Damn Sigmund Freud. Thanks to his psychoanalysis mumbo-jumbo, now anything and everything has to do with sex. On the bright side, this fascination with sex and how beautiful or nasty it can be resulted in plenty of movies made on the subject, from the good to the bad to the downright ugly. Preserved here are two medical-related sexploitation artifacts whisked from the vault onto DVD. At least the film prints aren't collecting dust anymore, but this disc probably will after one disappointing sitting.
Meet DR. SEX. With his two assistants Dr. Schmutz and Dr. Lovejoy (a pretty brunette with glasses), the trio regale each other with case studies of some of their strangest psychotherapy patients, all with sexual hang-ups, for a book they are all co-writing as a follow-up to the Kinsey Report. We witness a puppy in lust with his lovely owner, a nebish who can only make love to female mannequins (!), an exhibitionist nude model, and a lonely man haunted by nude female ghosts (?).
Ted V. Mikels, the infamous goateed director who currently resides in a castle with a harem of women, is a super-nice guy. But the man can't deliver a really good exploitation movie to save his life. Coming close to cult classic status are ASTRO ZOMBIES, THE DOLL SQUAD, 10 VIOLENT WOMEN, and parts of THE GIRL IN GOLD BOOTS, with bonus points to THE CORPSE GRINDERS and BLOOD ORGY OF THE SHE-DEVILS for good ad campaigns. But when cult film aficionados talk about the director whose films are most painful to endure, Mikels' name is near the top of the list (along with Al Adamson, usually). The beginning of the director's genesis in exploitation began here with DR. SEX, an abysmal and dreadfully boring nudie with a cute premise, but not enough sizzle. It's an interesting relic, one of few films of its time that actually put the word "SEX" in the title rather than a provocative double-entendre, and some of the case study punchlines are funny in a stupid sort of way. But the film is shot, edited, and acted in a static manner and the girls aren't really all that pretty or great to look at. The film drags DR. SEX stands as a curiosity piece and nothing more. A curiosity worth saving, that's for sure, but not even a minor classic by any stretch of the imagination. Clocking in at only 63 minutes, Michael Weldon's Psychotronic review says there is a section of the movie missing and it wouldn't surprise me if it's gone for good.
Culled from the sole remaining 35mm print in existence, the transfer for DR. SEX is predictably not so hot. It's not as bad as, say, 50,000 B.C., but the image is polluted with green lines, blemishes, dirt, grime, and jumps. It's still nice to finally see after the film disappeared for years (this was Something Weird's debut VHS release) and all things considered, the colors look good and flesh tones are usually accurate. For some odd reason, perhaps as a joke, the opening titles are in Italo-Spanish and the film is credited to director "Theo Mikacecci"?! Also, at 34:06, there is a bizarre digital zoom into the frame, making the picture extra-fuzzy. Don't ask me why it's there, the scene in question is of a young girl running around naked, so maybe there was a problem with seeing her tush?
After being bored stiff by the good doctor, check in for some good old-fashioned mind-warping in WANDA THE SADISTIC HYPNOTIST. A horny pedestrian is so hot and bothered he sees naked women in a store window (!), so he stops into the neighborhood grindhouse for some therapeutic skinflick viewing. After watching a stupid nudist camp short subject (with a cameo by a vintage issue of Playboy) with beautiful women covering their nether regions, he settles back for the feature film-within-a-film, MISS DIKEY DIKEMAN AND HER FRIENDS? (!!). Tall brunette Wanda, with garish eye makeup caked around her wide pupils, and her blonde live-in lesbo roommate Greta bring home a handsome businessman who was in a car accident and knocked unconscious. Sound familiar? It should, it's basically the opening set-up for Jose Larraz' VAMPYRES! He is hypnotized by Wanda and kept on her enclosed property for her own private S&M games. Bored with her new male plaything, she ties him to his bed and invites over her female entourage, including bucktoothed Lynn Harris and redheaded VIXEN co-star Vincene Wallace! After skinny-dipping in the pool, she proves her powers of hypnosis by enticing an innocent Avon door-to-door saleslady to go-go dance in her black lingerie, transforms a butch lesbian into an insatiable nymphomaniac (the male captive is attacked, despite his protests of "You don't understand! I'm a Republican!"), and a timid wallflower becomes a karate-chopping judo professional. To make matters even more warped, a maniac escapes from the local booby hatch (his straitjacket says "State Funn-ee Farm" on the back!) and breaks into the house, whipping and raping every beautiful woman in sight! Can Wanda tame his sadistic urges with her own, or will it take an extra-large dose of LSD to cool everyone down?
Another whacky, wild artifact from the 60s, WANDA THE SADISTIC HYPNOTIST is sick, twisted, and 100% entertaining from start to finish. Some of the sex goes on a little long, but the badly-executed dialogue is priceless and the entire premise, packed with half-assed hypnotism, wild women, drugs, sex, violence, and free love that would only have been produced by the Love Generation. The music, by a garage band called The Masochists, is really bizarre banging, twanging, and drumming with little rhyme or reason, adding to the frenzied nature of this trashy mini-masterpiece. I haven't had this much fun since HELP WANTED: FEMALE! This flick more than makes up for the disappointing DR. SEX. There's even a fireside rape-turned-love scene, and frequent cut-backs to the poor schmuck in the grindhouse, probably wondering what in God's name is unspooling before his eyes. Suitably reflecting the emotions of the viewer watching the movie HE's in!
Considering the rarity of the flick, the transfer for WANDA (with the onscreen title THE SADISTIC HYPNOTIST) is as good as can be expected. Dirt, green and white lines, and speckling are problems, but the film is so off-the-wall these defects can be forgiven. The mono audio was badly recorded on-set and recorded even worse in post, so crank the volume frequently.
Dive into the mountain of extras on this disc, which comes across as a real surprise. Most of them are shorts, so here goes: "The Casting Director" stars infamous sadist Bob Cresse (LOVE CAMP 7) in the title role, a sleazy cigar-chomping character whose walls are adorned with posters for old roadshow classics (A VIRGIN IN HOLLYWOOD, MAU MAU, etc). Cresse is hilarious as one girl overcomes her bad acting by stripping for him! A twist at the end provides a cool punchline. "Handyman" is another marvelous Barry Mahon color sound short, shot in New York City. A hotel's new handyman is told not to bother anyone in the 19th floor, but finds himself enticed into peeking into several rooms, including the red-lit room of a nude beauty, the purple-lit room of a showering lovely, and the green-lit room of a hair hopper in a see through nightie dusting her furniture. "Naked Devil Doll" is a stag reel starring a perpetually horny blonde with drag queen eye makeup writhing on her bed before getting up and soul strutting around her room. It's really quite boring. "Dueling Divas" is an 8mm mail order short of two women in black lingerie fencing each other. Apparently this must have been a huge turn-on in its day....?! This is INCREDIBLY whacky!! "Jane on a Train" has appeared on SWV's SATAN'S BED/SCARE THEIR PANTS OFF disc; it features lovely Jane having her clothes willed off (in stop-motion! AWESOME!) by a hypnotist while riding on a train. This is a cute, sexy short, better than the usual 8mm loops. "Naked Party" is a faded color late 60s-early 70s sound short from a company called Extraordinary Films. Three stewardesses share a hotel room, the shower, and their bed before indulging in some lesbian sex. The boyfriend of another stewardess drops in and decides to throw some meat into the proceedings! This must have played as a short in-between live sex shows or hardcore double-features, even though it is strictly softcore. "Strange Sex Dreams" is another Extraordinary Film with a pot party transforming into a trippy orgy. The participants look really drugged, especially the sole guy. "Nudes and Nuts" is yet another fabulous Barry Mahon color sound short. A nude model comes knocking at a Hispanic artist's door and is surprised when it turns out that his idea of art is painting all over naked girls!
The trailer collection is a tad small compared to other double-feature discs, but feature enough crazy nudie-cutie antics for your exploitation cravings. CRAZY WILD AND CRAZY is a Barry Mahon feature, so it is probably not as good as the trailer makes it look. See two nude beauties gaze at a hairy muscleman do push-ups at a nudist camp before partaking in nude volleyball! See the gorgeous New York City faves Gigi Darlene and Darlene Bennett make a house...IN THE BUFF!! There's slow-motion topless jumping women, more beautiful women posing in bold color, and the typical Mahon production values. LIKE WOW! is the old story of a guy who puts on a pair of sunglasses and can see through clothes. He runs around town peeking at women eating at a restaurant, getting their nails done, driving a car, swimming, and other everyday activities. This looks like another Barry Mahon feature, but it's not, it's actually good and is better-known as MR. PEEK-A-BOO'S PLAYMATES. The more I watch trailers for innocent nudies like these, the more of them I want to see. MY THIRD WIFE GEORGE is a black-and-white feature from Florida (when movies were all in color) starring Bill "BLOOD FEAST" Kerwin (his brother Harry directed this) as a dorky voyeur who gets to feel up nude women aplenty. See a gorilla attack, Bill partake in an orgy with bananas, pot, and a man in a gorilla suit (!), and never take off his boxers! This looks like a very cheap movie, but the best laugh is when Bill, taking a whiz at the john, turns to look at the camera and pees all over the guy standing next to him!! With blackmail, fencing, adultery, and all the naked women you could want. THE IMP-PROBABLE MR. WEE-GEE is a faux documentary about the "famous" photographer who peeks into windows and down streets at beautiful women bathing, walking, posing for artists and photographers, and seeing the sights all over Europe in this preview narrated by Joel Holt! THE LOVE SLAVES shows no footage of the actual film, but the narrator (the recognizable Southern voice of the heavyset goateed exploiteer whose name we don't know) goes overboard talking about the censored nature of the film. Kicking off the extras is the requisite gallery of sex movie magazine covers with the title music from BOOBY TRAP playing over it. These are covers I haven't seen before, so SWV must have acquired another stash of the things! Some cool covers advertise SHE-FREAK, MANTIS IN LACE, THE NOTORIOUS DAUGHTER OF FANNY HILL, and I WANT MORE.
Not one of Something Weird's better
double features, I would suggest curling up with last month's GHASTLY ONES/SEEDS
OF SIN instead of purchasing this platter. However, completists will enjoy WANDA
THE SADISTIC HYPNOTIST, with its many moments of calamity and token weirdness
to be expected from this company. (Casey Scott)
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