Friday, March 18, 2011

Water Power (1977)

Disclaimer: This review is of considerable length (not to mention girth) and contains a high degree of dirty, dirty sexiness. At first, you may be a little intimidated by the size of my review, but if you sit back and relax, I think you'll enjoy it. If at any point it becomes too much, just keep pushing onward. The climax is worth it.
For those of you who are game, here's a smooth soundtrack to enhance your reading pleasure - 


Water Power

Wrong time, wrong place, man. That's the story of my life. Nowadays I wander down to my local cinema and all I see is screaming teens, 7 dollar popcorn and glossy Hollywood crap. It's a consumerist nightmare. A world made by fatcats for people who aren't me. What I really wanna do is strap on my bell bottoms, primp my killer 'fro and take a DeLorean ride to the mean streets of NY City, circa 1977. Walk on past all the jive cats selling smoke and coke on dirty street corners (picking up a few bucks worth of reality enhancement for myself naturally), down to the porno district and find a dingy little adult theatre. And when I'm there, what better movie to check out than the enema-themed, roughie porn classic Water Power.

These days I check out the latest releases and all the eye candy is tanned, toned, scrawny little girls who look like they've spent way more time in the gym than they have in the bedroom. What happened to all the women? I wanna see chicks where the eyes are full of lust, the inhibitions are non-existent, the tits are real and the minges are so untamed you could lose a set of keys in all that wilderness. What's even worse is all the films around now where the guys are girlier than the women. The concept of the man's man, the kinda dude you can idolise for the duration of the movie, is dead. All we get now is wimpy little douchebags like Shia LaBeouf and Jake Gyllenhall. "Men" who wax their chests and spend 120 bucks on a haircut. There's no new Clint Eastwood. No more Warren Oates. And there sure as hell ain't anyone close to the legend known as Jamie Gillis.

Gillis really is the driving force behind the awesomeness of Water Power. It's one of those rare times where an actor inhabits a character perfectly; where the character seems tailor designed for that actor. Because Gillis, aside from being a decent actor, is one grade A sleazeball. He was once praisingly described by fellow porn star Rick Savage as "by far the most perverse person I've ever met". When the world's biggest perverts are in awe of your perversity, I'd say that makes you pretty damn perverted. And that's exactly why Water Power works so well - the guy was turned on by anything so long as it was dirty. When the misogyny and enema fluid start to spray all over the screen in equal measures, there's nothing fake about the sheer enjoyment that Gillis displays. Even in the opening credits, we get a close-up screen of his face, and with one glance at his eyes, you can tell that the soul behind them single-mindedly yearns for extreme sleaze. He's so sleazy that I like to think he was somehow conceived when his mother was fucked in the ass. Such an unimmaculate conception would only too fitting for this anti-Jesus.

That's not to say there aren't some similarities between Gillis and Jesus. Just as JC washed the feet of his disciples to teach them humility, Water Power revolves around Gillis washing out the colons of dirty bitches to teach them... umm, not to be dirty bitches I guess. It all starts when Gillis's character, Burt, a loner who spends his evenings spying on the hottie across the street and taking naked photos, takes a trip down to his local brothel. At first he just wants to look around, but pretty soon the madam has convinced him to try their $10 introductory offer. As she says, "it's less than a cab ride to the airport, and it's so much more fun!" Woah, more fun than a cab ride to the airport?!?! Who could resist that sales pitch?! I sure as hell couldn't and neither can our man Burt, so quicker than you can say "junkie pornstar gobjob" he's handed over his 10 bucks and is gettin blown by Sharon Mitchell.

But that's not enough for Burt, so the madam allows him to sit in on one of their 'specials' - a fellow dressed as a doctor giving a young lady an enema. Personally I doubt this guy's credentials, because even I know that "extreme disobedience" is not a medical condition, and I'm pretty sure that it's not appropriate conduct to get sucked off by a nurse whilst performing a medical procedure. Regardless, the enema is given and, lo, a fetish is born in the heart and balls of our hero.

So, Burt's decided that enemas are where it's at and, unfortunately for the woman he spies on, this is when she decides to *gasp* have sex with a man. Obviously Burt can't let that behaviour stand so, with enema kit in hand, off he goes to clean her out. The rest of the movie basically consists of Burt giving a few more enemas to random women, all the while leading toward a final confrontation with the female cop who's trying to put an end to his bowel-cleansing rampage. Bet you can't guess what happens to her! If you guessed that she gets sold car insurance by a one-armed Chinese midget in a leather G-string then... well, you'd be wrong. And frankly, a little weird. Weirdo.

Kudos here has to go to director Shaun Costello. Water Power could have been a one-note premise, but he keeps things creative in a number of ways. There's the Taxi Driver esque portrayal of Burt's declining mental state. The bizarre soundtrack ripped off from several Bernard Herrmann scores. Even the enema scenes are done with variety, escalating levels of wrongness and, most importantly, a great deal of wit. I could go on but I need to wrap this up so I can wipe the semen of my laptop before it damages the keys.

All up, Water Power is an exploitation masterpiece, the likes of which we'll never see again. A filthy, depraved and hilarious ride with a magnificent, one-of-a-kind, centrepiece performance from the god of sleaze. If, like me, you've ever wanted to spend 80 minutes in the smoke-filled, jizz-soaked atmosphere of a 70's porno theatre, then it's a must see. Dare I say it, it's even more fun than a cab ride to the airport.

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