Friday, May 27, 2022

Sadistic Hypnotist, The (1969)

... aka: Wanda (The Sadistic Hypnotist)

Directed by:
Greg Corarito

After peering in a store window and envisioning figurines of nude women are actual nude women, a man in sunglasses (played by the director himself) dips into an adult theater to watch a double feature. First up is something about the "Bare-Fax Nudist Camp," featuring a voyeur stalking some young women back to their camp and watching them lounge around as nature intended (with strategically placed newspapers, magazines, towels and hats covering their fronts and some of the more embarrassed ladies hilariously covering up their own faces!) through a knothole in the fence. A monotone female announcer then comes on to introduce the next feature: "Perverted Films has a treat in store for you. That six foot two inch love goddess Miss Dikey Dikeman is the star of our feature presentation. I'm sure you'll find it very hypnotic" and a title card for "Miss Dikey Dikeman and Her Friends???" (!!) appears on screen.

While driving down a secluded country road, Sylvester ("Dick Dangerfield" / Richard Compton) is in an off-screen car accident but gets "rescued" by "tall, harsh-looking brunette" Wanda (the almost freakishly long-legged Katharine Shubeck) and "rather sweet-looking blonde" Greta (Janine Sweet), who take him back to their home. The man, falling in and out of consciousness, also provides hilarious, double entendre-filled narration which includes lines like "a blinding shaft of sunlight brought an enormous mansion into view!" and "the throbbing in my head proved too much and, with a final attempt to rise, I gave in." Sylvester also recalls being taken into an S&M-themed bedroom ("I must admit, there were many leather objects") and that he was "vaguely aware of female hands taking my clothes off."

Fifteen hours later, Sylvester awakens from his stupor, but weakened and with a severe concussion. He's told that he crashed into a sand dune and that his car will be ready sometime soon so he can leave, but that all turns out to be a ruse. Queen Bee Wanda has no intentions of letting him go and makes him the unwilling submissive in her bondage games. He's tied down to a bed and repeatedly smacked with a riding crop, is forced to go on long walks with heavy iron shackles attached to his ankles and is almost drowned in the swimming pool. Greta, who is much more sympathetic than Wanda, realizes this guy isn't like most of the others they've kidnapped: He actually seems to be enjoying most of this!

Wanda leads an all-female cult, which does not have any defined purpose aside from them all taking off their clothes a lot. Half a dozen other ladies swing by for a visit and start out with a game of "Rip It Off," which finds them all stripping off their bikinis in the swimming pool. Later that evening, Wanda uses her hypnotic powers to make a door-to-door cosmetics saleslady (Sheri Jackson) strip down to lingerie and perform a wild go-go dance for her and her pals at their lingerie slumber party. Wanda then uses her powers to make one of her girls take her top off, makes another envision she's an invincible karate master (!) and then turns to the short-haired Zelda and says, "Even though you're a lesssssbian, let's try this. You know, forget about that... You're really a nymphomaniiiiiiaaaac!" She then sends Zelda to the bedroom to ravish a tied-up Sylvester, who screams "Lady, you don't understand! I'm a Republican!" in protest.

But the fun and games can't last forever, can they? A radio announcer comes on and proclaims: "Just minutes ago, a maniac escaped from the state funny farm! The sadistic rapist is mentally demented! He is complete unbalanced! He cannot control his emotions, especially when he is near attractive females! Be on the lookout for this man!" The escapee, Jack Strange (Daryl Colinot), shows up at the home wearing a white coat that reads "State Fun-ee Farm" on the back, lest we get confused about who he is. He first raids their liquor cabinet and makes himself a drink. Then he goes through their record collection, stopping in disgust when he finds Dylan and Sarah Vaughan albums. Finally, after going through a trunk filled with S&M toys, he makes his presence known by leaping out and vicious whipping all of the ladies. The women are then all tied up and subjected to more whipping and rape, plus hallucinogenic drugging.

Under the condition he won't refer to him as insane, Jack unties Sylvester and he ends up assisting him in terrorizing and abusing the ladies for revenge. A drug and alcohol fiend, Jack discovers a hidden stash of LSD (in a large black bottled labeled "LSD" no less!), which results in a long trip out sequence filled with flashing red and green lights, someone peaking through a glass pot of boiling water, nude body painting, strange psychedelic garage rock noise and rapid fire editing. The "maniac" then turns to Sylvester and asks, "If you had a choice of these beavers, which one would you take?" and promises they're "gonna wear them out, daddy-o!" However, the ladies eventually regain control and there's a twist at the end involving the porn theater patron.

I was actually pretty impressed with the across-the-board technical incompetence on display in this pseudo self aware trash! It's ineptly directed, written (with awkward and clearly improvised dialogue), shot (with lots of boring medium and long takes, blurry shots and shadows of the camera operator), lit and edited (by Gary Graver, no less). The sound, with a generic intrusive music score constantly drowning out the already muffled dialogue, is equally awful. And then there's the cast. There's not a convincing performance in this entire film and it's clear no one - in front of or behind the camera - is taking a minute of this seriously. Lines are flubbed, people look right at the camera and laugh and everyone's basically just goofing off the entire time. The T&A is wall-to-wall for the duration so if that's what you're looking for, you'll get your fill here.

Though the two female leads are completely unknown (this is the only known credit for either), some of the supporting females are played by late 60s / early 70s skin flick regulars like Lynn Harris (The Sexcapades of Don Diego) and Vincene Wallace (Russ Meyer's Vixen!). The male lead went on to a prolific career as a TV director and was married to actress Veronica Cartwright for 25 years until his death in 2007.

Director / writer Corarito made a few other films of this stripe: Diamond Stud (1970), the X-rated Hard on the Trail (1972), featuring Lash La Rue, and Delinquent School Girls (1975), which also featured young women terrorized by mental home escapees. This film is supposedly also based on his "novel" of the same name, though there's no evidence that book was ever published. Robert Vincent O'Neil, who went on to direct the underrated THE PSYCHO LOVER (1970) and the popular and profitable 80s exploitation film Angel (1983) as well its first sequel, Avenging Angel (1985), was one of the producers.

Not surprisingly, being right up their alley and all, this was a Something Weird acquisition and they issued both a standalone VHS release in 1992, followed by a DVD release in 2004, which pairs it up with Dr. Sex (1964).

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