I’ve often wondered how long the process of "porn knockoffs" has been in existence. Nowadays, before a film even makes its way to a theater, the porn film with the similar, yet risqué, name is waiting in the wings. More often than not, the title is merely a marketing ploy and has little to do with the content of the film. A video like The Sex Files has no sleepy-eyed FBI super sleuth running around and ramming his redheaded sidekick while searching for babelicious alien life forms.
Bob Vosse’s Sex Wars has production values that rival Dunyaya Kurtaran Adam. Instead of the never-ending hand-to-hand combat of the Turkish Star Wars, Sex Wars features a barrage of blow-jobs.
The verbose Brinker Duo (Paul Thomas) and his slightly seen sidekick Mark Starkiller (Richard Pacheco) are two down on their luck losers who can’t even afford to pay for intergalactic nookie. Fortunately, at the local pub they come across Princess Layme (Robin Cannes) who tries to hire our heroes to help find her sister, Princess Orgasmo. This quest, however, would take them into the Tyros (in the region of Lesbos); a veritable "Bermuda Triangle" of space as the Orson Wellesian narrator informs us. Being chickenshit, our heroes decline the offer until Princess Layme boozes them up, screws, and shanghais the duo.
After a very brief journey, the merry band’s ship is drawn to a planet courtesy of a tractor beam and some cheap model effects. Once landed, they find themselves the prisoner of Lord Balthazar (Howard Darkley), a limbless, gold-skinned pervert who controls the minds, and bodies, of everyone he’s captured.
In a display of his power, we see a hapless spaceship commander (Billy Dee) being molested by three vixens and Princess Orgasmo. The scene is narrated by a breathy female computer voice that, at one point, chants, "You are required to concentrate on elongation" without cessation. In his weakened state after orgasm, Balthazar’s victim rescinds his free will and becomes yet another somnambulistic slave to the gilded despot.
After a run-in with a couple of Asian gals in whiteface, Brinker and his cronies devise a plan to overthrow their captor. The plan seems to consist of Princess Layme and Princess Orgasmo making hot monkey love in front of the practically drooling Balthazar while Brinker and Mark search for the source of Balthazar’s power. It seems that even this version of Star Wars wasn’t free of incestuous themes. The two princesses seem to have no problem shucking their robes and giving Balthazar quite a show.
Other parallels can be drawn between Sex Wars and Star Wars such as the quest to save a princess from an evil overlord. With the exception of a flatulent robot named 4Q (a joke name recycled from Hardware Wars) and an over-extended pair of cantina sequences filled with lots of "weird" creatures, the film’s narrative shares more elements with the old Star Trek episode, "The Return of the Archons" than Star Wars. This episode depicts a race of people who are lead by Landru, a computer-generated prophet of peace who controls the minds of his people until Captain Kirk forces it to self-destruct. Kirk always had a knack for short-circuiting computers either with a barrage of philosophical questions or by acting goofyand there’s always sparks and smoke aplenty.
Sex Wars was made in 1985 in a time when home video had already begun to encroach classic 35mm porn and this definitely shows in the shoddy production, longer sex scenes, and low-grade actors. One doesn’t usually expect Oscar-caliber performances in an adult feature but the acting, especially by Princess Layme, is atrocious. But the kicker has to be that no one in the film is overly attractive! The only heavenly bodies in this film are the quarks, pulsars, and gas clouds.
The film does keep a grasp on some classic porn conventions such as intercutting two (or more) sex scenes to aid in pacing. Visual metaphors are also employed but tend to get annoying after repeatedly seeing the same shots of star fields and spewing lava. The story ends about fifteen minutes before the film does, leaving the audience with a second tedious cantina scene with very little sex and too many shots of folks in goofy costumes and make-up; friends of the producers, no doubt.
Instead of being the film that fanboys everywhere have fantasized about (involving Princess Leia in her slavegirl outfit), Sex Wars is a cheap excuse for a quality adult film that can’t even be saved with the fast-forward button.