The Curious Dr. Humpp - The Curious Dr. Humpp( Blu Ray) [101 Films - 2022]
Part mad doctor shlock, part softcore, and part lumbering sci-fi horror picture The Curious Dr. Humpp is a true late 60’s exploitation curio. The film shifts from the unsettling & wonky, onto the camp and kooky, through to the sleazed and surreally sensual. Here as part of 101 Films UK reissue of the AGFA cult film library is a region B blu ray release of the film- featuring a commentary track from Basket Case's Frank Henenlotte, and a few other extras.
Originally released in the year 1969 in Uraquay, then in 1971 in the USA getting re-dubbed in English with extra footage The Curious Dr. Humpp(aka La Venganza Del Sexo) is a real odd ride of a film- shifting between the strangely unsettling, camp, sleazy, and the schlocky. The main/ original part of the film was directed/ written by Buenos Aires, Argentina-born Emilio Vieyra with the extra footage being helmed by NYC's Jerald Intrator. The film is captured in moody black and white, and for low-budget exploitation, the whole thing is well captured, with some darkly arty touches- though the acting is largely pretty bad/ wooden.
The film focuses on Dr Humpp (Aldo Barbero) a hair-gelled back, sometimes shades waring, and switching between stern & hamming it up mad doctor. He’s kidnapping, with the help of creepy and lumbering henchmen, a selection of people who he forces to have sex with each other. Weaved around this we have cigar-smoking Inspector Benedict (Héctor Biuchet) investigating the disappearance, and heroic news report George (Ricardo Bauleo) who is determined to get to the bottom of what’s going on- and gets more than he was bargained for.
One of the key elements that make the film so notable/ memorable is the Dr’s lead henchmen- who steal folk off the street and lurks around creepily. He wears a boss-eyed mask that looks like a more unsettling & sleazed version of the grinch. He also has strange shuffling white booted feet and clawing sweaty flesh and fur-covered hands. Otherwise, the softcore move between shadowy leering and sensual surreal, with the blend of sci-fi and horror being both quirky and at times bizarre, for example, we have a talking brain in a jar. The less successful elements here are the police investigation and some of the pacing- the former just seems bland and uninspired with Biuchet being a most underwhelming mystery solver, and the latter is often drifting/ lulling.
I’d been aware of The Curious Dr. Humpp for years, since it first appeared on the Something Weird label. But this is my first watch of the film- and I’d say it’s a very mixed bag- yes there is an unsettling and strange atmosphere created in quite a few places here, but equally, there is some serious drag in the runtime/ plot building, meaning at points it feels way longer than it’s fairly standard one hour and twenty-seven minutes runtime. I’d say if you enjoy the place where strange sexploitation meets horror & sci-fi shlock then you’ve got to check out The Curious Dr. Humpp.
On the extras side on this disc, we get a commentary from director/ grindhouse enthusiast Frank Henenlotte- and as usual with his tracks it's very animated and packed with facts/ observations/ other film suggestions. We find out the original was filmed in just two weeks, he points out the sexploitation inserts, and who put them in. We get talk about Emilio Vieyra's other four horror films, quirky comments on on-screen action, hippy exploitation film recommendations, and much more- a great play a few track. There’s the original cut of the film La Venganza Del Sexo- which runs one-hour twenty-two, instead of the one hour and twenty-seven of Dr Humpp. There is twenty-two minutes of shorts and trailers.
It's so great to see this UK series of AGFA titles continuing with this release of The Curious Dr. Humpp. If you dig where horror, wacky sci-fi, and softcore meet- then this is most certainly something you need to be checking out.Roger Batty