DIRECTOR: ARTHUR CRANKER. RUNNING TIME: 85 mins. DVD: SNUFFBOX ENTERTAINMENT. PRICE £12.99 CERT 18
Whilst Hammer and other horror producers spent the early 1970s attempting to pep up their standard shockers with bared breasts, bums and lashings of lesbianism, usually with indifferent results, independent skin flick producer Mapatasi (best known for their saucy sex comedies) came up with this effectively nightmarish combination of hardcore action and schlock horror shudders. Ghoul Without a Groin opens with local Police Inspector Jack Horn investigating a series of mysterious deaths in the vicinity of a US Air Force base in Britain. The victims seem to have choked to death and large amounts of apparently human semen have been found in their stomachs. Several local school children also claim to have been sexually molested by a strange unseen creature which apparently lurks in the bushes of a local park. After several servicemen from the air base are arrested for exposing themselves to local spinsters – but have no recollection of the incidents when questioned by the police – Horn suspects that sinister military experiments might lie behind the strange goings on. Convinced that leaked radioactive material from American nuclear weapons have created a race of mutant sex fiends, the local villagers, urged on by local wheelchair-bound scientist Professor Hammerhead, attempt to storm the base.
However, the US Air Force base proves to be a red-herring and Professor Hammerhead is revealed as the true culprit after Horn joins forces with base commander Colonel Sam Sollicker to investigate the Professor’s mysterious clinic for the rehabilitation of paraplegic war veterans. At this point the film – which hitherto had followed a fairly standard horror/mystery format (save for a couple of hardcore sex scenes involving Horn and his girlfriend – a nurse at the US base) – topples over into nightmare. Hammerhead has been carrying out experiments which allow male patients paralysed from the waist down to engage in sexual activities by focusing their frustrated erotic energies into a physical form – a type of virtual energy penis. There are several disturbing scenes of screaming women volunteers being brought to orgasm by phantom penises as wheelchair-bound men with electrodes attached to their heads are exposed to non-stop hardcore sex images as part of their ‘therapy’. Unfortunately, these invisible ‘energy penises’ have begun to take on a life of their own, appearing unbidden to rampage around the local countryside, fatally molesting innocent victims as they attempt to enact their creators’ repressed sexual urges. Finally, after an unexpected power surge during an experiment, the creatures become visible – taking the form of disembodied male genitalia. Hammerhead is killed by his creations and Horn, Sollicker, Horn’s girlfriend and several villagers are besieged in a local church by the rampant penis monsters…
Unseen for many years due to legal wrangles, Ghoul Without A Groin has attained virtually legendary status amongst aficionados of early 1970s skin flicks. Regarded as one of the few pictures to successfully combine the adult and horror genres, seen again on this DVD release, it does not disappoint. The effects work showing the penis monsters humping along the ground like inch worms and slithering down chimneys to gain access to buildings, are surprisingly effective. There are several graphic sequences at the film’s climax showing them killing their victims by wrapping themselves around their necks before plunging down their throats. In one especially memorable moment, the vicar is suffocated by a giant scrotum, whilst his wife is engulfed by penis monsters which attack her every orifice. Another cult classic from the golden age of Brit skin flicks – the 1970s. Recommended!