Written by: George Pacheco on January 23rd, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1989
Director: David DeCoteau
Writer: Kenneth J. Hall
Cast: Billy Jacoby, Judy Landers, Ginger Lynn Allen, Linnea Quigley, Olivia Barash
DVD Release Date: January 14th, 2013
Approximate Running Time: 83 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Fullframe
Sound: English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles: 18 (UK)
DVD Release: 88 Films
Region Encoding: Region 0 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £8.99
The U.K.’s 88 Films has quickly earned a name for itself as the new home for the low budget horror and sci-fi of Charles Band, whose reputation as a true B-movie mogul was cemented during his time with Empire and Full Moon Pictures during the seventies, eighties, nineties…and beyond.
Dr. Alien—also known as I Was a Teenage Sex Maniac and I Was a Teenage Sex Mutant—might have been perceived as one of Band’s lesser outings in terms of popularity and exposure, yet the film has held up surprisingly well in terms of how breezy and enjoyable it flows when compared to the average, nudity-packed 80s teen comedy. The plot is relatively simple, as we are introduced to the nebbish college student Wesley Littlejohn (played by Billy Jacoby), whose lives a relatively hum-drum existence, away from the usual alcohol and sex temptations usually fielded by young men his age.
It isn’t until an unidentified flying object touches down in his small town that things begin to change for Littlejohn. This UFO chases his biology teacher Dr. Ackerman—a cameo appearance by legendary actor Troy Donahue—off the road, resulting in both serious injury…as well as the introduction of a sexy substitute. Enter the incomparable Judy Landers as Ms. Xenobia, a seductive sub who has some serious plans for Wesley. These plans involve being an experimental guinea pig for a mysterious green liquid which results some strange side effects for the young man, including an exposed, tentacle-like protuberance from his head which possesses an added side effect of being unrelentingly irresistible to the opposite sex.
Of course, all is not as it seems with the luscious Ms. Xenobia, as Landers’ character eventually reveals her true colours as one of the aforementioned aliens, in search for a virile male to assist in repopulating her home planet, which has unfortunately fallen victim to an outbreak of impotence on the part of its entire male populous. This loosely threaded plot may not be the most original of ideas, but it serves the film’s primary purpose: to show copious and gratuitous amount of nudity—unfortunately not from Ms. Landers, whose homegrown, approachable beauty caused the hearts of many an 80s teen male to flutter—while indulging in nearly all of the teen comedy clichés of the day, including the prerequisite “punk rock” concert scene.
In this aim, Dr. Alien certainly succeeds, and truthfully has aged surprisingly well when it comes to the proudly crass 80s sex comedy. The pacing is brisk enough so that the film never feels like a chore, while the overall atmosphere should bring back a bit of nostalgia for those who lived through the decade the first time around, simultaneously serving as a bit of retro fun for the younger crowd.
88 Films presents Dr. Alien in a full frame presentation which preserves the film’s original video release. The colors and picture possess a soft focus indicative of the time period, yet remain clear and easy to enjoy. The Dolby Digital stereo sound is clear and audible throughout, as well. Where this 88 Films release improves over all prior DVD issues of Dr. Alien is the extras department. In addition to a Full Moon trailer reel, animated stills and a reversible cover art sleeve, 88 Films has also decided to include a bonus film in the form of 1978’s Auditions, an X-rated Charles Band production which details the goings-on behind a series of auditions for an unrealized sequel to Band’s erotic Fairy Tales picture.
Auditions is significantly more adult themed in nature, and features a number of real life porn and softcore stars engaging in various sexualized situations. Although the sequences avoid the gynecological close ups so often associated with the hardcore genre—instead dwelling primarily within the “moan and writhe” style of grindhouse sex—notable appearances from actors Rhonda Jo Petty, Ric Lutze and a very young Linnea Quigley, whose character strips down to nothing but a smile for a frenzied dance sequence.
It’s this inclusion of Auditions—presented letterboxed, but in true, fuzzy VHS sourced exploitation style—really secures Dr. Alien as a recommended purchase for those wishing to time travel back to the not-so-innocent days of B-movie yore, while happily leaving their brains at the door. Dr. Alien receives respectable treatment from 88 Films.