And rest assured, there's a veritable buttload of steamy softcore, simulated sex scenes in this film, with the story serving as a sort of connective tissue between them. It's kind of a shame, in fact, that we don't get to see more of that story since it's really fun and the actors all give exceptional comic performances. Unlike some preening 70s porno stud like Randy West donning a pair of glasses and trying to be "funny", Frankie Cullen is genuinely, cartoonishly amusing as Dr. Victor Frankenstein, a nebbishy scientist who gets booted (yes, "booted") out of his university teaching job for banging a buxom cheerleader on his desk.
Tony Marino is also funny as Victor's rival, Clive, who gleefully reports the Doc's carnal activities to Professor Van Sloane (actor-filmmaker Ted Newsom in fine comic form). As it happens, both Cullen and Marino happen to be a couple of pretty buffed-out hunks, which should keep the straight chicks and gay dudes in the audience occupied while the heterosexual males get an eyefull of the gorgeous female-type characters. These include voluptuous blonde knockout Brandin Rackley as Dr. Frankenstein's ditzy lab assistant Ingrid, exotic Christine Nguyen as Clive's sexy wife Claudia, and the delightfully winsome Alexis Texas as the aforementioned cheerleader, Debbie.
Retreating to his castle in Transylvania, Victor vows to prove his theories to his skeptical colleagues by bringing life to the dead, which in this case is the tall, lissom Jayden Cole as "Eve." She doesn't actually wear a bikini--more like two strips of gauze--but that doesn't matter since she gets naked pretty quick anyway. A carnal encounter with Ingrid reveals Eve's tendency to crackle with electricity whenever they connect the minus to the minus, so to speak.
Nicholas Medina's direction is quite good and Sherman Scott's screenplay is stocked with fun references to the classic Frankenstein films. Aside from all the obvious name-dropping, the opening scene has Victor illustrating a scientific procedure that seems inspired by a certain Dr. Neimann from HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (dog included) and Ingrid is obviously inspired by Teri Garr's character in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, albeit with even more impressive "knockers." One of the film's best features is its cinematography, which looks just plain great, and the musical score is also easy on the ears.
Personally, I find long, drawn-out sex scenes to be pretty boring after the first minute or so, but the ones in this film benefit from truly great-looking performers and skillful execution. Add to this a nutty cast, lighthearted script, and pleasing production values, and BIKINI FRANKENSTEIN, while lacking a satisfactory ending, is a creation that's more than the sum of its parts.
TWILIGHT VAMPS (2009), on the other hand, isn't quite as enjoyable comedy-wise but maintains the same high standards in regard to the sex scenes while boasting pretty much the same cast. This time Frankie Cullen and Tony Marino play Jack and Roger, a couple of office drones who decide to unwind at a flashy new strip club called Shadows, which just happens to be a front for a bunch of beautiful vampires who drain male customers of their money, sexual energies, and blood.
Having just been dumped by his girlfriend Louise after discovering that she was a dyke interested only in banging her girlfriends and emptying his bank account, Jack falls for sexy blonde dancer Tabitha (Brandin Rackley) while Roger is smitten with Angela (Christine Nguyen). Before long, however, Jack discovers the blood-splattered truth and is forced to become an amateur vampire hunter armed only with a bottle of holy water that's gone past its expiration date.
With the same above-average production values, cinematography, and performances as BIKINI FRANKENSTEIN, TWILIGHT VAMPS is breezy low-budget entertainment that's pleasing to the eye. In addition to the usual plethora of simulated sex scenes which are equally well-done, the strip club setting affords lucky viewers the opportunity to watch the leading ladies show off their considerable poledancing skills. Ultra-fabulous babe Brandin Rackley, who has instantly leapt into the top five of my favorite actresses of this week, is especially awesome in this department (although the exquisite Christine Nguyen offers her close competition in terms of hotness). The opposite of her goofy "Ingrid" character from BIKINI FRANKENSTEIN, Brandin's "Tabitha" is sublimely gorgeous and seductive. In fact, she should be receiving my marriage proposal in the mail any day now, and my fingers are crossed that she'll check the "yes" box. Wish me luck!
Ron Ford returns as Jack's unappreciative boss, Mr. Cartwright, this time sporting an outlandishly fake beard, while Ted Newsom shows up again as a terse, suspicious police detective who questions Jack in regard to one of the vampire murders. In addition to giving his usual solid performance, Ted gets to reprise one of the most celebrated quotes from Ed Wood's classic PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, and delivers the line with much relish. (Or whatever the craft services people were serving that day.)
Once again, Nicholas Medina handles the directing chores while also contributing the screenplay, which, according to the opening titles, is "based on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe." What poem by Edgar Allen Poe? I don't remember him writing anything called "Twilight Vamps." Maybe it's one of his lesser-known works. The associate producer is identified as one "Thorn Sherman", although it's unclear whether or not this is the same Thorn Sherman portrayed by actor James Best in THE KILLER SHREWS. If so, my hat's off to the guy for defeating those horrible monsters and scoring Miss Universe 1957 in the bargain.
Infinity Entertainment Group's DVDs of TWILIGHT VAMPS and BIKINI FRANKENSTEIN are presented in 16 x 9 widescreen and 2.0 Dolby Stereo. Special features include original trailers.
TWILIGHT VAMPS is filled with visual delights and, while not quite as much giddy fun, makes a fitting companion piece to BIKINI FRANKENSTEIN. Both films are worth checking out for the sex scenes alone, with the added benefit of talented actors and production values that are clearly superior to the usual low-budget fare. So the next time the guys are over at your place for the usual Saturday night drunken wing-ding, leave GIRLS GONE WILD on the shelf and pop one of these babies into the DVD player, and go nuts.
Buy "Bikini Frankenstein" at Amazon.com
Buy "Twilight Vamps" at Amazon.com