Femalien (1996)

Rating:

USA. 1996.

Crew

Director/Screenplay – Sybil Richards, Story – Randy Fontana, Photography – Allen Smitty, Music – Ollie Wood, Production Design – Karissa Chanbers. Production Company – Surrender Cinema

Cast

Venesa Talor (Kara), Jacqueline Lovell (Sun), Matt Shue (Drew), Kurt Schwoebel (M.J.), Holly Cat (Celeste), Juan Carlos de Vasquez (Frank), Everett Rodd (Paul), Stevi Conrad (Angel), Dolores St. Clair (Gina/Meditation Woman), Carlos San Miguel (Harry), Stu Gotz (Voice of Dak)


Plot

An alien species despatches one of their kind, Collector 3879, to Earth in the body of a woman to gather data about human sexual experience. On Earth, Collector 3879 takes the name Kara. As she wanders through society and participates in various sexual experiences, Kara becomes involves with and decides to help the people at a cafe that is about to be closed down.


While very nominally a science-fiction film, Femalien has been made as a work of erotica. From the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, production company Surrender Cinema specialised in works of softcore erotica like this made for the cable market and VHS release. They also made a number of other genre-related works such as The Exotic House of Wax (1997), The Exotic Time Machine (1998), Pleasurecraft (1999), Timegate: Tales of the Saddle Tramps (1999), Veronica 2030 (1999), Andromina: The Pleasure Planet (2000) and Virgins of Sherwood Forest (2000).

Many works of erotica and pornography often spin off plots from other popular mainstream films. We have had numerous genre works in this vein such as Flesh Gordon (1972), Edward Penishands (1991), The XXX Files (1995), The Bare Wench Project (1999) and Avengers XXX: A Porn Parody (2012) to name but the very tip of an iceberg. In this case, Femalien is essentially an erotic version of My Stepmother is an Alien (1988), a comedy that had Kim Basinger as an alien who comes to Earth in a woman’s body and ends up marrying Dan Aykroyd.

Femalien seems to have been put together with the sole intent of providing erotic encounters every seven minutes. These are spun out with all manner of lame excuses – Jacqueline Lovell spills coffee on her T-shirt, which naturally becomes an excuse for her to ask Venesa Talor to come out the back of the cafe and help her change, whereupon the two of them start making out; Jacqueline Lovell suggests that Venesa Talor go to her photographer friend Harry and we don’t even get any transition with her going there, the next cut simply places us into the middle of an erotic scene at the studio; Venesa Talor wanders into a lingerie shop and the two assistants spontaneously decide to put on a girl-on-girl exhibition for her. This, one supposes, is par for the course for a film like this. However, it makes for a slim premise for a science-fiction film and as such Femalien lacks even the most minimal requirements as a story. There is no drama, just sequential erotic scenes. There is the vague dramatic hook of the cafe that is about to be closed by Kurt Schwoebel where Venesa Talor seduces the deed off him and he returns towards the end with the police, claiming that it was conned out of him, only for the police to be dragged into an orgy at the neighbouring meditation centre. However, the film seems so unconcerned about plot that we never even find the outcome of the drama about the cafe, whether it was closed or what happened with the police involvement.

There is one sizzlingly erotic scene with Jacqueline Lovell by a swimming pool, oiling her bikinied body in the sunlight. On the other hand, the photographic studio scene is dull – it is simply much in the way of languorous slow-motion posing against a blue screen, acted without interest by the two models. Femalien is a film that is all slow-motion tastefulness to the point that it eventually becomes dull. It is undeniably classily photographed but none of the scenes in any way succeeds in suggesting the remotest degree of passion on behalf of those participating. All the models throughout seem identically bland and pneumatically inflated. Lead actress Venesa Talor is blank, not to mention features an extremely obvious set of breast implants. There are some competent CGI effects at the start, most notably a spaceship that shows the undeniable influence of tv’s Babylon 5 (1992-7).

There was a sequel with Femalien II (1998), which featured return performances from Venesa Talor and Kurt Schwoebel.