Greetings again from the darkness. An injured man is attended to by a group of females in an isolated home, and things don’t go so well. You might assume this is similar to THE BEGUILED, but you’d be mistaken. Written and directed by Bruce La Bruce, a radical Canadian filmmaker known for his work in extreme Queer Cinema, the film is a cross between satire, social commentary, and proof that one can purposefully make a film far outside the mainstream.
The film begins with two schoolgirls kissing in a field “somewhere in Ger(Wo)many”. It’s the first of too many uses of twisted non-male vocabulary. We also get “A(Wo)men” to end a prayer, Herstory (instead of History) as a class, and (Wo)manifesto to spell out the mission of the group. The girls spot an injured man and sneak him into the basement of their all-girls home/school. We soon learn they are part of the Female Liberation Army, a group of radical female separatists whose favorite chant is “Down with the patriarchy”.
You might think that hiding an injured man in the basement would be the biggest secret of the girls, but again, you’d be mistaken. We are provided with the background for each of the characters, but mostly we are pounded with the anti-male message: “male is superfluous”. The girls’ lessons include parthenogenesis and learning to quote philosophers such as Schopenhauer, and of course, most of it is satirical and campy … just not quite campy enough.
Director La Bruce never strays far from shock value: a slow motion pillow fight, gay sex scenes, an unusual (and maybe fetishy) dance scene with eggs, and quite vivid video footage of a particular medical procedure involving the young man discovered in the woods. To cap it off, Big Mother (the leader of this revolutionary group) announces that they will make an all-female porno film because … what better way to prove we don’t need men? Its purpose is to serve as propaganda to spread their anti-male message, and once again, a bit more camp would have helped. Admittedly, this is one film I should have passed on reviewing, as I simply am not one to “wake up and smell the estrogen”.