• Cries of Ecstasy, Blows Of Death/Invasion Of The Love Drones

    Released by: Something Weird Video/Pop Cinema
    Released on: February 13th, 2018.
    Director: Anthony Weber/The Sensory Man
    Cast: Sandi Carey, Uschi Digard, Michael Abbott, Eric Edwards, Joann Sterling, Jamie Gillis, Roxanne Brewer, Pete Dawson, Bree Anthony
    Year: 1973/1977
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Pop Cinema, in conjunction with Something Weird Video, presents a new series of exploitation double features in the form or their new series Racy Reels From The Something Weird Vault! Here’s a look at this installment…

    Cries Of Ecstasy, Blows Of Death:

    The first feature was directed by one Anthony Weber, a man with only one other known credit to his name – an adult film made in 1972 entitled Savage Connection which, according to the IMDB at least, shares quite a few cast members with this picture, a sci-fi action sleaze fest that goes under the dramatic moniker of Cries Of Ecstasy, Blows Of Death.

    The film is set in 2062 and begins when two buxom young women are wandering around in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Soon enough, they’re attacked by a group of paramilitary types riding around on dirt bikes. These hooligans have their way with the women but are then set upon by yet more guys, these ones driving a fairly bad ass Max Max style muscle car. The dirt bike gang is chased away, but one of the girls has had her throat slit.

    After this sequence, we head to a large inflatable dome complete with beanbag chairs and a chess set. Here Dala (top billed Sandi Carey) and her friend Kima (Kim Lu) enjoy a little alone time without the company of men to distract them. As they go at it atop a weird blanket made of yellow plastic, they seem unaware that just outside General Byron White (Michael Abbott) and his men are standing tall to protect their dome from another gang of desert bikers, these ones sporting bows and arrows. A fight ensues, and of course, there are casualties, but Byron survives. With the conflict behind him, he heads to a second inflatable dome nearby where he makes love to a woman named Hera (Sherri Mason).

    Eventually the muscle car guys return home to the dome inhabited by Dala and Kima but unfortunately, they bring bad news. Pollution and toxicity levels are so high that in just a few shots days, they’re all going to be dead. John (John Martin) plays chess while the others have a group grope, but this doesn’t last… another muscle car shows up, this time with a man named Able (Steve Bennett) inside accompanied by three female assistants (one of whom is Uschi Digard). They bust in on Hera and kill her, but then one of the women, a foxy deaf-mute warrior woman named Keisha (Dianne Bishop) makes a break for it. She runs into John and they have a kung-fu battle but then realize they have a mutual enemy and that they’re stronger together than apart. Before it’s all over more bad guys will show up, people will run around in gas masks, and a man asking for shelter for his pregnant girlfriend will be denied. The apocalypse is a very tough time indeed!

    You’ve got to give Weber credit for ambition. Clearly made with very little money, budgetary restraints don’t stop him from staging some interesting set pieces. The inflatable dome houses are weird enough but stand out and provide interesting visual contrast to the desert locations. We get some decent stunts on display throughout the film and the fight scenes are surprisingly well choreographed. Bill M. Ryusaki, who worked doing stunt work for loads of Hollywood projects like Big Trouble In Little China, Tango & Cash and Robocop 3 to name just a few, apparently helped to state the karate scenes in the film and, to his credit, this footage is far more convincing than you’d expect it to be. The garish costumes are also fun to look at and add some visual flair to the film.

    As far as the bump and grind quotient goes, the film isn’t all that erotic even if it is quite interesting on other levels. Most one of the admittedly attractive female stars gets down to her birthday suit at one point, but the direction in the sex scenes doesn’t seem interesting in trying to heighten passion or intensity. The fact that the movie is about the end of the world and the death of mankind is a bit of a boner killer. That said, it’s never a bad thing to see Sandi Carey or Uschi Digard doing their thing, even if both of them are underused here.

    Oh, also, the opening narration appears to be delivered by God, some there’s that too.

    Note that when compared to the DVD-r that Something Weird Video released years ago, the audio in the opening scene has been changed (likely in an attempt to change the movie enough to get a valid copyright on it). The music sounds the same but this new version has added dirt bike noises, a sort of ‘laser gun’ type sound and some pseudo-industrial noises over top that is not on the DVD-r. There’s also a slash noise added when the first blonde girl gets her throat slit in the opening scene. This isn’t just one or two sound effects, these are frequent and while they won’t necessarily take you out of the film, those that know the picture well will certainly notice this. There’s also a gunshot sound added when the muscle car guys come after the dirt bike guys.

    It’s also worth mentioning that there exists an alternate Italian release of the film that went under the title Sesso Delirio that incorporated footage from George A. Romero’s The Crazies in the opening scene in an attempt to explain how and why the apocalypse occurred in the first place. Understandably, none of that footage is found on this release (nor was it found on the aforementioned Something Weird Video DVD-r release).

    Invasion Of The Love Drones:

    Up next, 1977’s sci-fi sex fest Invasion Of The Love Drones, directed by ‘The Sensory Man!’ The film begins with some goofy narration in which we’re told we’re being taken on a trip into the erogenous zone or some such nonsense. Then we settle in New York City where George Rebus (Eric Edwards) is in bed with his wife (Joanna Sterling). He gets up to use the bathroom while she hears a report about aliens on the news. He’s zapped away and arrives naked inside a space ship where a voice tells him he’s going to be made into the primary drone, but not before he’s tested out in a three way with Arlana Blue and Lorraine Alraune.

    Now converted into a Love Drone, he’s sent back to Earth where his mission is to have sex with as many human women as possible. Why? Because the aliens that abducted him, the Orgasms, feed off of sexual energy. So the more women he fucks, the more they get to eat. First he converts his girlfriend into a drone and sends her out to work with a photographer while he winds up volunteering at a sex clinic. Soon enough, those in charge of the clinic realize that something is up with George and so they call in some Feds to investigate – but when the Feds themselves are turned into drones, Dr. Femme (Viveca Ash) takes it upon herself to stop the Love Drones from taking over the planet.

    There’s not much to the plot here, it’s all pretty silly, but Invasion Of The Love Drones is entertaining enough in a goofy, comedic sort of way. Eric Edwards is his typically likeable self here, going about serving as many women as he’s able. His performance is better than the script probably deserves and it’s amusing to see him speak in a stilted alien robot voice when he’s in drone mode. Supporting performances from Sterling, Blue and Alruaune are fine and Viveca Ash is pretty good as the stalwart Dr. Femme. Supporting appearances from Bree Anthony, Jennifer Jordan and the immortal Jamie Gillis add to the fun.

    The effects are all fairly terrible but the design behind them is reasonably ambitious. This was clearly made fast and cheap, but hey, you get a dick-shaped spaceship, wonky dialogue, funny ‘space costumes’ that could only have come from the seventies and a decent cast having fun with the material.

    Note that the version of Invasion Of The Love Drones presented on this disc is the softcore version which runs 58:33 versus the hardcore version that Alpha Blue Archives put out that clocks in at 1:10:42. The liner notes indicate that the hardcore version was shot using inserts. In addition to removing all of the hardcore footage, it should also be noted that the opening narration is longer on the ABA release but there’s more footage of the ‘dick ship’ floating about in space on the Pop Cinema release.


    Cries Of Ecstasy, Blows Of Death is presented on Blu-ray framed at 1.78.1 widescreen in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer that’s been sourced from what we can assume is a 35mm print. In fact, we can assume it’s the same 35mm print used for the Something Weird DVD-r because it shows the same print damage in the same spots – and it’s entirely possible there aren’t any alternate elements available for the film. It’s not in particularly good shape but who knows what sort of elements are even available for the title outside of this source. If you can get past the print damage the color reproduction isn’t terrible. Detail really fluctuates a fair bit from scene to scene but this looks like it has to do with some quick and dirty photography more than anything else. Compression could be a lot better as this and the two bonus features are crammed onto on BD25 (this feature takes up 10GBs of space), though thankfully they’re shot. The picture is free of any edge enhancement or noise reduction. The old DVD-r release had a periodic “SWV” bug in the lower right hand corner of the frame, thankfully that doesn’t happen here. The framing on the new transfer is definitely tighter on the top and bottom but does add significantly more info to the left and right sides of the frame. The title card has an added line of text that reads ‘Restored edition © 2016 Pop Cinema.’

    Here are some quick comparison shots to show the differences:

    Invasion Of The Love Drones takes up just under 9 GBs of space and it actually looks quite a bit cleaner than the main attraction. Again, there’s print damage to be sure but it’s less intrusive here than on the feature attraction. The compression here is far from ideal, but there are no noticeable issues with edge enhancement or noise reduction. Colors look decent and both detail and texture are considerably improved over the DVD release that came out via Alpha Blue Archives. The AVC encoded 1080p image is framed at 1.78.1, while, again, the old DVD is 1.33.1 fullframe and tape sourced. Not surprisingly, this release looks quite a bit better but again, there are framing differences as there’s more info on the left and right here than on the old 1.33.1 transfer. Again, the title card has an added line of text that reads ‘Restored edition © 2016 Pop Cinema.’

    Here are some quick comparison shots to show the differences:

    Cries Of Ecstasy, Blows Of Death is given a Dolby Digital Mono sound mix, there are no alternate language options or subtitles provided nor is there a lossless audio option. The expected hiss is present here and there but generally speaking the levels are at least properly balanced and the dialogue is clear enough to understand. Surprisingly enough, Invasion Of The Love Drones gets an LPCM 2.0 Mono track. It sounds a little crisper than the first feature with slightly better depth to it.

    The main extra on the disc is the inclusion of a third feature entitled Double-D Experiment, which was previously released by After Hours Cinema under the title Dr. Dildo’s Secret which is presented in (interlaced) standard definition, taking up 2.6GBs of space on the disc running sixty-four minutes in length.

    In the film, Australian born porn star Pete Dawson plays the titular Dr. Andre Dildo, a mad scientist whose favorite past time seems to be creating women that he can have sex with. His friend Ernie (Tommy Toole) wonders why Dildo is always with a different woman ever time he seems him, and never the same girl twice! He finds out the truth behind Dildo’s clandestine activities after he sneaks into his home and finds his laboratory where four naked women are essentially tied to the wall looking at the very least unconscious. Dildo comes home and explains to Ernie just what it is he’s up to and how easy it is to create love slaves with the push of a button. In fact, Dildo is nice enough to create a woman just for Ernie’s pleasure – before you know it, he’s fooling around with a fox made just for him, a fox named Linda (Roxanne Brewer). It turns out that the reason Dildo does this is because he’s actually allergic to flesh and blood females. There’s also a hot blonde nurse that masturbates, weird scenes of women being grown from fetuses in jars, cutaways to wonky sci-fi ‘effects’ work, and some bizarre stuffed animals and skulls. It was clearly made with very little money but it’s completely off the wall and as such, sixty-four minutes well wasted.

    Additionally, the disc includes newly created trailers for Cries Of Ecstasy, Invasion Of The Love Drones, Female Chauvinists and Hot Connections as well as animated menus and chapter selection. As this is a combo pack release we also get a DVD disc including standard definition versions of each movie and the same extras as are found on the Blu-ray disc. Accompanying the two discs is a full color insert booklet containing an essay on the two feature attractions by Jeremy Richey that focus on Cries’ unusually ambitious nature and genre mish-mashing – it makes for a good read.

    The Final Word:

    The Something Weird Video/Pop Cinema Blu-ray release of Cries Of Ecstasy, Blows Of Death pairs the feature with two lesser but still quite interesting attractions and presents them in as decent a shape as we’re likely to get unless some eccentric millionaire comes along and does some sort of intense frame by frame restoration. There isn’t much in the way of extras and the presentations are what they are, but having these films on Blu-ray, even in the compromised form we get them here, well for some of us that’s pretty great.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    And some caps from the standard definition presentation of Dr. Dildo's Secret!

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Toyboy's Avatar
      Toyboy -
      The guy in the cook's outfit in front of the map looks like he's the love child of you and Tolch.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      You leave our love children out of this!
    1. chriszilla's Avatar
      chriszilla -
      Thanks for the review, and for the screen cap comparisons, Ian! It looks like the Blu represents a noticeable upgrade over what has been released before. Hopefully on future releases they'll splurge for a BD50, to give the films a bit more breathing room.

      Your line, "the fact that the movie is about the end of the world and the death of mankind is a bit of a boner killer" cracked me up!