Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thirteen Erotic Ghosts (2002)

Directed by Fred Olen Ray
Starring Julie Strain, Mia Zottoli, Aria Giovanni, The Porcelain Twinz

"She died in a girl-girl orgy with the student body."
"What student body?"
"All of them."

The insanely prolific Z-flick king Fred Olen Ray has two distinct filmmaking modes. There's the "I'm making a real movie" mode - see Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and Phantom Empire - and then there's the "I'm making a quick buck" mode - see everything else he's made, including this. Lesbian softcore is one of his quick-cash specialties, and he can wrap just about any gimmick imaginable around a handful of girl-girl scenes. In this case, he's riffing off of the success (?) of the 2001 Thirteen Ghosts reboot, adding a 3D twist to the proceedings, and tossing a generous helping of gratuitous naked Julie Strain on top. Plus a little playful twincest! Who could resist such a tasty confection?

The opening scene features a towering Strain cavorting in a kiddie pool with two identi-blondes (the Porcelain Twinz!)  and a dildo. Although she does a lot of goofy ballet moves, and the cheesy violin score sounds like something from a bad Italian restaurant, the scene is surprisingly potent, as close to hardcore as you can get without any graphic insertion. Semi-hardcore, let's say. Anyway, halfway through this lusty Sapphic threesome, a bolt of lightning shoots from the sky, strikes the dildos, and fries the lithesome ladies. The end.

No wait, it's just the beginning. Fast forward to "Many years later", where we meet disgraced ex-anchor man turned low-ball journalsit Ted Nightingale (frequent Olen Ray goofball Jay Richardson), his snarky producer Gina Dicaprio (Mia Zotolli), and a jumpy cameraman (Assault of the Party Nerds director Richard Gabai), as they are about to broadcast the first-ever televised exploration of "Waffle House", the very same finishing school where Strain and the twins were, ahem, finished so long ago. It's haunted now, you see. With sexy ghosts!

Of course, much like in the original 13 Ghosts - which was definitely lacking in the lesbian sex department, so I'm glad this one got made - they'll need special "Ghost goggles" to see the ghosts. So they put 'em on and snoop around the castle, running into various sex-spirits along the way, who either have sex with Gina or with each other. So that's pretty awesome.

Also, the twins are now punk rock cheerleader ghosts. How does that happen?

Julie Strain also pops up as Baroness Lucrezia. It's been two-hundred years to the day since she was fried alive by the electric dildo, and if she manages to have sex with the investigators, she will be released from her ghostly confines in the house. I think that's what's happening. Either that, or she just wants to bone some live meat.

Halfway through the movie, there's a 3D sex scene with the punk rock cheerleader twins and Julie Strain. Maybe. I don't have the glasses to verify this. Still, even the promise of a 3D sex scene with Julie Strain and the Porcelain Twinz seems worth the price of admission to me.

So Gina has a four-way with the ghosts, and camera-guy figures out how to shoot it (by putting the ghost-goggles over the lens, naturally), which frees all the spirits from the house, and allows Baroness and Hugo to split for England to get drunk and bone.

Clearly, F.O.R was not trying particularly hard with this one. The plot is not just flimsy, it's virtually translucent, and the castle the entire film is shot in...well, it has shag carpeting. So it's a 1974 castle. Still, there's a fully-nude lesbian softcore scene every ten minutes, the always impressive Julie Strain is topless for most of the running time, and the cast is littered with familiar faces mugging shamelessly through what is obviously a very fun afternoon for everyone involved. Boners will be popped, laughs will be had, eyes will be strained trying to get the half-assed 3D to work.

- Ken McIntyre 

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