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Suza Lambert Bowser
Alien Sex Party is a comic frenzy filled with sexual innuendo, music, science fiction, and all combinations thereof. The film takes place in an adult video store on Christmas Eve and features Joe (the befuddled owner who is terrified of his own merchandise), Adam (an employee who spouts his indignation on all subjects), and Tina (a woman whose unabashed promiscuity lends itself well to the leadership of the three porno pioneers). There are also dancing security guards, mad bombers, Star Trek nerds, and porn-obsessed freaks all in the presence of musical numbers, pornstar cameos, and appearances by dildo-festooned executive producer Moby all proving that sex is not crime and that the Christmas spirit can be found anywhere, even at Amazing Video. Written by
I have seen Alien Sex Party at several screenings. I was at the "crew only" screening at Show World last year.(Clever- as the film was originally titled: `Porno') I also have a bootleg vhs along with the dvd. I say all of this because, now, I have seen the film more times than I normally would before writing a review. So, now, I have begun to think this film is oddly brilliant. Something more than a comedy- sexploitation film. I know that this is like saying I saw something deep in Meatballs or Porky's, but trust me, there is more to this film than executive producer Moby with dildos strapped to his head.
Trying to describe this plot in detail is like trying to describe the plot of Richard Lester's The Bedsitting Room (From which the film takes inspiration along with a myriad glop of other absurdists.)
The setting is `Amazing Video', an adult video store on Christmas eve. Richard lester, Monty Python, and Clerks homages are splattered about like KY jelly. Customers come into to purchase copious amounts of the afore mentioned lubricant or to peddle `kitty porn'(feline). There are dildo thieves, mad bombers and singing security guards.
There is Joe (Joe Smith) the owner of the store. Joe is to porn like a fish is to a bicycle. At first I thought that Joe was acting. Joe's character is one you either hate or love. He feels like an oddball actor then you realize, when you watch the `making of', that he may actually be this oddball. His character is very reminiscent of the character that Adam Sandler plays in Punch Drunk Love but in that film we know that Adam Sandler is acting, in this we can't be sure. It's as if Joe-real life- was the inspiration for the character in Punch Drunk Love. Joe is a unique, slightly stunted, possibly insane, but complete and enthralling individual.
Tina is the sexy store's manager. Tina is the most nonjudgmental, open minded, female character I've seen in film. She has managed to have every type of sexual encounter from her cousin to her dog to her brother and by the end of the film, convince me, that it is all OK. At one point, as Tina is about to perform oral sex on her cousin, she happens to mention that she had a tryst with her brother and is surprised by her cousin's ire. And by that point we are on her side. Adam plays her beleaguered ex boyfriend/cousin. who represents the typical everyman. Adam is the mirror for the viewer. His responses to the happenings of the evening would be in line with the normal audience response to the happenings on the film. He is upset at every one of Tina's revelations. but this only serves to be the mirror of our thoughts had we not been enlightened by tina's grace. My favorite moment is when Adam looks directly into the camera and states: `George Lucas should publicly apologize, then commit suicide!' Amen brother.
The film really takes off when Dean and Christian they perform the number: `You Can Have Sex With Anything You Want'. It is the bastard son of Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective. (Sorry Robert Downey Jr. this is better than your pale vanity remake.)
There are singing corpses, horses, rabbis and priests. The song sticks in your head and you find your self singing it at the bodega the next day. At one point three punks in their underwear storm in. They call themselves Ricco's Roughnecks(a reference to Starship Troopers?!). They literally break into the song `F*ck Christmas, F*ck you!'
Are you still wondering what the plot is? So am I. Does it matter?
There is a wonderful reverse Wizard of Oz sequence where Joe, as his twin brother Harry, Tina and Adam go to a store to buy some pixie stix. THE STORE IS THE ACTUAL STORE FROM CLERKS!
The film goes from color to black and white and we enter this store to find Brian Ohalloran reprising his role from Clerks! With the same prop sign which reads: `If you plan to shoplift, let us know.' It is as if this store rests outside of the film in which it was created.
This is Godardian and post modern in its referencing. It is a pop reference and esoteric at the same moment. Look at it this way, you have a film set mostly in one location, in this case a porn store. You have a limited budget. It is a comedy. Clerks would be an obvious comparison, one couldn't avoid it. An obvious dismissal too-`Oh its just Clerks in a porn store.'-if the filmmakers weren't way ahead of us. They liberally reference Clerks before we have the chance to. Then they top it off by having the actual Clerks locations and actors. At that point I am forced to concede the cleverness instead of dismissing it. I have started to see the film like Cremaster 3. The filmmakers took over a space much like Mathew Barney took over MOMA and recontextualised everything. They turned it into the set of Barney Miller. They turned it into a dance party. They turned it into a punk rock club. They subvert the paradigms of everything they present.
They even subvert their own references to CLERKS! At the end, there is an homage to Mr. Barney's film. The filmmakers present their characters from the film in perfect `Pagentesque' form by parading all of the characters once again during the Christmas dinner. There is even a giant celery who was not even in the film but he is in a video which is an extra on the dvd.
The filmmaker's world has spilled into other parts of the filmmaker's world. We know that Moby is friends with Bjork. Was this a little reference to her significant other? I think so.
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