Saturday, September 26, 2015

Oversexed Rugsucker from Mars (Riproring Productions, Marketing Media Corp., 1989)

by Mark Gabrish Conlan •Copyright © 2015 by Mark Gabrish Conlan • All rights reserved

Last night’s Mars movie screening featured two films hovering between the so-bad-it’s-good and the so-bad-it’s-unwatchable end of the movie spectrum. The first was a 1989 production called Oversexed Rugsucker from Mars — the page for the movie gives the second word of the title as plural and hyphenated, Rug-Suckers, but the actual credit is in the singular and it’s more accurate because there is in fact only one “rugsucker” in the dramatis personae (or, perhaps more appropriately, dramatis mechanicae). The film was written and directed by Michael Paul Girard, a personal friend of the Mars movie screenings promoter (who worked for him as a cinematographer on some of Girard’s later projects), who mentioned that the film was made on Super-8 and the total budget was $4,000. This explains why a lot of the images are grainy and the soundtrack runs the gamut from acceptably clear to almost totally incomprehensible. Also, Girard’s working title for the film was Vacusapien, which was actually considerably wittier and closer to an accurate description of what the film was about, but the distributor he sold it to insisted on Oversexed Rugsucker from Mars on the incomprehensible belief that that title would actually draw people to see the film instead of driving them away. Oversexed Rugsucker begins with a prologue in really crude Claymation featuring two characters from Mars, both of them naked and with quite obvious sex organs (and built pretty much on the human plan except they’re considerably smaller and made of clay) who’ve come to Earth to see what’s happened to the experiment they started 10 million years earlier to “seed” Earth with life forms and see how they (we) evolved.

The first human they see is Vernon (Dick Monda), a homeless man as disheveled as time, lack of bathing and whatever meager amount Michael Paul Girard had for makeup could make him look, and the Martians see him and immediately write off their experiment as a failure. Only the male Martian pisses into Vernon’s gin bottle, the female Martian infiltrates a broken vacuum cleaner and thus brings it to independent, animate life, and when Vernon drinks the Martian pee it immediately turns him into a horndog who has an intense, passionate sexual experience with the vacuum cleaner. We then shift to another set of characters altogether: Tom (Billybob Rhoads), a British émigré with a thwarted desire to be a science-fiction writer; his nagging wife Beverly (Lynne Guini — I’m not questioning these transparently, almost porn-like aliases, just recording what the clever credits, in which a vacuum cleaner sweeps up the scraps of paper on which are written the names of cast and crew almost as soon as we read them, tell us these people are called); and Rena (Jean Stewart), a 20-something bimbo who works as a secretary after the 90-something gazillionaire she married died and she ran through her entire inheritance from him in a vain attempt to become a rock star (and Jean Stewart could really sing; her regular band is featured with her in the film and even listed in the credits, though not on the page, and she’s a good female punk singer in the Chrissie Hynde/Wendy O. Williams/Siouxsie mold). Tom locks himself in his bathroom and tells his wife he’s shaving when he’s really jacking off while looking at Rena parading around her apartment in the nude (he uses suntan lotion as a lube, which is not recommended because it stings — voice of experience here!), and when Beverly is raped and killed by the oversexed vacuum cleaner just after she used it to clean up some spilled aphrodisiac tea (the brand name is “Weeping Wanger,” which is a pretty good indication of Michael Paul Girard’s sense of humor), naturally the police suspect that Tom did his wife in so he could be with Rena. Rena has a boyfriend, Charlie (Bill Monsour), a New Ager who’s decided that sex is merely a physical distraction from his search for the higher plane — and Girard brilliantly and accurately satirizes New Age pretensions in his writing for Charlie — leaving Rena desperately horny and fed up with getting psychobabble from her boyfriend when she wants her ashes hauled.

The Killer Vacuum proves to be polymorphously perverse — it cornholes Tom with its extension hose and later sexually assaults Rena as well — and while all this is going on Vernon (ya remember Vernon?) is searching for his lost amour de suction and he’s simultaneously the subject of an experiment by a psychiatrist, Dr. Welling (Jeff Wilson), who’s going to get fired from his county job if he can’t turn Vernon around from a homeless derelict to a respectable citizen in 10 months. Of course, Vernon’s constant babbling about being in love with a vacuum cleaner isn’t helping either! There’s also a police investigator, Lt. Krane (Ralston Young), who plays his entire part either channeling Humphrey Bogart or Peter Falk’s Columbo character — who proclaims his traditional family values and his commitment to his wife, who turns out to be a sheep — and a defense attorney who’s also Rena’s employer and agrees to take Tom’s case pro bono if Rena will give him blow jobs in the office. It all comes to a climax — in more ways than one — when a visibly pregnant Rena gets up from the witness stand at the trial and gives birth to a rather crude white doll whose body is a box that reads “Dustbuster,” thereby confirming her story that the father of her baby was a vacuum cleaner. Tom and Rena don’t get together but the notoriety surrounding the case enables him to get his sci-fi book published and her to get a recording contract and an album that goes triple platinum. Oversexed Rugsucker from Mars is as awful a movie as you’d suspect from the above description — according to it was one of three movies the producers of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 rejected as too tacky and tasteless even for them (I suspect one of the other two was my choice for the worst movie ever made, Shriek of the Mutilated) — yet in the middle of this putrid sex comedy cum sci-fi would-be thriller there are some genuinely funny lines and gags that deserved to be in a better film — and whoever “Billybob Rhoads” was, he was a genuinely attractive heavy-set actor who would do quite well at a Bears gathering and it was fun to look at him with his shirt off, which Girard allowed us to do often, and admire all that body fur!