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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CLOAK & SHAG HER -- DVD review by porfle


With its poppy 60s-spoof packaging and "Austin Powers" overtones, CLOAK & SHAG HER (2008) looks like it's going to be as much fun as another  Seduction Cinema release I caught earlier, SSI: SEXY SQUAD INVESTIGATION.  But this one doesn't quite have the same mojo, baby.

I don't know about you, but I find extended softcore sex scenes to be even more boring than extended hardcore sex scenes.  Sure, I love looking at nude women, but watching long, drawn-out sequences of them coyly fiddling around with each other and doing R-rated stuff eventually makes me start to yawn, especially when a movie is composed of several of these scenes linked by brief patches of lame, half-hearted comedy. 

Maybe that's why I liked SSI so much--it had the same structure but the comedy was actually funny in its own dopey way.  And I think it helped that I saw the shorter version in which the pretend-sex scenes ended before I started to nod off.  SSI also had the advantage of some location photography, as opposed to the claustrophobic CLOAK & SHAG HER which was taped entirely under one roof, plus an overall sense of comic enthusiasm that is lacking here. 
 
The story, such as it is, concerns a scheme by the evil Dr. Mean (Darian Caine) to use a love potion to make horny yuppies more susceptible to her commands.  I think.  This is such a terrifying prospect that super-sexy secret agent April Flowers (Julian Wells) and her bumbling partner Basil Shagalittle (Dean Paul) are fetched from the late 60s via time machine and summoned into action.  This action, of course, consists of having sex with Dr. Mean and her minions.

The actors are adequate but nobody in the cast is in danger of winning an Oscar.  As April Flowers, Julian Wells is cute as a button and makes really cool faces during sex.  Dean Paul gives us his best Austin Powers imitation as Basil, but it just ain't happenin', baby.  Darian Caine is a little bland for a super-villian--she recites her lines okay but doesn't really put much into them.  As her minions, the sexy A.J. Khan and the incredibly non-sexy Shane Annigans (as the hulking, homicidal-but-sensitive henchman "Sid the Mangler") do what they can with their roles, while Ruby LaRocca is a lot funnier as herself in the making-of featurette than she is in the movie.

The extras also include a director's commentary and a bunch of trailers from other Seduction Cinema releases (most of which looked like more fun than this one).  And there's also a 2nd disc that consists of--surprise!--the film's soundtrack music by a group called Trigger Finger.  The songs tend to get a little monotonous, but this is mainly because they were written as backup to monotonous scenes.  Otherwise, it's a pretty cool CD. 

This might be a pleasant diversion if you catch it in the right mood, but it's just too blah for me to give it a "yeah, baby, yeah!"  The pop-art opening titles sequence, with all the female characters indulging in some topless go-go dancing to Trigger Finger's catchy main theme, is a lot of fun and kicks the movie off right.  It's too bad the rest of CLOAK & SHAG HER barely even tries to be as shag-a-delic.


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