Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy (1976)

by Alec "Clean cup! Clean cup!" Cizak

When my dad finally got with it in 1983 and bought a VCR, he joined a local video store (this was before Blockbuster, when the video stores were owned by somebody who lived in town and Star Wars and Blade Runner had six week waiting lists because the owners of these stores were too damn cheap to buy more than one copy of each movie) and rented some flicks. For my brothers and me, because the waiting list for Star Wars was so long, he brought us one of several Star Wars rip-offs, the Gil Gerard Buck Rogers movie that was really just the pilot episode of the TV series. We watched that stupid fucking movie over and over again for six months, wishing like hell we were actually watching Star Wars. My dad also brought back a copy of Alice in Wonderland, an X-rated musical version of Lewis Carroll’s book(s). He and a family friend hooked up their VCRs and copied both movies. The copy of Alice in Wonderland took on mythic qualities among my brothers and me. Whenever the parents were gone, we would search all over the house in attempts to find it. When I was in the sixth grade, my dad accidentally left the film in the VCR after watching it with some friends. Watching that movie, at the glorious age of twelve, was a pivotal moment in the evolution of my libido.

Alice is played by Kristine DeBell, a Playboy Playmate who I guess got in trouble with old Hugh Hefner, as he didn’t like his girls debasing themselves by doing stuff like being nude for public consumption. Or maybe he didn’t like seeing other dudes fuck his women. Maybe Hef wasn’t the Napoleon of the Sexual Revolution after all. Why he can’t see that his product and pornographic movies serve the same masturbatorial function is beyond me. You’d think a guy with twelve bleached-blonds on his arm and a pool that looks like a miniature waterfall in his front yard would be more clever.

Anyway, Alice is a librarian. I’m one of those freaks who digs librarians, so the movie’s pretty much hooked me before anybody even takes their clothes off. Her boyfriend is a delivery driver who wants Alice to get off of her uptight-tuffet and try some mushroom soup. But Alice is a repressed librarian, like my girlfriend in high school who was repressed and worked in a library and hence my fascination with un-repressing librarians. Whew, I think I just saved a few hundred dollars of psychoanalysis that I wasn’t planning on having done anyway. But I regress, er, digress.

Alice falls asleep, or goes into a dream state, it’s not really clear and frankly it’s not necessary. She wakes up in Wonderland, underwater. On land, some creatures in spandex lick her dry and this is when the movie starts to earn its X-rating. Bud Townsend, the director (this was back in the days when porno movies really did need directors), takes a page from Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg’s playbook. Like the shark in Jaws, we don’t see much more than a glimpse of Kristine DeBell’s privates until well into the movie. That comes—pardon the pun—when a rock she’s sitting on talks to her and convinces her to masturbate. Yes, a talking rock. These were the 1970s, folks, when absolutely everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, smoked pot and dropped acid and ate shrooms and, if they were rich, snorted cocaine. Lots of people were talking to rocks, and buildings, and pavement, and, in my part of the country, dirt.

Alice goes on to meet the Mad Hatter who wears the size of his dork on his hat. When Alice asks what the 6 and a half written on his hat represents, the Mad Hatter whips his schlong out and "allows" Alice to kiss it. The Hatter is a little bit effeminate and blames Alice for both his erection and his loss of erection after she finishes blowing him. There’s something Freudian in there that would make gender critics pee their stylish little pants. I’m not a gender critic, so I don’t know what the hell that something is...

Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum are a brother and sister, played by a real-life married couple, who engage in the first true sex (if we’re to believe Bill Clinton’s definition) in the film. Alice then meets the king, who is a black guy, and then the queen, who is a lesbian and means something dirty when she says, “I want her head!” Along the way there are musical numbers, including Alice singing to a girl sitting on top of a knight, “What’s a Nice Girl like You Doing on a Knight like This?” Finally, Alice escapes the queen after going down on her so well that she puts her to sleep (hardly the kind of talent one would expect from a repressed librarian, but then again, those are the little surprises that make repressed librarians so much fun). When she gets back to her library, her delivery driver dude is there and she demonstrates, on him, what she’s learned in Wonderland. The movie ends with a cheesy 70s song that is meant to be taken more seriously than the rest of the music in the movie.

Porno movies in the 1970s, as everyone knows, were vastly superior to the garbage that’s produced in the San Fernando Valley today (which, allegedly, rakes in more money than the NBA, NFL, and MLB combined on a yearly basis). Don’t even get me started on the women in porn today—no hips, no pubic hair. They just don’t look like the voluptuous drug addicts who populated celluloid sleaze in the 1970s. What are you gonna do? Time marches on. Computers become common place, some jackass in Hollywood thinks remaking Psycho is acceptable, and porno movies evolve into gonzo sport-fucking competitions that are as stimulating as jerking off with the bad side of a piece of sandpaper wrapped around your dick. Alice in Wonderland sits among the more notable titles from its era. There are several versions available, one is R-rated and not worth the time. There are at least two X-rated versions with just enough hardcore footage to classify the film as pornographic. The movie is just tame enough to watch with your girlfriend, especially if she’s a repressed librarian.