A group of castaways wash ashore on a deserted island in this Italian sex/gore movie. They are unaware that a sex-crazed radioactive monster is also on the island. He attacks and rapes ... See full summary »
A group of castaways wash ashore on a deserted island in this Italian sex/gore movie. They are unaware that a sex-crazed radioactive monster is also on the island. He attacks and rapes several of the women, who die horrible deaths because his sperm is radioactive. The survivors must find a way to either escape the island or kill the monster. Written by
At the very end of the film the surviving couple is waving to a passing steamship from their rowboat (who supposedly "made it to the shipping lanes" even though you can see the waves lapping up on the beach at far camera right). Just as the scene cuts to a long-distance shot of the rescuing ship, you can see the head of a crew person who has been holding the rowboat steady pop up from behind the far side of their boat. See more »
Something strange is going on in PORNO HOLOCAUST. No it's not a particularly "good" movie, but it sure is an interesting one. Here is a film who's content overwhelms the form -- It's not a skin flick in the traditional sense of the word (though it does feature explicit sex scenes) and it's not quite a horror film either (though it does feature a giant, mutated radioactive Penis Monster zombie who is responsible for several deaths). It's exploitation for sure, but what the heck is going on here? Mixing horror and sex is nothing new, but you can usually remove the sex & still have the horror (i.e. all those "covered" versions of Spanish horror films with Paul Naschy that do away with the overt sexuality), and you can also have sex films the involve horror themes but are just excuses for thematic porn interludes (see EJACULA or INTERCOURSE WITH A VAMPIRE if you need more info). The two can usually be separated out without much fuss or detriment to either end.
Leave it to Joe D'amato to weave the two together like a tapestry: Pull one string loose and the whole work falls apart. I had the good fortune to find a German DVD release of this film that had both a "softcore/not rated" version and the "hardcore/X-rated version", and was fascinated to discover that if you omit the explicit sex from PORNO HOLOCAUST you end up with a pretty limp tropical horror flick with no real purpose. Leave in the porno and this emerges as a pretty twisted commentary on race, sex, native taboo lust, science run amok, (sic) Jungal Trash, the dangers of nuclear weapons (is this a message movie too??), nature striking back, and a hint of Beauty And The Beast thrown in for good measure. It's in poor taste to be sure, but then again this is one of those films that is all about being in poor taste, and if you're stupid enough to be offended by it that's not his fault.
What's really weird about PORNO HOLOCAUST is that the porn on it's own isn't very erotic, and the horror on it's own isn't too horrifying. Yet add them together and this becomes one of the most potent low-rent sub tropical exploitation films in history. The scenes it is most notorious for have no substance without the X-rated content, and diluting the porn dilutes the horror. Somehow D'amato and writer/star George Eastman managed to come up with a genuinely original film that is absolutely devoid of any original ideas, except to weave the two themes together in a way that makes them amount to more than the sum of their parts. The film also has an odd atmosphere to it that is quite compelling, the girls are all delightful young strumpets who seem to be enjoying themselves (the movie must have been a riot to make), and the Penis Monster zombie has a kind of sad pathos about him that is kind of unique: He was a victim too, like many of the slasher killers driven insane & homicidal by cruelty. Someone posed the question of just who or what the monster is, and I think that like Deodato's similarly titled CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST the idea here might be that the monsters are us for having polluted his nice little island with nuclear fallout.
Who knows. I don't even know if this is a good film, but it is an interesting one, and a lesson of how sometimes content can overwhelm the form of a work in ways that defeat the purpose of it existing. Porno fans won't much go for the sex parts, and horror fans won't be too impressed by the zombie plot. But when thrown together it makes an oddly compelling juxtaposition, and serves as further proof that Joe D'amato knew exactly what he was doing when he made his films, even if sometimes he leaves it up to us to figure out what it all means. I haven't a clue this time, and that's a positive.
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