Color, 1987, 57m.
Directed by Michel Ricaud
Starring Daniel Dubois
Massacre Video (DVD) (US R0 NTSC)


SexandroideOne of the nuttiest SOV horror anthologies out there, this French-shot oddity lensed on a VHS camcorder lives up to its sordid title on a budget that might have bought the crew a dozen baguettes. An anonymous cast adds even more curiosity value to this one, which forgoes a traditional plot in favor of weirdness and outrage at any cost thanks to the completely cracked direction by porno movie director Daniel Dubois (who died in 1993 under crazed circumstances on a film shoot that wouldn’t be out of place here).

In the first of our trio of tales, a menstruating barfly has her nightly routine interrupted by a nasty voodoo practitioner who strikes at the most inconvenient moments imaginable, all rendered in detail you likely won’t forget anytime soon. Then another woman is lured into a devilish ritual sacrifice in a basement, which involves a bleeding rose, piercing, dismemberment, and lots of satanic ooga booga. Finally a mourning family member at a mortuary has her grieving interrupted by a bloodsucking member of the undead, who initiates her into the realm of the supernatural. And that’s about it.

Though it wallows heavily in levels of gore and nudity that would have put it at the more extreme end of VHS-era genre films, Sexandroide has such a peculiar tone that it's tough to imagine anyone being too offended. The ritualistic abuse and dismemberment in the second segment would be a Sexandroidetough one to swallow if it Sexandroideweren't for the fact that the assailant is wearing a goofy Frankenstein-inspired mask and it all pays off in a crazed punch line that gives a new meaning to amour fou. The director's porn origins are easy to spot right off the bat since the camera never wavers from a basic locked-down position, often holding in wide shots for extreme amounts of time to capture every bit of the bloody, splashy action. The uncredited actors don't have to do anything too strenuous beyond stripping or screaming, and the warbling music score is actually a bit more unsettling than it has any right to be.

It’s wholly appropriate that this crackpot stew of sex and violence was finally given a legitimate U.S. release from Massacre Video, whose fearless quest to unearth as many fringe genre titles as possible continues here unabated. Bearing in mind this was actually shot in standard def SECAM, it looks fine here and better than the fuzzy unsubtitled copies floating around. It’s worth noting that, for extremely obvious reasons, this release had to lay some original garage rock music over the final story, which originally appropriated a couple of Tina Turner songs(!) including "What's Love Got to Do with It" without permission on the French VHS. If you want to replicate that experience, make sure you have a copy of Private Dancer handy. Featuring a reversible sleeve with an uncensored, extreme design on the reverse, the disc also contains a wild 43-minute reel of sequences from the Japanese release, which was actually struck as a 35mm print and integrated odd snippets of other French sex titles (featuring midgets and S&M!) for reasons known only to the distributor. On top of that you get a stills gallery and bonus previews for Nutbag, Six Pack That Bitch, and Mondo Magic.

Reviewed on March 23, 2017.