Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Retro review: Gums (1976) porn spoof of Jaws!


For those who thought the "art" of the porn parody began with the likes of Shaving Ryan's Privates, Edward Penishands (which I only ever came across - ahem - in an unsubtitled, undubbed German version) and the current glut of lazily titled skin flicks, cast your mind back to Flesh Gordon (1974), and Gums (1976), which may well have been the first of the bunch to spoof a currently popular movie.
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Opening with a familiar scenario of two love birds running down the beach, stripping off. Only here we get a brightly lit, full on jiggle-fest (both female and male) before the fella goes out for a swim, only to be attacked by an unseen presence in the water. Enjoying the experience at first, he is then cut off in his prime when his meat and two veg are sucked right off. Turns out there's a mermaid (Terri Hall) in the waters, and it's down to a crack - or at least crackpot - team to save the town and keep the beaches open. Step forward Nazi Captain Carl Clitoris (Brother Theodore, Massage Parlor Murders!, The 'Burbs), Sheriff Rooster Coxswain (spelt Cockswain on the back of his jacket, however, Paul Styles in his only film role) and, in the Hooper role of Dr. Sy Smegma is Robert Kerman (later to appear in both Cannibal Holocaust and Ferox and billed here as Richard Lair), with his ever present blow up doll. Amid the fun, there's plenty of bonking, sucking and genital removal (comic, not in the Ferox way!) and even some doggy sex for you nature lovers.
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Quite an obscure film, which is reminiscent of films such as Kentucky Fried Movie in its irreverence. Some gags work, and some sink like the Titanic. Filmed as a hardcore film, the DVD release (US only) is the shorter, edited version which incorporates crudely drawn cartoon images optically over any naughty action. That is not to say there's not still a fair share of nudity and smut still on display. The cast (especially the already crackers Brother Theodore) all go as far over the top as possible, which can be a little grating, but at just over an hour in length it doesn't outstay its welcome. The best gag of the film is the sudden replacement of the actors with Mr Punch type puppets, complete with (censored) spunky cocks! The underwater scenes of Hall (who also appeared in the bizarre Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy) swimming, with no attempt to disguise the backdrops on the sides of the swimming pool, make Zombie Lake's underwater scenes look like James Cameron's Ghosts of the Abyss.
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It probably deserves to sink without trace, but the fact the film got made, without litigation from Universal - the music is very similar to John Williams' classic score - is remarkable, and it obviously takes it's lead from Russ Meyer and Mel Brooks in making a Nazi character a prominent comical focus. It would be about 30 years before the porn industry would tackle Jaws again, in the surprisingly well made This Ain't Jaws - a XXX parody ("We're gonna need a bigger cock")
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Worth checking out for those interested in 70s comedy porn, and no doubt would be hilarious if you've had a few too many and watched with a bunch of mates.
5 out of 10




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