[Last Film I Saw] Sexmission (1984)


English Title: Sexmission
Original Title: Seksmisja
Year: 1984
Country: Poland
Language: Polish
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Director: Juliusz Machulski
Juliusz Machulski
Jolanta Hartwig
Pavel Hajný
Olgierd Lukaszewicz
Jerzy Stuhr
Bozena Stryjkówna
Boguslawa Pawelec
Beata Tyszkiewicz
Hanna Stankówna
Wieslaw Michnikowski
Ryszarda Hanin
Janusz Michalowski
Dorota Stalinska
Rating: 7.2/10

Sexmission 1984

It’s a rare gem which doesn’t weather away for nearly 30 years, from Polish director Juliusz Machulski, it’s a Sci-Fi satire, two men awake in 2044 from their prolonged hibernation (two guinea pigs for science devotion or other reasons whatsoever) find out they dwell in a girls-run-the-world civilization with an utter male-extinction premise, which sounds instinctively should prompt great source work for heterosexual porn movies, although the female sexual exploitation may not be dodged (for the audience’s sake), the film’s novelty lies in its satisfying and unexpected device of an utter revelry which defies genre savvy with whimsical set pieces and twists-and-turns, a parthenogenesis propagation laboratory, the neutralization or liquidation verdict (with the history-twisted gender-switch for Copernicus and Einstein, even more farcical to satirize Ms. Curie), the father-daughter “reunion”, the ludicrous password “ FUCK” gag, not to mention the final anti-climate unveiling of “the third man”, it is a rudimentary success in conveying its apolitical farce above all the presumably controversial bearings among the gender-sensitive, hegemony-wary, surveillance-omnipresent, rebellion-quelling and eroticism-awakening nitpicking.

Two leading actors, Olgierd Lukaszewicz and Jerzy Stuhr, one prim, another more secular (at the beginning, their characteristics are manifestly reflected by the different knee-jerking responses towards a glass-cracking accident, an internal pressure or a bad omen) comprise an amiable pair, the now-ubiquitous neologism “bromance” can effortlessly find its own mirror here; various sleek and sensual women delineated here are mostly warrior-like outside, wooden and brainwashed inside, but eventually there will be two lucky ones who will fall prey as the rewards for the last two men standing. It’s a mainstream smart move yet overall convincingly played out.

Decorated with a Sci-Fi milieu, the claustrophobic settings and synthesizer-produced electronic score can easily betray the film’s 80s trappings, but Juliusz Machulski has a sober sense not to be too lenient in its thematically pie-in-the-sky orgy, when the film ends with an overlong close-up at a new-born baby’s penis, it is a truly satisfactory culmination.

ps: if my memory serves me well, it is actually the second Polish film I’ve ever watched, heralds an auspicious starting point for me to perambulate this strange land.


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