NECROMANIA (DVD)

2 Stars
Year Released: 1971
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 54 minutes
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No one would be interested in the 1971 X-rated flick “Necromania” had it not been among the final productions helmed by the notorious Edward D. Wood Jr. (under the pseudonym of Don Miller). Made during the nadir of his career, when Wood could only find work in the pornography industry, “Necromania” has been something of a holy grail for Wood fanatics because the hardcore version was considered lost. A soft core version had been circulating via bootleg video for years, but this version ran anywhere from 43 to 51 minutes (depending on who was releasing it). The original uncut 54 minute opus allegedly disappeared after it was completed and reportedly was never screened.

Well, the hardcore “Necromania” has been found and remastered for DVD. To be frank, it is a typical early 70s porno film with all of the trappings of the genre: ultra-cheap filmmaking, a none-too-attractive cast (strangely, the men are much prettier than the women here) and a lot of extremely unerotic intercourse. Sorry, no lost classic here.

“Necromania” finds a young couple visiting the lair of Madame Heles (pronounced “heals”), a California witch who can put the oomph back in the couple’s sagging love life. There is plenty of satanic decor at Madame Heles’ pad, including skulls and inverted crosses and even a coffin where the good lady sleeps until midnight. There are two amusing points in the film: when the young man seeking help comments that he expects to see Bela Lugosi as Dracula walking about the house and the amusing climax where the uptight young man is stripped by the others and deposited into Madame Heles’ coffin for a rejuvenating bit of in-and-out.

But beyond that, “Necromania” literally has nothing to recommend. It is not wonderfully bad in the tradition of the Wood anti-classics like “Glen or Glenda?” and “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” nor is it memorable in the manner of “Deep Throat” and the better skin flicks of the era. It is just a mundane old X-rated movie. Wood completists may wish to see how the great man ended his film career, but unless you love vintage porn “Necromania” is not worth seeking out.



Posted on December 7, 2004 in Reviews by
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