Why had I never seen this movie until now? Why? You would think sometimes between 1967 when it was made (although I wouldn't be born until almost eleven years later) and now, I, of all people that I know, would have seen The Curious Dr. Humpp, at least back a few years ago when I was crawling through the Something Weird catalog. And in my relentless pursuit (not really) to see all the movies Rob Zombie samples from (this one being the sample for Living Dead Girl - 'Use my body to keep you alive'). So, yeah, just now getting around to this one and I couldn't be more pleased! Also, I'm pretty hungover today after consuming drunkening spirits all day (damn you, Sunday for being my only day off!), so if this is less comprehensible than normal, I blame mimosas, peach schnapps, sangria, sauvignon blanc, and yuengling. I feel sick just typing everything I drank. I know you don't feel sorry for me. It's cool. I still love ya. Onward!
After a kissing couple is chloroformed and put in the back of a vehicle that looks like the Ghostbusters' ride, Ecto 1, only black, there's a cut to some lesbians undressing each other slowly in an ornately furnished room. Then this guy wearing a wooden mask comes in and everyone gasps. This mask is depicted above and also never explained. It is also the most fabulous wooden mask I have ever seen in a sexploitation movie. And if you were wondering if it had a blinking light in the middle of the forehead, you wondered correctly.
Then there's a quick cut (get ready - there are lots and lots of quick cuts) and an inebriated fellow gets his ass chloroformed. Another quick cut and a blond chica is masturbating to a wall full of pics of half-nekkid men. I'm almost getting a Findlay vibe off of this, at least in the first five minutes or so. Not as dirty, but still gritty. Another cut, and two couples are smoking dope and sexing each other - no one's shy here! - to some very unsexy music. And there's this overdubbed disembodied voice that keeps saying, 'that's it, yeah, that's it' cheering the orgy on. I feel like I'm sitting in the theatre with some weirdo sitting behind me breathing in my ear while he jerks it. I feel this way a lot. Sometimes when I'm not watching movies. I'm at the dentist, I'm in Target, and I feel this way.
Cut again to a cabaret performance, and by this I mean a striptease. A couple of dancers do a sexy little dance to a jazz number while sweaty dudes look on and couples feel each other up. Masky, as he is affectionately known - to me, anyway - shows up and looks around disapprovingly, because that wooden mask is able to convey emotion, dontcha know. He winds up kidnapping Rachel the stripper, because Dr. Humpp, the elusive Dr. Humpp, and needs the stripper for his experiments in mad scienc-y sexology. Fact is, he needs lots of virile young ladies and gentlemen for his sexual aberrations, because he's simply seeking a way to improve our species via sex. Sounds like a capital idea!
Essentially, what Dr. H does is kidnap strippers, drug users, and other degenerates, drug them up even further and force them to make the beast with two backs over and over and over again. For science! And to keep him alive because he makes some sort of sex serum extracted from the fornicators that he must take in order to live. The whole operation is two-fold. So with the help of Masky, some other lesser masked drones, as well as a pretty blond nurse who is totally in love with him but will later betray him (isn't that always the case?), he records the couples in the act, watches it from a monitor, becomes very sweaty and looks intense, and drinks a potion made in his fabulous lab-or-a-tory, and sweats more.
So meanwhile, while Dr. H is conducting science for personal gain as well as for the good of the universe, there's a couple of detectives hard at work on why all the delinquents around town are disappearing. The bartender from the joint where the stripper was kidnapped goes to a sketch artist and they whip up the spittin' image of Masky. Baffled by the rendering, a police officer asks, Do you think it's a mask? Really? Do you think? I almost dropped my vodka and gingerale.
Back at the ranch, Dr. H is busy busy with finding the key to sexual desires to turn humans into, his words, veritable screwing machines. The way you would go about doing this, should you feel the need, is to take your wooden masked henchman, lay him out on a gurney, and drill into his mask where his frontal lobe may or may not be, to find that nerve that controls the libido. Quite simple, really. Then when you're done with that, you send said wooden masked henchman to the pharmacist during normal business hours to fill a prescription for aphrodisiac compounds. Why this raises suspicion I have no idea - but the pharmacist feels a bit uneasy about filling such a large order for such a strange thing for a dude in a wooden mask and he reads the paper where the sketch he sees the pic of the police sketch of Masky, so he calls the coppers. Masky escapes to play a weird clear guitar with sex slaves roam the grounds of Dr. H's compound and Dr. H consults a brain in a jar with an eastern European accent (!) on what to do next. The brain instructs the good doctor to continue with his brilliant and wonderful plan but to stop consulting regular pharmacies for the necessary ingredients and to certainly stop sending weirdo henchmen.
I almost feel a little bit sorry for Masky, especially when he presents a flower to a Rachel. He clearly wants a chance at a normal life, but if the Venture Brothers has taught us something, it's that the life a henchman is really tough. So, it's either working for Dr. H and assisting in crackpot sex experiments while wearing a ridiculous and likely uncomfortable blinking mask or nothin'. And I know Dr. H is evil and crazy, but I kinda want him to succeed. He's ahead of his time in a way. Check it...
His research has led him to design a sort of sex machine before sex machines were cool. Rather, it sex by electronics and imagination sorta kinda. I don't know how to describe it - it's basically a man and a woman hooked up to electrodes and put into a hypno-state that makes them imagine they're having sex with each other under Dr. Humpp's direction. He tells George, do her like only a man can. And George complies by shouting, I'm doing it! I can't stop screwing her! And then there's a sex montage. You know, as much as I like this stuff, after about an hour I actually got bored with watching all the sex. It's like damn, movie, you almost have too much sex! But as, Dr. H tells us, sex dominates the world, which is why he wants to dominate the sex. Domination of the sex = domination of the world. a simplistic fail-safe equation.
And for some more eloquently spoken dialogue, please turn to this enchanting exchange between George and Rachel, the stripper from the bar:
Rachel: What are you worried about?
George: They made you into a nymphomaniac.
Rachel: You shouldn't worry about that. That means you can get it whenever you want.
George: It's horrible what they did to you!
Rachel: Don't say that, George. Many women are just like this.
Well, she is a stripper by trade! There are more wonderful snippets like this throughout. Oh, and since Rachel and the other hotties in town have all been kidnapped, the bar has been forced to hire aging BBWs to take the stage. No chance of old fatty getting kidnapped, now, is there?
Hardy har har. Actually, it's pretty offensive. Most of this movie is downright utterly sexist to an absurd degree. So absurd that you can't take it with an ounce of seriousness. The above conversation would probably never take place in conversation now or even thirty years ago. It's just that ridiculous in it's sexism.
For all the sex in the movie, Dr. H never gets down, despite advances from his nurse. She practically throws herself at him more than once, and he constantly puts her off. Hmm...weird, huh? What's really goin' on with Dr. H? Nursey so undersexed she has to go have sex with George, only to have George fall in love with Rachel. So not only do you have a bizarre masked henchman, a local pharmacy where you can pick up large quantities of a compound that can be used to dominate humankind, and a talking brain in a jar, you have a love triangle, which the movie would likely not be complete without.
This movie needs t-shirts and an action figure line. And I need a tattoo of Masky. And the freakin' Spanish title for this baby is La Venganza del Sexo. That is all.