Tuesday 23 November 2010


When I heard about this movie, over on the Science Fiction forums on yuku, I knew I had to seek it out and watch it, ASAP, as the corporate drones say. A Polish film, it was made in 1984, Iron Curtain still intact, Communist regime still in place, and became one of the most popular Polish films ever. How did they get away with it?

Because, despite the title and the flashes of nudity throughout this film, it isn't even a soft porn but a social and political satire in that broad, knowing but not quite cynical manner that I associate with Eastern European satire in general. In the 90s - the near future when this film was made - two men are put in suspended animation as an experiment. They are to be revived in three years. Instead, when they are finally awakened, half a century has passed. A global war involving nuclear and biological weapons has rendered the surface of the earth uninhabitable and wiped out the male species. Female survivors live in underground shelters, reproducing by what essentially amounts to a form of cloning.

When the two men are found and resurrected, they soon find that this all-female future world has no room for them, considering them 'the missing link between apes and women' their fate is either to be killed or 'naturalised' - turned into females. One of the men is a cocky, swaggering braggart, the other a clumsy, bumbling worrier. Together, they have to somehow triumph over armed and deadly female warriors and find a way to escape. Fortunately, the braggart's inept attentions have stirred long-dormant instincts in one of the female scientists...

This film is often laugh-out-loud hilarious with its digs on politics of both the sexual and official variety. Much fun is had at the expense of various forms of sexism and authoritarianism - so much so that one can't help but wonder what the censors made of it all. A hidden gem from the bad old Cold War world (already then on its last legs) and an excellent science fiction satire.


majaz said...

This is an excellent comedy and indeed has a cult status here in Poland. If you liked it, you might also try another sci-fi movie directed by Machulski around the same time - 'kingsajz', even more obvious and inventive satire

JP said...

Thanks for your comment, I'll look for Kingsajz!