pubes."

Year: 1974
Director: John Holbrook
Writer: David F. Hurry
Starring: Debbie Collins, Jamie Orlando, John Alexander

Lost for nearly 40 years, the super obscure Canadian Gothic horror porn film Sexcula has been unearthed and released by the fiends at Synapse Films under their Impulse Pictures line. Available for purchase April 9th, you can preorder it now directly from Synapse. Or Amazon.

"SEXCULA is a skin flick of legendary lost status. Shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, it was screened once before disappearing and sought after by cult aficionados for decades. Now, Impulse Pictures is proud to bring you the world premiere of SEXCULA.  Sex film fans can finally get a look at this elusive crazy Canadian erotic/horror hybrid for the first time ever.

Starring a Marilyn Chambers lookalike in dual roles as Countess Sexcula, a buxom cutie with no qualms about lying nude on a table for the entire movie, and a horny bride who can’t wait for her ring.  The nudity and sex are delivered nonstop in this campy horror romp. Watch in amazement at the naked picnic, the “girl-on-gorilla” strip tease, and stare in awe as a female pleasure-robot puts the plot into a time warp!
Bizarre only begins to describe… SEXCULA!"

Since this is pretty much a porn film, there isn't a whole lot in the way of plot here. But what we have goes a little something like this. An unnamed girl played by Debbie Collins and her boyfriend (David F. Hurry) arrive at an old abandoned castle. This castle has been in the girl's family for generations and she's inherited the castle and wants to fix it up, but first they've got an erotic picnic to get to. Before they leave the castle they find an old diary kept by the girl's Grandmother from 1869. During this erotic picnic Boyfriend (that's his name in the credits) reads aloud from the diary a story of a Dr. Fallatingstein who spends her days in a dungeon/laboratory doing strange sexperiments with her one-eyed hunchback servant Orgie.

In this laboratory is one of the Doctor's creations, a female pleasure robot, which isn't as cool as it sounds. It's just a nude woman with a huge bush who lays on a table with electrodes in her head. This fuckbot can not feel, or emote, - it can't even talk, it only communicates telepathically. It's sole purpose is to give men the most lifelike sexual experience possible. Okay, maybe it is as cool as it sounds.

Also in this dungeon is a Rape-Ape. I'm not sure if this was one of her experiments or if she just thought having an ape that likes to rape people hanging around at all times would be a good idea  Now, I don't know about you, but I don't think I would want a sexually aggressive gorilla living in my castle. I'm also not sure Doc Fallatingstein knows how a cage works because while the ape lives in a cage it seems to be unlocked at all times because he gets out of the thing on at least 4 separate occasions.

Her latest creation she has made for herself is a living sex slave called Frank. Unlike the female sex robot,  Frank is able to to walk around and talk. Also, he has a penis. Frank has been designed to fulfill Dr. Fallatingstein's every sexual desire. One problem, Frank has a condition known among medical professionals as a "broken cock". No matter what she does to Frank's crank he just can't seem to become aroused. She's tried and she's tried to use the sexbot on Frank to no avail. And it's not because he's gay (though the character does seem kind of gay), she's checked. I guess she's had Orgie and Rape-Ape have a tug at it, and since a fat one-eyed hunchback and a male gorilla also failed to produce any boners she's come to the conclusion that he isn't gay. The man just has no interest in sex with anyone.

So she calls her niece Countess Sexcula (also played by Debbie Collins) who is "pretty much a hooker" to help with the problem she's having with Frank. Now, Sexcula is a vampire, but don't get excited, you never see her do anything vampiric apart from wearing a cape. Sexcula performs no acts of bloodsucking, she goes outside in the daylight and at no point does she turn into a bat (or giant praying mantis). At one point the doctor and Sexcula come to the conclusion that Frank's problem is that he is unable to produce sex cells, so Sexcula heads out and finds three men with healthly sex drvies and extracts some sex cells from their gonads. While she does bite a couple of penises, it's never shown, so there is never a drop of blood to be seen in the entire film. Seriously, that cape is the only thing "vampire" about this chick.

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here. One of the first things they use to arouse Frank is to bring a woman out to strip in front of him. Sounds good right? Men have been getting erections watching naked women dance around for thousands of years, often paying handsomely to do so. A woman comes out and dances erotically in front of a red spotlight, writhing back and forth for what seems like an eternity. Eventually Fallatingstein's Rape-Ape gets out of his unlocked cage and starts dancing with the woman. This is cute for a minute while they waltz around this tiny little dungeon. But suddenly the Rape-Ape remembers he's a Rape-Ape and decides to make his move. He throws the dancer on the ground and starts sexually assaulting her. At first she resists, but after a good minute of screaming and struggling she gets into it. So much so that she jumps on him for a while. After about a minute of this (this is a very long scene) she decides she's not into it again and starts screaming and struggling to stop the ape while she's on top of him. Just stand up! This whole scene is actually even more confusing than I've made it seem. Anyway, she eventaully gets away from him, pulls out a gun and shoots him. And scene. They both get up and take a bow, this whole 7 minute long scene was just a little play they were putting on to try and get Frank aroused. Goddammit movie. The Dr., Sexcula and Frank all applaud after this little skit, but it still does nothing to turn Frank on. And really, I don't know how this could've been arousing for anyone, unless Frank was a beastiallity rape fetishist this little act should've left him completely flaccid. Speaking for myself, I did a boner check after this scene, it turned up negative.

So, as I mentioned before they find out that Frank has a lack of sex cells. So Sexcula visits a porn film set (remember this is supposed to be taking place in 1869) to try and gather some sex cells. On the porn set a bride and groom, and a bridesmaid and a groomsmen stand at an altar. A super Canadian priest sleepily reads the vows as the horny bride and groom start grabbing at each others crotches. Before the priest can even ask the bride if she takes the groom to be her lawfully wedded husband she is on the ground with a dong in her mouth. The priest asks them to stop but they won't listen. After a couple more minutes of trying in vain to finish the the vows the two couples are in full on orgy mode. Have you ever tried to break up an orgy? It's impossible. So the priest just leaves them at it and goes home. Don't worry though, he'll be back to get in on the action later. After a lengthy sex scene with the two couples the screen quickly fades to black and we hear a commotion followed by a biting sound. Sexcula has secured the sex cells she needs but will these sex cells be the key to kickstarting Frank's libido? Maybe we'll find out. I actually don't know, I've watched the end of this thing twice and I'm still not quite sure what happens. And I guess since it's a porn film, it ultimately doesn't matter, that's not really what we're here for.

Sexcula is, for the most part a fun and very odd sex romp. Director John Holbrook actually later did the cinematography for Jim Makichuk's film The Ghostkeeper so it's not too surprising that there's actually some nice eerie atmosphere in the laboratory dungeon set (which was located in the producer's home). I always get a huge kick out of cheap lab sets in old horror and sci-fi movies, so I had a lot of fun with those scenes. The dialogue is super cheesy, and poorly performed by a cast of non-actors so there's plenty of unintentionally funny moments to be found. Debbie Collins looks kinda like a cross between Marilyn Chambers and Vampira and while I only found her looks to be average at best she is a very enthusiastic performer in her several sex scenes. Jamie Orlando who plays Dr. Fallatingstein is actually quite beautiful, it's a shame we didn't get to see her engage in any hardcore activity. She does do a quick nude scene, but that's about it. The film has a pretty abrupt ending so it's possible she backed out when it came time to do her scene, I'm not sure though. As for the males in the cast, I really enjoyed the very funny performance by John Alexander as Frank. He has a goofy, almost childlike innocence about him. He's just kind of a dork who is way more interested in taking the reins of a horse carriage than partaking in a threesome in the backseat.

Having said all that, remember that this is a hardcore film. Probably more than half of the film is comprised of sex scenes with a good deal of penetration so close the blinds and make sure all family members and pets have left the house before you load the disc into your player.
Things to watch for:

Gunnar Hansen is Orgie the Hunchback.
Igorian testicles
Porn Film Sets of the 1860s
Reins of terror
Old Canadian priest boner. Actually don't watch for this, it's gross.
Benny Hill, Canadian Style

Fans of offbeat and extremely rare adult cinema from the 1970's will definitely want to add this to their collection at once. Also recommended to anyone who loves campy monster movie spoofs but wishes they featured more erect penises.

The 1.33:1 transfer looks good considering its the last remaining print of an amazingly obscure movie. A few specks and scratches, and a bit dark at times, but overall this is very watchable. The only feature is the original theatrical trailer and a page of liner notes on the DVD insert. Given that only maybe a couple hundred people have even seen this film I don't think anyone was expecting 2-discs worth of extra features.

Also, while not an extra I have to say whoever painted this DVD cover deserves some kind of medal. It's only March and this is already the DVD cover of the year for me.

List of Features:
  •     Digital (1.33:1) Transfer from the ONLY Remaining Theatrical Print Stored in the Basement of the  Canadian Film Archives
  •     Original Theatrical Trailer
  •     Liner Notes from Porn Archaeologist Dimitrios Otis

Man, Porn Archaeologist might be the best job title I've ever heard. The liner notes are on side one of the insert. If you flip it around there's a very amusing Motion Picture Purgatory review by Rick Tembles.

For further reading on the complete complicated history of Sexcula, check out Canuxploitation.

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