Tuesday, January 20, 2009
THE GIRL FROM STARSHIP VENUS (1975)
THE SEXPLORER, Derek Ford’s softcore try at sci-fi, is not all that sexy despite an abundance of nudity from gorgeous German leading lady Monika Ringwald, but it’s brisk and amusing enough to warrant a look (Ford’s next was the hardcore DIVERSIONS). After touring the stateside drive-in circuit as THE GIRL FROM STARSHIP VENUS in 1976 and ‘77, a VHS release from Private Screenings followed in the 1980s, but with no official DVD release in sight it’s an elusive title today. Film opens with shots of planets and stars, with a voiceover that boldly goes exactly where you expect it to: “Space…the infinite frontier. This is the log of the Starship Venus.” Said starship looks like a flying pinball and probably is one. Arriving in London to conduct research on Earth’s inhabitants, it touches down in a puddle in Piccadilly Circus (“We’ve landed in unchartered waters!” proclaims the commander) and releases an alien explorer who transforms into a full-size, fully nude blonde female. Quickly clothed by a couple of saucy sauna workers who think she's a mugging victim, the Venusian proceeds to wander London’s porn shops, massage parlors and 24-hour laundries asking questions mostly about death, food and “refueling,” but no one seems to know what she’s talking about. That never stopped most men I know from trying to score anyway, and one guy who attempts the old in-out gets zapped across the room when the starship commander puts a protective shield in the Sexplorer’s vagina. A porno shop owner tries unsuccessfully to hire her on as one of his erotic models. In a strip joint someone buys her a drink, which turns her green after she consumes it and causes her to grow a big green Afro. She eventually befriends Allan (Andrew Grant), a handsome male dressmaker who mistakenly feeds her whenever she asks to be “refueled.” He doesn’t find out what she really means until they go to bed together. Low comedy for sure, but at least it hits its mark.