Sexcula (1974)
By: J.R. McNamara on July 15, 2013 | Comments
Impulse Pictures | All Regions, NTSC | 4:3 | English DD 1.0 | 86 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: John Holbrook
Starring: Debbie Collins, Jamie Orlando, John Alexander, Tim Lowery, Bud Coal
Screenplay: David F. Hurry
Country: Canada
External Links
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It's a wonderful thing for film fans when a lost film is rediscovered, no matter how obscure it may have been. 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 its walls is her grandfather's diary, which details a series of 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 diary 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), not even with the assistance of a realistic sex doll that Orgie is constantly trying to have a go at. Finally, 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?

So obviously, a lost legendary porno film is never going to live up to expectations, but that's not to say that the usual trapping of 70s porn aren't here: terrible acting, cheesy dialogue, dreadful sets, and, well let's just say, sub-attractive people rooting. Don't expect the finely waxed landing strips of your girlfriend either as the girls in this film have bushes that could be used as dental floss in the middle of a muff diving expedition!

The acting is of a desperately low quality as well. Admittedly I am not expecting Oscar winning performances 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/scary quality of the porn slightly more bearable.

Unfortunately, the acting and sex aren't the only problematic elements within the film. The camerawork was occasionally sloppier than the headjobs, 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 have been appreciated. What is amazing though is that this camera issue isn't always immediately apparent, as the lighting of the sets is 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 to cut through the darkness for dramatic effect, but they fail tremendously.

It's not all bad, though. The soundtrack is a particular highlight, sounding like 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!

Tragically, that is about the only positive spin I can put on 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.
The Disc
Sourced from the one and only known film print in existence, the image is pretty poor, but that is not due to Impulse Pictures' transfer. The film itself looks like it was mostly shot in a basement with Dolphin torches for illumination. All things considered, the transfer is pretty good, with only occasional moments of print damage. To be fair, this is a 'lost' film, and one can't always expect a pristine hi-def clean up on a project such as this. 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.

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.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Bad acting, hairy arses, crappy wigs and substandard camerawork: yes, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 70s porn. Sexcula is something 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 is also, something that has to be seen to be believed... but not in a good way!
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