Friday, November 27, 2015

THE CURIOUS DR. HUMP (1969)



I first heard about this movie in Scott S. Philips excellent book Unsafe on Any Screen: Cinematic Sleaze and Cheese. Upon reading the synopsis, I knew I had to hunt this damn thing down. Thankfully, we live in the age of YouTube—which pretty much makes “hunting a movie down” as easy as click-click-click. And thankfully again, some asshole didn’t flag the movie and get it removed. Yes, The Curious Dr. Humpp is on YouTube for any of you inclined to watch it—which I hope you will be after this review.
     The Curious Dr. Humpp is an Argentinian horror movie with a batshitcrazy plot, and sprinkled with bits of softcore porn footage inserted by some horny American’s starring sexploitation actresses Kim Pope and Kim Lewid. This definitely provides the film with its high point—especially seeing as we get some good ol’ sixties tits within the first two minutes, and some crazy sixties beaver within three-and-a-half! So yeah boys (and girls, if you’re into that sorta thing), get your fap machines ready!
     Anyways, the movie begins with a couple making out (seems like this movie wants to get to the goods—and fast)—when they are suddenly waylaid by a monster in a dime store mask who promptly chloroforms them. Then, two dudes and two chicks are busy getting it on in the privacy of their own home when the monster makes like the Christian Right and invades their bedroom to cease the proceedings—once again, chloroforming them. We then see Mr. Dime Store Mask enter a bar (where no one seems to give a shit about his presence) where he sits and watches a woman dance and strip. She too meets the chloroform rag. We then meet our hero George (Ricardo Bauleo), a reporter who is investigating the kidnappings and aiding Inspector Benedict (Hector Biuchet) in finding the kidnapper. We, of course, already know who it is: Dr. Humpp (Aldo Barbero), a mad scientist who is kidnapping people and holding them in his mansion—who also happens to be controlling the dime store monsters. To what purpose? So he can inject them with a sexual enhancement drug to make them fuck their brains out—which, he believes, holds the key to eternal life (because that’s how it works)! Will our hero be able to stop this looney scientist (who, I might add, takes advice from a brain in a jar with a bad Italian accent) before more people fall victim to increased libidos?
     One thing that needs to be addressed about The Curious Dr. Humpp is the editing. Sure, low-budget films aren’t going to win any awards for editing—but Jesus Christ, the editing in this makes it seem like the scenes aren’t even over, like the editor was blind and just cut whenever and wherever and thought “No fucks given.” It would be fine if the editing served a purpose—like to underscore a dream-like feel or something—but the movie plays it with a poker face. So, the
editing is simply inept—probably done by someone’s drunken uncle on a Thanksgiving weekend.
     Another technical aspect that needs to be addressed is the cinematography, which is very good and provides a nice balance between the shoddy editing. Clearly Anibal Gonzalez Paz knew what he was doing and was determined to do his best, even if the movie in question was a low-budget sexploitation flick. Kudos to you, sir, and I’m glad to see you are still alive and well.
     Other than those two aspects, the film is pretty standard fare—aside from the outlandish plot of course. And while I’m not big on distributors manipulating films in order to make money, The Curious Dr. Humpp benefits from such manipulation: had the softcore footage not been added, the movie would amount to little more than B-movie dreck with an goofy plot and a brain in a jar. The characters do little more than provide fodder for Dr. Humpp’s experiments—which is pretty much the point of this film, but by God these characters are flat. Aside from their names, I couldn’t tell you one thing about them other than the bare minimum that is presented on screen. George is a reporter and a heterosexual. Inspector Benedict is a detective. Dr. Humpp is a mad scientist who espouses dubious science and engages in traditional mad scientist speeches/antics.  Rachel is a dancer and a woman, and becomes George’s love interest in, literally, a matter of seconds—right before he stuffs Dr. Humpp’s horny assistant, Enfemera. That’s it. I mean, shit, they could have at least added a scene or two where the characters engage in some sort of pastime—like reading or listening to music. But no. That would be asking too much. (But then, maybe they did, but the drunken editor sliced it out and left it on the cutting room floor.)
     And speaking of George stuffing Enfemera, I suspect the writer wrote that bit after a night of heavy drinking because any semblance of logic goes sailing right out the window—along with the editor’s cuts! George has gotten loose from his bonds (courtesy of Rachel) and is about to make his escape, when Enfemera wanders into the room. They talk for a bit, then set about doing the naked horizontal dance. Afterwards—sadly, we get no money shot—Enfemera re-secures George and tells him she’s going to help him escape. Okay Georgie, why in the hell are you going to trust a woman you just met and whom you know is working for the man who kidnapped you? Don’t you think saying “Fuck this broad!” and getting the hell out of there would be the most logical choice? But then, wait, I’m asking for logic in a movie of this sort. Oops!
     But aside from the bland and idiotic aspects, the movie is still entertaining enough. And it is always wonderful seeing women who look like women (not anorexic, cardboard cutouts) bearing it all. And hell, even the few lesbian scenes are pretty erotic—definitely the type of stuff I would have whacked it to when I was eleven.
     All in all, The Curious Dr. Humpp is worthwhile as a one-time viewing experience. It’s just not something anyone aside from the most hardcore fan of sexploitation films would consider adding to their library—unless fare containing dime store monsters chloroforming bushy sixties beaver is an essential addition. 
Coming soon: Dr. Humpp's Titty Twister Bingo!
   

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