Monday, 16 May 2011

Schlock city: The Curious Dr Humpp (1969)

Inspired by H Writer, Haggered's And Now The Screening Starts posts, I had planned to write about The Curious Dr Humpp (La venganza del sexo) on Friday the 13th but unfortunately Blogger was down. The next Friday the 13th isn't till January, so I hope you'll forgive the indulgence in posting now about this awful Argentinian sexploitation movie, which opens with a canoodling couple being chloroformed before we jump to a lesbian couple getting it on. A drunk man leaving a club, a masturbating woman, a stripper in a jazz club and four dope-smokers are the next to be kidnapped by a bizarrely masked automaton in silver platform boots.

These 'latent nymphomaniacs' are subjects in a bizarre experiment conducted by the impassive Dr Humpp to uncover the key to human sexual experience, in part to preserve his own life. 'Can they stand another extraction?' the mad scientist asks his libidinous assistant (pictured). 'The girl can, she's still strong enough,' is the reply, 'that poor man's got nothing left now.'

The police and a journalist are soon on the doctor's trail but not before we're exposed to more titillating goings on, including a bizarre scene with the monster serenading the drugged test subjects in the laboratory's grounds. Weirder yet, Dr Humpp is revealed to be in thrall to another: a talking brain in a jar (director Emilio Vieyra is especially taken with bubbling lab ephemera, strategically placed to obscure the bumping and grinding).

Johnnysugar on IMDb comments that many of the slightly more explicit sex scenes were added by the film's US distributor, which goes some way to explaining the dubbed, English-language print's non-uniform feel, though many of the original's outdoor scenes look as if they were recorded on different, faded, stock. Utter rubbish, although the militaristic elements are intriguingly authentic and it does deliver all manner of remarkable dialogue, including the zinger: 'Sex dominates the world, and now I dominate sex!'

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