One thing you could never say about Edward D. Wood, Jr. at the — ahem! — “height” of his career is that his films were boring. Sure, stuff like Glen Or Glenda? and Plan 9 From Outer Space may not have been “good” movies in any traditionally-accepted definition of the term (which only goes to show the complete and utter uselessness of “traditional” standards), but they were never dull. Even the slow parts had an immediate and arresting quality to them imparted by dint of Ed’s singular idiosyncratic vision.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of Woody’s stuff by the latter stages of his career, when he was reduced to peddling his creative skills in the softcore market. We covered the snooze-fest that was Necromania a shot while ago here on these very “pages” (as well as over at Daily Grindhouse), but lousy and listless as that flick is, I’m here today to tell you that it’s Citizen fucking Kane compared the celluloid stinkbomb Ed helped unleash on the world in 1969 entitled One Million AC/DC.
Not that everyone’s favorite angora fetishist is entirely — or, hell, even primarily — to blame for this debacle, mind you : after all, he only wrote the screenplay, which probably wasn’t more than about 15 or 20 pages long, given that there’s approximately ten or so minutes of dialogue in this roughly 80-minute film. Still, he doesn’t deserve to be let off the hook for the part he played in this, either.
As a matter of fact, what he wrote wasn’t just pretty bad, it was actually downright vile. Consider : the “plot,” such as it is, revolves around a group of frightened cave-dwellers who can’t venture very far outside because a big ol’ plastic dinosaur has them trapped in their communal home. To pass the time they, of course, fuck a lot — and by “fuck” I mean either commit gang-rape or have dull, dispassionate, barely-awake consensual intercourse. Nearly half the film is taken up by an extended — and frankly repugnant — -deflowering of one of the tribe’s virgins at the end of a “sacred stick” made out of, I dunno, some kind of antler or something. The dinosaur just hangs around while all this is going on, I guess, and if anyone comes out he eats ’em. They eventually find a way to do him in by inventing the bow and arrow. Shoe-horned into these scant proceedings for sheer padding and no other reason at all is a subplot about a hapless cave girl kept prisoner by a love-starved gorilla. You can probably guess how all that plays out.
And that’s it, there’s your movie. Which is a heck of a relief, really, because so much as a single minute more of this would have been sheer torture. Or should that be even more sheer torture? Yeah, it should.
Look, it’s pretty obvious what Canyon Films, the production company behind this fiasco (which, we’re informed via on-screen text at the outset, “meets the requirements set forth in the code of the adult film producers association”) was going for here — hope drive-in audiences will be stupid enough to think they’re buying a ticket to see Raquel Welch in “One Million Years B.C.” and spend as little money as possible hoodwinking ’em. Fair enough, but damn, couldn’t they have at least made sure that some of the cave-chicks were reasonably attractive since we’ve gotta see every single one of ’em naked? Sadly, even that was apparently too much to ask for.
Director Ed De Priest, who has a few other perfectly forgettable skin flicks to his credit and not much (that’s my polite way of saying “nothing”) more, films his “stars” (the only one of whom I recognized being B-movie stalwart Gary Kent, who turns up as a nameless tribesman for all of about a few minutes) with all the flair your average Denny’s short-order cook brings to the 48th omelette he’s had to make since clocking in at 6:00 a.m., and the dino and gorilla effects wouldn’t even pass muster as Sid and Marty Krofft’s studio if all their regular guys were on strike. Rumor has it some of the model shots are re-used stock footage from a 1940 movie called One Million B.C., but still — this is embarrassing stuff even by pre-WWII standards.
All that being said, if you feel like dismissing my warnings just for the hell of it, Something Weird Video released this on DVD some years back paired with sex-free” ape on the loose” flick Mighty Gorga. The picture is full frame, sound is mono, and both are unspectacular but have no real need to be otherwise. Extras include the usual bevy of tangentially-related shorts from the SWV vaults along with a strange old Volkswagen ad inexplicably hidden in the mix as an “Easter egg.” Not a great package by any means, but shit — neither of these are great movies, either.