• Femmes De Sade/Water Power



    Released by: Alpha France

    Released on: N/A

    Director: Alex De Renzy/Shaun Costello

    Cast: John Leslie, Ken Turner, Annette Haven/Jamie Gillis, Jeanne Silver, C.J. Laing

    Year: 1976/1976

    The Movies:


    A double feature of twisted seventies XXX roughies from Alpha France? Yep! Read on!


    FEMMES DE SADE:


    Alex De Renzy’s notorious Femmes De Sade begins when a gigantic dude named Rocky De Sade (played by an uncredited Ken Turner who also pops up in the Mitchell Brothers’ Sodom And Gomorrah) is let out of prison. He and a fellow ex-con, Joey (Joey Silvera), also released from prison hop in a car with Joey’s gal pal (Abigail Clayton) and head to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Once they’re there, Rocky beats them both up and gives the poor gal a serious raping.


    With that out of the way, Rocky heads into San Francisco to get some kicks. Once he’s there he decides to play around with some hookers, though Rocky tends to play rough with his toys, usually breaking them. In one of the film’s more infamous scenes, Rocky blows himself and then tries to force a poor prostitute to do the same to herself, forcing her to bend in ways that no one should ever have to bend. Eventually the local sex workers understandably have enough of Rocky’s behavior and so at a smut shop run by John Leslie (who has one of the weirdest scenes of his career here where we see him made up in makeup to appear Chinese having a three way in a hot tub with two Asian beauties), who continuously fantasizes about the female patrons of his store. Eventually, after Rocky pays a visit to the store, they decide to trap the monstrous rapist at a kinky sex party and get their revenge.


    Rough, tough and kinky this is one for the history books, particularly once the victims decide to get their revenge at the party. Without wanting to spoil the film’s climactic finale, let it suffice to say that in its uncut form (as it is presented on this DVD from Alpha France – take note, the domestic release from Alpha Blue Archives is definitely cut) it’s pretty strong stuff that breaks almost every taboo it can.


    Of course, none of this would matter so much if the cast weren’t game and thankfully Ken Turner turns out to be incredible as the film’s sole antagonist. Lurking from one seedy San Francisco location to the next (de Renzy’s work as a documentary filmmaker shows in these scenes and the movie gives us a great look at the seedy side of seventies San Francisco) he’s just a completely weird presence, the fact that he blows himself on camera just adding to his already strange vibe. He fits the role of the cruel and sadistic Rocky perfectly and if his performance is sometimes so over the top as to be hammy, well, that’s part and parcel with some of this stuff. John Leslie is also good here, likeable as always and obviously having a good time with the material, while Silvera isn’t given as much to do. But what about the ladies? Abigail Clayton is beautiful here, as is a young Annette Haven while appearances from Mimi Morgan, Leslie Bovee and Linda Wong are also quite welcome.

    Ultimately this one turns out to be pretty memorable, a thoroughly bizarre mix of pornography and plot with one of the most memorably messed up male leads you can name in all of adult film. De Renzy churned out a few interesting films in his time, but Femmes De Sade takes the cake as his most remarkably disturbed.


    WATER POWER:


    In the role he'll always be remembered for, the late, great Jamie Gills (star of Radley Metzger's The Opening Of Misty Beethoven and about a million other porno films) gives what has to be his most intense (or at the very least his most disturbing) performance of his long and varied adult film career. Though the credits on some prints were altered to give Deep Throat's Gerard Damiano props for directorial duties, this quickie-sickie has the look and feel of actual director Shaun Costello's work all over it.


    Gillis plays a man who, after witnessing an enema based live sex show in scuzzy Times Square, becomes obsessed with 'cleaning out' women. He soon begins a rampage wherein he breaks into womens’ homes and rapes them and gives them enemas. That's pretty much it. The more he becomes obsessed with it, the rougher and tougher the sex scenes get and the version included in this set leaves very little to the imagination – though it is cut in a few spots here and there (more on that in a bit)


    In addition to Jamie Gillis the film also features Marlene Willoughby, C. J. Laing, Sharon Mitchell, Gloria Leonard, and infamous amputee porno starlet 'Long' Jeanne Silver (though she is wearing an appendage in her scene where she plays the unfortunate 'patient' named Pamela – the girl Gillis watches get cleansed that sets all of this in motion).


    While it follows the ideas of Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver fairly closely at times (and also goes so far as to borrow quite heavily from the soundtrack of the film, De Palma’s Sisters too!), this is very much a unique animal in and of itself. While it is a fiercely relentless and quite depraved movie, it's got loads of sick seventies atmosphere to spare and you can almost feel the sweat and dirt of the inner city on your skin as it plays out. Gillis gets so into his role that at times he is very frightening, talking to himself at times, keeping a strange journal of his exploits, cutting and pasting make shift pictures of various girls into porno magazines, and raping his way through the movie with all the subtlety of a train wreck.


    Financed by members of the infamous Gambino Crime Family of New York, Waterpower follows Gills on a one man enema rampage that was loosely based on the true story of a man named Michael Kenyon who forced enemas onto some unlucky college students at the University of Illinois over a ten year period stretching from 1965 until he graduated in 1969 as an accountant - go figure. He moved around the country working for the IRS and wherever he was stationed, enema bandit attacks would occur. When he returned to Illinois in 1974 he went on a bit of a spree and it was at this point that the cops finally nabbed him. Frank Zappa wrote a song about it entitled The Illinois Enema Bandit which can be found on the album Zappa In New York.


    According to the film's director, this movie was a big hit in Germany where it was released with the expulsion scenes intact under the alternate title of Schpritz. Who knows what that says about German porn fans, but for some reason the alternate title is really amusing. The director also has a quick cameo role as a police officer in one scene and can be spotted working away behind a typewriter. The marketing material for this one makes it look a lot more erotic than it really is, but there's no denying that the film has oodles and oodles of fucked up entertainment value thanks to an utterly messed up concept, some excellent dialogue, and Gillis' through the roof performance!


    But yeah – it’s cut. The operation scene is missing some dialogue bits, mostly – the director himself
    had this to say about this version of the movie:

    “I can only repeat what I've said already, that I am not responsible for any release of Waterpower now in existence. I have written extensively about this in FILMRAGE, if you have access. The ridiculously long version was created out of out takes, added to the film by the same mafioso morons who thought putting Gerry Damiano's name on it was a great idea. The Alpha France version was transferred by Frances Mischkind in Paris, using a pre-edited 35MM negative in remarkable condition, that was found in Switzerland. It is Mischkind's understanding that the editing had been done because of legal problems the film was having, which is certainly not surprising considering the subject matter and graphic presentation. Most of what is missing in the French version is dialogue, which does seem a bit strange, but my guess is that someone was given the job of taking ten minutes out of the film, and that person, who spoke little or no English, simply removed footage at random, rendering dialogue scenes in the film confusing and meaningless, not that they weren't already. My guess is about six months before the new version, which will be as close to the original as I can get it, will be released. Pink Flamingos, the porn sub of Another World Entertainment in Copenhagen, will be releasing it.”


    So until that promised definitive release makes its way to market (this was promised a few years ago – the release seems to be in limbo at the time of this writing), this version is the best one out there in terms of picture quality, but sadly it is missing enough dialogue to alter the impact of a few key scenes. It also presents a few scenes in re-edited version for some reason, which affects the flow of the film. You can read a very thorough listing of the differences between this version and the longer version
    here.

    Video/Audio/Extras:


    Both films are presented in their original fullframe aspect ratio taken from sources that were evidently in very nice shape. All other DVD versions of Water Power so far have seemingly been taken from rough looking VHS sources, so to see the film in good quality as we do here is quite impressive and it makes a world of difference. Scenes that were previously dark and murky looking to the point of being almost unwatchable are now looking very good indeed. Femmes De Sade also looks great – both films show very little wear and tear, there’s not much print damage at all, and boast good colors as well.


    Dolby Digital Mono audio options for both movies are provided in English and French with optional French subtitles. The English tracks are fine, there aren’t any serious issues with hiss or distortion and you can follow the dialogue without any clarity issues creeping into the mix.


    Extras are slim, limited to some static menus and trailers for a few other Alpha France titles available on DVD.


    The Final Word:

    It's a shame that Water Power is cut as it is here, as it does affect the movie but it's hard to complain to much about the video presentation which is miles above any other version currently out there. The disc is still worth getting, not just for the solid Water Power transfer but for the completely uncut version of the equally messed up Femmes De Sade, which also looks great here.

























































    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Todd Jordan's Avatar
      Todd Jordan -
      I'll be reading this one later. Awesome.
    1. Barry M's Avatar
      Barry M -


      Is that Seinfeld?