Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Wanda Whips the Dragon Lady (1990)

Directed by:
Ken Gibbs (Kenny Gibb)

I know they cranked 'em out fast and cheap in a day or two, but could adult video makers of the 1980s really not afford a bottle of fake blood, or some Karo syrup and food coloring or, hell, even some ketchup? Were they scared to add fake blood to their films as it may potentially turn off their viewers? Or was it that they really just didn't care? I'm not entirely sure but in the opening sequence here it's a little annoying seeing a vampire go right for the jugular, taking a bite and then pulling back only to leave some drool behind. I also have to wonder if the people who made these films actually thought viewers who'd watch a vampire-themed porno would actually mind seeing a little blood. I mean, they could be watching something about naughty cheerleaders or bored housewives instead but they've actively sought out vampires so one would figure they'd not only be fine with some red stuff but perhaps even want it as part of the whole vampire fantasy.

Here, they not only forego any blood but don't even try to make it look like the victim was actually bitten. They could have at least drawn a couple of dots on the neck with a Sharpie to resemble a puncture wound. Nope. Just spit. On the plus side, at least they sprung for some fangs. I've seen several movies like this that didn't even bother with that much.

A potential selling point for this one is that this was made by an experienced cinematographer and camera operator whose career stretched all the way back to the early 70s. Gibb worked on many R-rated exploitation movies, including some pretty notable titles like THE CANDY SNATCHERS (1973), THE SEVERED ARM (1973) and The Witch Who Came from the Sea (1976). Based on that we'll just overlook his work on the awful Troma release FERTILIZE THE BLASPHEMING BOMBSHELL (1990), which was horribly photographed and far too dark. From 1992 to 1996 he shot many episodes of the syndicated TV show Renegade, which I've never watched but I can only assume was at least competently photographed or he would have been replaced. Since he was well-versed in ways to make low budget films look decent, one would figure that would serve him well here, and it does a little bit, just not enough to make this notable.

It doesn't happen too often with the relatively small talent pool 80s adult filmmakers had to pull from (as opposed to today when there are endless wannabe porn stars), but this actually has three performers that I don't recall ever seeing before. Of them, primary focus is put on "Kitty Luv," who's better known as Charisma. I had a difficult time finding information about her online. No one appears to know her real name, where she was born (some sources claim Ohio and others Canada) or what she'd been up to since retiring in the early 90s. I've seen "light-skinned black," French-Canadian, Lebanese, Latin American and Native American listed as part of her ethnic make-up. Aside from her voluptuous physique (with a little surgical help for the top half), the height and volume of her massive and glorious 80s hair is impressive. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that her facial expressions and how she delivered some of her lines actually made me laugh.

Kitty / Charisma has the titular role of Wanda. As this opens, she's bitten by a female vampire, placed in a coffin with a bat-wing "W" emblem and awakens with vague memories about how she got there. The last thing she recalls is going to Hollywood, getting kidnapped and a black woman with a tattoo. Well, never mind all that, she's in a room with two horny female vamps and this is a porn so the ladies immediately get down to business while the director shows off a bit with lots of fog and colorful lighting.

We then meet up with Sade, a rare black performer I've also never seen before (also not the famous singer), who's been called to the office of attorney Renburg (Tony Montana), who's supposed to be a play on Renfield right down to spastic hand movements and eating flies. Montana's silly mannerisms and awful overacting makes him nearly incomprehensible (not helped by the fuzzy camcorder audio) but based on what I could make out he says something about her having to go to a mansion at 969 Transylvania Road because there's an inheritance at stake and whoever has "the mark of the vampire" on their inner thigh will get it. Sade happens to have a large dragon tattoo on her inner thigh and claims that "Dracula gave it to me," so it appears she may be the rightful heir.

Renburg then relates a sex flashback featuring "Fetish" / Heather Lere (nice body, terrible acting) and T.T. Boy (ditto) that doesn't appear to have much to do with anything. It's also shot in a hilariously mechanical manner with just a couple of camera set-ups; one for long takes and one for close-ups. These two are never seen in the film again, probably cause they showed up, did what they were paid to do and then ran off to cash their checks to go buy drugs. Uh, I mean groceries.

Sade takes a cab to the castle and for some reason (hint: they needed another dude to perform in the sex scenes) invites driver Tom (Jerry Butler) inside. There, they meet up with snobby Tasha (Renee Morgan), the mistress of the castle who also happens to be one of the vampires from the opening scene. Also there are Renburg, Tasha's assistant / lover Rain (blonde Ashley Winger, another new-to-me performer) and Herman the servant. Herman is played by Sean Michaels, who isn't listed in the credits, has no lines and is seen only in one medium shot. Despite having performed in well over 2000 porn movies he's not involved in any of the hardcore action here. Oddly enough, neither is the Colombian-born Montana, who has over 650 adult credits.

The plot doesn't make a whole lot of sense to begin with (basically some people are vampires and there's a gold treasure hidden in the dungeon), and starts making even less sense after this starts focusing primarily on the sex scenes. Because most of his male co-stars don't partake in the festivities, Butler is left to carry the load so to speak in three of the four straight scenes (one with Sade and two with Charisma). It's obvious looking over the pairings that this was made to showcase interracial sex. Even the all-girls orgy scenes are divvied up to where at least one of the two non-white females are involved. The final scene does offer a potential cinematic first: I've never seen three naked vampire women killed by direct sunlight while performing oral sex on one another before.

As for the title, it's obviously a play on the adult classic Wanda Whips Wall Street (1982) starring the great Veronica Hart. However, this has zilch to do with that one plot-wise. It also really doesn't want to be compared to it quality-wise either as it comes off as proper film like many X movies did before video took over. The title also happens to be extremely misleading, hinting at some S&M / bondage scenarios that the film itself doesn't deliver on. During the first sex scene a cat o' nine tails gets pulled out and one of the ladies is given the weakest "whipping" I've ever seen in one of these things. It's more like she's getting tickled on the belly with it.

The same folks behind this also made Wanda Does Transylvania (1990), which I haven't seen but I'm assuming was filmed back-to-back with this one on the same sets. (Note: Alright, just found out that this is actually the SEQUEL to WDT so I got these out of order. Seriously doubt it makes a difference though!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...