Appellate Judge Rob Lineberger reviews Lola's debut effort.
Our review of Sleazy Sci-Fi Of The 1970s, published April 23rd, 2010, is also available.
A spaced out comedy with the most exciting climaxes…!
Chris Poggiali's liner notes for this double feature DVD from Retro Seduction Cinema wax poetic about the 1970s drive-in theater. The smells, the grass, the bad dubbing, bad food, the "beast with two backs" in the back seat…good times. He recreates the experience for those of us who remember that hallowed venue, and gives younger readers a sense of nostalgia for ridiculous movies like 2069: A Sex Odyssey and Run, Virgin, Run.
2069: A Sex Odyssey pits a rural West German township nestled in the bosom of the Alps against a saucer full of Venusian astronauts. These lithe ladies clad in slinky silver have an important mission: to collect gallons of sperm to keep Venus in new babies for 10,000 years. The aliens are unaware of Earth customs, and thus fall prey to the lamest of advances. It hardly matters: the ladies are here for the sperm anyway.
Run, Virgin, Run tells of a rural West German township nestled in the bosom of the Alps that has an inexplicable uptick on the fertility charts. Every married man from the youngest buck to the oldest geezer is producing hale children. The men credit a strange wind called "The Fern." When it blows in from the Southwest, the men take a long hike to breathe of its invigorating potency. The women stay home with Michael, the chiseled and handsome blacksmith. When the mayor's daughter returns to town, will her genuine interest in Michael cause The Fern to cease blowing?
Poggiali's nostalgia almost makes a positive out of the wretched dubbing, misframed aspect ratio, poor video quality, and decrepit sound that characterize these movies. I can see where he's coming from, and it is nice to have a sense of humor about audio-visuals even when one is a DVD critic. Nonetheless, it is my job to point out such things, and this double feature packs a wallop of technical problems into one shiny disc. The dubbing is atrocious, so bad that I want to know whether the original meaning was even in the same ballpark. Abject contrast, heavy print damage, tinny, anemic sound, and other deficiencies add up to one unimpressive disc.
That's okay, because this is likely the way you remember seeing these films. You do remember them? No? Well, you're in for a treat.
Germans are not known for having a sense of humor. Imagine, then, their version of the sex romp. In the case of 2069: A Sex Odyssey, the antics are ground by such concerns as proper use of police authority, the duty of civil servants, standards of decency in the community, and other lofty topics. The Venusians run afoul of local mores, which sets off the local women like a sparkler (which is to say, lots of sparks and show, but not much of a blast). It is the seventies, so feminism is as out as mini-skirts are in. Men can grab and harass with abandon—and they do. Run, Virgin, Run is not much better; we're treated to recurrent town hall meetings, and the "Minister of Population" requires an hour of soul-searching and stoic resolve-strengthening before he finally boffs his secretary.
Oddly enough, the sex is racier than what you'll find in American peers such as Buford's Beach Bunnies and Porky's. It is still firmly rooted in the softcore tradition, but the Germans aren't as concerned with stopping at "the line." If a vagina wanders into frame from time to time, no need to stop the flow of an energetic sex scene.
Indeed, the mantra of these films when it comes to sex is "early and often." Run, Virgin, Run wastes no time: The credit sequence is a bunch of women in various stages on undress talking to the camera while oompah music plays. 2069: A Sex Odyssey takes much longer to heat up, but when it does it fails to pause for breath. Neither film is hot in the traditional sense because the sex is coupled with a ludicrous sense of cornball fantasy. But somehow, that makes the simulated sex titillating. Watching each Venusian experience the joys of orgasm and thaw into a sex-loving housewife is inexplicably erotic.
Of course, 2069: A Sex Odyssey is interspersed with cringe-worthy gags like the Suck-O-Matic, which harvests sperm from the unfortunate townspeople, and the good old "pitchfork in the ass" shtick. Run, Virgin, Run is not as abjectly corny, but it will still curl some nose hairs. In fact, I found Run, Virgin, Run vastly superior overall. I had less of an inclination to fast-forward between sex scenes because it actually took time to build character and plot. I wonder if 2069: A Sex Odyssey got top billing by virtue of its title?
Neither of these films has high production values, but the majestic Alps and rustic German settings give it a fresh feel. 2069 incorporates some reasonable special effects and a Trek-like ship interior that is retro-spiffy.
Retro Seduction dresses this DVD up with a trailer vault and a set of radio spots for Run, Virgin, Run. For some inexplicable reason, these radio spots are set to excerpts of a naked Misty Mundae from the Misty Mundae Euro Vixen Collection. (Not so inexplicable if you follow the parent studio trail.) They're a nice inclusion, but monotonous.
The sum result is a pair of films that are so bad, so corny, so misogynistic and lame that they should never work in a million years. But the frauleins are so fresh, so game, and so naked that it works.
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