Written by: John White on December 15th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Argentina, 1967
Director: Emilio Vieyra
Cast: Ricardo Bauleo, Gloria Prat, Aldo Barbero, Susana Beltrán, Justin Martin
DVD released: October 3rd, 2000
Approximate running time: 87 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
DVD Release: Something Weird
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.99
“Sex dominates the world and now I dominate sex”
Doctor Humpp (Barbero) has learnt the secret of reversing his debilitating illness. All he needs to do is to remove the essence from other human beings when they are at the point of sexual ecstasy and inject himself. Unfortunately all his patients die after being stimulated too the necessary frenzy and he sends his lobotomised mistakes out to hunt for more subjects. The police and the newspapers are starting to notice the disappearances of all the libertines and bohemians of Buenos Aires and start to investigate. The good doctor’s need for supplies causes top newshound George(Bauleo) to pick up his scent and chase him down to his lair where all manner of bizarre experiments await him.
The opening 15 minutes of Dr Humpp involve a couple snogging on a public bench, a drunk urinating on the street, a woman masturbating to pictures of hunks, a lesbian couple at it and a full scale hippie orgy. To paraphrase Frank Sinatra, Buenos Aires is my kind of town! Each of the bohemians mentioned above is whisked away by automatons in a hearse to be experimented upon by Dr Humpp and his talking brain in a jar.
Dr Humpp is a wonderful romp through mad scientist cliché and soft porn grappling. For 1971, Vieyra goes awfully near the bone in some of the acts of congress depicted here but the sheer overload of salaciousness is a joy. After the first 15 minutes a plot appears and we cheer as the good doctor is stopped before he can turn all women into nymphomaniacs as part of his plan to create supermen. The nymphomania while it lasts is enjoyable as this film has a good looking cast of sporty hunks and gorgeous blondes.
A lot of these out and out exploitation movies look cheap and poorly crafted but Dr Humpp isn’t. It is shot in a style not dissimilar to Bava’s Italian Gothic and the acting is well directed even if the actors have to deal with a script which bases all human relationships on the act of who has slept with whom. The special effects are original and the masks worn by the automatons are eerie and genuinely scary. Although truth and beauty win out in Dr Humpp it’s a great ride waiting for this victory.
The film is presented in full frame and the film has been restored brilliantly for such an offbeat cult movie. The video has no obvious damage present and the film looks in proportion although some material is missing from the edge of the screen in the titles. The English dub track is the only one available but has been done very well, a hard task given the amount of grunting in this film.
The extras include alternative opening titles and trailers for this film and another from Vieyra. Also included are 3 short films – two are black and white skinflicks, and one a satirical song about having a mutated girlfriend. The disc includes a short booklet on the films of the director.
Something Weird have done a good job with this very offbeat mixture of sleaze and horror and although I could live without the extras, the main movie is a keeper.