Sexmission puts some poles in Poland

Two men find themselves in a futuristic world populated entirely by women. These women treat the men with fear and distrust but they also fall unconscious when kissed helpless in the face of raw masculine sexuality.

Sounds like one of those tacky sexist sci-fi movies of the 1950s such as Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) and Queen of Outer Space (1958) doesn’t it? Actually the film we’re discussing is slightly more recent than that. It’s called Sexmission (a.k.a. Seksmisja ) (1984) and it’s apparently the most profitable Polish film of all time.

We begin in the “future” of 1991 where two regular dudes Albert and Maks (Olgierd Lukaszewicz and Jerzy Stuhr respectively) are preparing to become the first human volunteers to be cryogenically frozen. The plan is to thaw them out in three years so they’re a bit confused when they awake in the year 2044 to find a world in which they are the only two surviving human males. Radiation from a nuclear war has killed all of the men leaving the women to rebuild society in a vast underground techno-metropolis.

Sounds like a pretty good deal for Albert and Maks doesn’t it? They’ll be celebrities helping to re-introduce the future-babes to the pleasures of sex! Well no. (At least not at first.) It seems that the surviving female government is an oppressive dictatorship that has revised the history books to make all of the important historical figures (Copernicus Einstein etc.) female. They also blame all of the world’s ills on the male gender and the only way that Maks and Albert will be allowed to live peacefully is by getting “naturalized” their term for castrated.

The guys make a run for it assisted by the smitten Dr. Lamia who cannot resist Maks’ masculine charms. Plenty of naked women wander around for vague reasons — apparently the citizens of 2044 are expected to fully undress in the elevator before going swimming. Most of the citizens don’t recognize the men at first glance — after all they haven’t seen a man in 50 years — but there are mini-skirted storm troopers on the hunt for the fugitives. Fortunately Maks figures out how to knock them out by kissing them which comes in handy. Escaping to the planet’s surface they discover that the radiation is gone the Earth is fertile and inhabitable and there’s even a nearby mansion stocked with all the comforts of home. The boys shack up with Lamia and another random damsel but are surprised by the unexpected appearance of “Her Majesty” the ruler of the remnants of civilization who is revealed to be a man in drag.

The film ends with the lads sabotaging the nursery where the all-female test-tube babies are incubated. A nurse screams in horror as the camera presents us with an extreme close-up of a newborn baby’s penis over which the end credits roll. Kind of an uncomfortable image to end on really. That kid must be about 30 years old now. I wonder what he thinks of this movie? “Hey Stanislaw; I saw your tiny baby dick on TV last night! Haw haw haw!” “Shut up Krzysztof!”

Sexmission is very much a film made for 1980s Polish audiences and has neither aged nor translated well. Most of the jokes don’t survive the subtitles and the anticommunist political satire is obscured by all the sexism. The futuristic sets and costumes are about on par with Woody Allen’s similar 1973 hit Sleeper ; not great but good enough for a silly comedy. Despite its faults Sexmission is peculiar enough to be memorable. Plus it was directed by Juliusz Machulski whose indescribable comedy King Size (1988) is even weirder than this one.

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