Film: It’s a wonderful thing for film fans when a lost film is rediscovered, no matter how obscure. Sexcula is probably the only known attempt at Canadian porn in the 70s, and honestly, that’s for the best.
A young girl inherits her grandfather’s house after he dies, and so she and her beau travel to see the property. The house is a renovator’s nightmare, but she reveals to her partner that somewhere within the house is her grandfather’s diary, which tells of some fascinating events involving the lovely Dr Fallatingstein (Jamie Orlando), her creation Frank (John Alexander), her sidekick Orgie( Tim Lowery) and sex therapist Countess Sexcula (Debbie Collins)…
…oh, and an oversexed gorilla (Bud Coal).
The story tells of how Fallatingstein’s creation, Frank, is fully operational, but for some reason cannot perform any sexual act as he is unable to get an erection… this is pre-Viagra… even using a resorting to using a sex robot that Orgie is constantly trying to have a go at. Fallatingstein contacts the one person that should solve Frank’s problem, the sexy Countess Sexcula.
Sexcula tries varies situations to arouse Frank, but he seems easily distracted or just not interested. Can Sexcula get Frank to… um… rise to the occasion? You’d better watch Sexcula and find out!!
So obviously, a lost legendary porno film is never going to live up to its hype, but that’s not to say that the usual trapping of 70s porn aren’t here: terrible acting, dreadful sets, horrendous acting and, well let’s just say, ordinary people rooting. Don’t expect the finely waxed landing strips of your partner either: the people in this film have more bush than a national park!
The acting is of a desperately low quality as well. I admit I am not expecting Oscar winning performance in a film like this, but an ability to deliver a line without sounding like you were reading the script off idiot cards might make the low and hairy/ scarey quality of the porn slightly more bearable.
Unfortunately, the acting and sex aren’t the only things problematic with this film. To be fair this is a ‘lost’ film, and one can’t always expect pristine hi-def quality from the providence that something like this comes from, and I don’t wish my criticism to sound like it is aimed at those who released this film. Clean up on a project such as this is definitely not going to be of a priority like, say, the James Bond collection.
There are two definite image problems here though, and they unquestionably stem from the direction. The camerawork was occasionally sloppier than the fellatio, and whilst I don’t expect the expertise of Dean Semler in a 1970s Canadian porno film, something that wasn’t occasionally like an even more amateur version of The Blair Witch Project would certainly have been appreciated. What is amazing though is that this camera issue isn’t always immediately apparent as the lighting of the sets are so murky (I imagine the idea was to make it look ‘spooky’) that you can’t quite be sure of everything the camera is doing: at one point I even though my TV had somehow turned itself off!!
Hilariously, occasionally olde school spotlights are used for dramatic effect, and fail tremendously.
It’s not all bad, though. The music soundtrack is a particular highlight, being a hilarious combination of Brady Bunch music, elevator muzak and Russ Meyer burlesque, and let me tell you, two of those don’t sit well with hardcore sex!!
Unsurprisingly, the image from this lost film is pretty poor, but that is not due to Impulse Pictures’ transfer. The film itself looks like it was mostly filmed in a basement with only Dolphin torches for illumination. The transfer is pretty good, with the film having only occasional artefact damage. The sound is presented in mono 2.0, and again, the original sound is the issue, not the transfer… it’s been a while since I heard the ‘clicketing’ of film running through a camera on a disc. Having said all that though, the presentation does add to that grindhouse feel that we all love so much.
Tragically, that is all I can say is good about the film. If it was supposed to be a tribute to Universal Horror, with its obvious winks to Dracula and Frankenstein, it failed miserably, and if the horror aspect was just supposed to be dressing for my arousal, well we had another fail. I’m a guy and I am supposed to be easily turned on, but unfortunately this received another ‘F’. Honestly, watching a documentary about a sewer treatment plant would spark movement in the underpant area quicker that this piece of tripe.
Bad acting, hairy arses, crappy wigs and substandard camerawork: yes, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 70s porn. The film itself is somewhat of a chore to get through, especially with the dialogue being so dire (but occasionally funny) and the sex not being very sexy, but for a collectors of porn/ sexploitation history; it’s probably a must have, but certainly a once only watch. The ending also, is something that has to be seen to be believed… but not in a good way!
Extras: As far as extras on the disc go, I am afraid there is only a trailer, but there is also an essay by ‘porn archaeologist’ Dimitrios Otis and comic by Rick Tremble giving some additional insights about the film.
WISIA: Definitely not.