Haunting, frightening and sexually unsettling, Café Flesh is a dynamic, all-together unique erotic film from the same people who gave us the equally bizarre Night Dreams last year.
The film takes place in the future, after World War III, where people find themselves in a strange sexual predicament. It seems as though 99 percent of the remaining population is unable to have sex without becoming violently ill. They’re called Sex Negatives. The remaining one percent, Sex Positives, can still enjoy sex. These people are used by the government to entertain the rest of the masses in live fantasies staged in sleazy cabarets.
One of the most popular cabarets is Café Flesh, a smoky, convoluted establishment inhabited by the downtrodden denizens of the nuclear holocaust. The emcee of the club is Max (Andrew Nichols), a risqué, big-mouthed comic – the 21sth Century’s answer to Lenny Bruce. Max dons make-up and far-out costumes in order to keep his patrons amused, as he introduces the various, intricately staged sex fantasies to the Negatives.
The management of Café Flesh draws a big coup when they sign Johnny Rico to perform. Rico (Kevin Jay), a bona-fide superstar, stands way over 6 feet tall and has an enormous penis and incredible sexual agility. He’s the post-Holocaust version of Brando, Dean and Stallone. He wears sunglasses, smokes cigarettes and, we soon discover, may even have the ability to turn Negatives into Positives with his intense posturing.
Café Flesh is a brave, creative step in adult filmmaking. Indeed, it is as strange a film as you’ll ever see, adult or not, and its makers, director Crème Rinse and writer F.X. Pope are to be applauded for continuously keeping the film interesting, both visually and sexually. The film combines haunting Fellini-esque images with futuristic Clockwork Orange-like settings. And the sex – all done in staged fantasy sequences – is both humorous and outrageous. Consider a performer with a mouse’s head performing cunnilingus, or a pockmarked secretary asking “Do you want me to type a message?” while a man and a woman casually hump away to the backdrop of Texas oil wells churning away, and you have an idea of the erotic imagery on hand here.
The performances are uniformly excellent in the film, with Nicholas stealing the show as the obnoxious Max. Paul McGibboney is compelling as Nicky, who remembers the days when things were normal and badly wishes to have his sexual feelings back. Both Marie Sharp and Pia Snow of Bad Girls fame, turn in erotically intense performances; they steam in their erotic fantasies sequences. The rest of the cast appears to be made up of a conglomeration of punk rockers, local repertory performers and freaks. And they’re just what this peculiar film ordered.
Café Flesh is definitely for everybody. If you’re not an adventurous adult viewer, forget it; it’s not for you. But if you’re looking for something outrageous, even disturbing, don’t miss this new videocassette. It shows that life after the Big One is simply a “cabaret, old chum – only a cabaret.”