Judge Gordon Sullivan wants to save the '60s from lame movies.
It's Her Duty to Shake That Booty!
I hate Mike Myers. Sure, he's got comedic talent, but those '60s spy films he so successfully lampooned in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and its sequels were better left to the dustbin of history. He also didn't need to bring back words like "shag" or that obnoxious accent. However, the main reason I hate him is because without him and his Austin Powers franchise, we wouldn't have third rate knock-offs like Cloak and Shag Her. I mean really, do we need a spoof of a spoof of a genre that wasn't very serious to begin with? I think not.
Facts of the Case
International woman of mystery April Flowers (Julian Wells, Spiderbabe) and her sidekick Basil Shagalittle (Paul Dean) must travel from 1969 to 2019 to stop the evil Dr. Mean (Darian Caine, Lust for Dracula). Dr. Mean has created a clone of herself, called Bitters (C.J. DiMarsico, Spiderbabe), who she plans to douse with love potion to enthrall the masses so that she can send them to yuppie training camps. She hopes to forever wipe out the threat of free love the flower-power generation represents. April and Basil will also face Kung Pow the gorilla, Nurse Notsonice (A.J. Kahn, Screaming Dead), and Sid the Mangler (Shane Annigans, Spiderbabe) if they're going to stop Dr. Mean. Will April be able to save the future for the free-love generation? Do you even need to ask?
It's made by Seduction Cinema, so I knew to expect loads of lesbian loving. My hope was that there would be an even balance between the female flesh and the plot/spoof. I was even willing to settle for 60/40 in favor of the ladies. Instead, it's more like 15 percent "plot" (I use the term in its loosest sense), and 85 percent "shagadelic action" (Again, using shagadelic in the most generic way). This wouldn't be so bad if either the plot or the "action" were any good, but both fail utterly.
I'm going to paint for you the tamest picture I can of what you're in store for with this film. Let's imagine, for whatever reason, you have a strong desire to see these women romp merrily with one another (because, as I said, you can't really watch this one for the plot). As you expect, the screen fills with ample girl-on-girl action, much to your delight. Just as you've gotten used to the ladies' lovely features, the film will cut to a man in a dinosaur costume, or a 450-pound man with an eye patch, or a kung-fu gorilla. Whatever mood you're trying to establish with the Sapphic sexiness is instantly undercut by these dregs of masculinity. Once, it would have been an amusing diversion, but the consistent nature of the interruptions makes it very difficult to enjoy the copious nudity. Really, it would be better to spend your money on the adult magazine of your choice, put it about 6 inches from your face, and then have a friend randomly punch you in the head through the magazine. This would simulate, on a budget, the sexiness of this film.
The performances in Cloak and Shag Her range from tolerably good to cringe inducing. Julian Wells as April Flowers represents the best this film has to offer. She's equally at home delivering the junk dialogue and the gyrating with her cast mates. Paul Dean's Basil is obnoxious, but he seems to be enjoying himself. Special mention has to go to Shane Annigans for playing Sid with a mixture of Russian and Scottish accents; truly the height of parody. The rest of the cast don't stand out too much, with the exception of Darian Caine as Dr. Mean. She can't give a line reading to save her life. She looks perpetually confused or bored, and she's awkward once she shucks her clothes.
This movie was never going to look great on DVD, but Seduction Cinema does a decent job with the transfer. The whole affair looks like the barrel-bottom production that it is, but it could look a lot worse. The audio does justice to the swingin' soundtrack, but sometimes loses the dialogue in the process (not that that's a tragedy). The lack of a scene-selection menu makes it harder to find your favorite scenes, making it harder to inflict the pain of this movie on others.
Befitting a film left in the vaults for over five years, there is very little extra material included with Cloak and Shag Her. The main extra is a commentary with William Hellfire, Michael Raso, and John Fedele, who are the director, producer, and cinematographer respectively. These guys seem to be having fun, giving out historical and technical info, while also ribbing the movie here and there. If you really must know more about the film, this is the place to go. The behind-the-scenes documentary is like watching the film with fart jokes substituted for nudity. Most of the cast gives lame answers to simple questions about the production, and then proceed to over-explain the threadbare plot. Pretty much a waste of time.
Also included in this two-disc edition is the film's soundtrack. Divorced from the annoying green-screen visuals, this music holds up pretty well as homage to the guitar sounds of the era. It's not great listening on its own, but it would serve well as the soundtrack to a shagadelic party.
The included trailers, numbering 36, are actually pretty funny. Most of the Seduction movies seem to have enough plot/parody potential to fill a three-minute trailer. Plus, the breast-to-ugly-guys ratio is a lot better in the trailers.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
It's got soft-core lesbian antics. If you must see that kind of thing and find no other source, this film will give you some. Assuming, of course, that you can wade through the gorilla and the fat guy. You've been warned.
Don't bother. It's not funny enough to be a comedy, and not sexy enough to work as an erotic film.
Guilty. All involved are sentenced to a life without shagging.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Seduction Cinema
• Commentary with Director William Hellfire, Producer Michael Raso, and Cinematographer John Fedele
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