Special 40th Anniversary Presentation: Sexcula

(Canada, 1974, mins, 16mm)
World Premiere
CAST Debbie Collins, Jamie Orlando, John Alexander, Tim Lowery, Marie McLeod.


Shot right here in beautiful BC, the Canadian tax payers’ first (and only?) hardcore sex film, Sexcula occupies an obscure yet unique position in the annals of Vancouver cinema.

Featuring mad scientists, a vampire and a gorilla, the film was a brainchild of the free love movement and an accountant’s advice. Made in the Lower Mainland thirty summers ago by a construction contractor with an open lifestyle, it started as a campy, nudie spoof on classic horror motifs, but merged in production into the then-blossoming “porno chic” genre—-odd choice since you couldn’t legally show hardcore sex onscreen in Canada at that time. Thus, the generous Canadian Tax Credits were used to make a Canadian movie no one in Canada could see (but since the Tax Shelter had the fatal flaw of promoting film production but not distribution, perhaps that makes Sexcula the quintessential Tax Shelter film.)

The plot - cobbled together by a writer named David F Hurry - involves a couples’ discovery of an old manuscript in an abandoned house. The book chronicles strange goings-on in the eighteenth century, In flashback, we meet Dr. Fellatingstein, a libidinous scientist who creates a man to satisfy her sexual cravings—alas, the creation (“Frank”) proves impotent, and in desperation, she calls on her cousin, Countess Sexcula, to rouse his lust. Sexcula gives it the old college try, but upon further investigation determines that he is lacking “sex cells.” Undaunted, she uses her feminine charms to abduct eligible men as unwilling donors. There is also a 20-minute, strikingly more explicit, film within the film, shoehorned in to bring the running time up to the 90 minutes required to qualify for the tax break.

As far as has been determined, Sexcula screened just once, a cast and crew show at Vancouver’s now defunct Panorama Studios. But a print was purchased by Archives Canada, and perhaps strangely, the film has enjoyed some kind of an afterlife in certain disreputable circles. Stories from the production inspired the Vancouver-made comedy Overnight (1986), which is itself something of a lost film.

This 40th Anniversary Screening offers audiences a time capsule, a glimpse of what Canadian sex fantasy looked like in the heyday of porno. (Warning, Sexcula features explicit sexual imagery that some may find offensive.) Special guests to be announced.