'Sexcula' Vancouver Porn Film To Screen After 40 Years

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Vancouver-shot 'porno chic' movie 'Sexcula' screens for the first time in 40 years. | Publicity Still

Cult aficionados are in for a treat this week as long-lost B.C. hardcore porn film "Sexcula" receives its first Vancouver screening in 40 years.

In fact, according to the Vancity Theatre (which is hosting Friday night's screening), the Vancouver-shot movie has only been shown once before, at a cast-and-crew screening at the city's former Paramount Studios.

The low-budget sex/horror flick centres around the discovery of an old manuscript in an abandoned house that details a bunch of 18th century sexual shenanigans retold in flashback, with a 20-minute film-within-the-film segment where the really explicit action takes place.

The movie was made, bizarrely enough, as some kind of tax write-off under a Canadian Tax Credit system that funded production, but not distribution. This weird anomaly meant Canadian taxpayers funded a 1970s "porno chic" film that could not legally be screened in Canada.

Self-described local "porn archeologist" Dimitrios Otis told The Courier that while the film definitely has its hardcore moments, largely, it's a bunch of nude skits. "Then there’s a girl who does an interpretive dance with a gorilla," he told the paper. "It’s got someone in a gorilla costume, so that tells you a lot right there.”

In a tale that becomes stranger by the minute, The Georgia Straight suggests that the movie was shot by the crew that made "The Littlest Hobo" for TV, and that production stills show that the sound and camera crews worked naked on set.

The original director and cameraman were fired, so 27-year-old camera assistant John Holbrook was quickly promoted to helm "Sexcula", something he doesn't associate with the happiest of memories.

“I hadn’t even seen a porn film when I did it," Holbrook told The Province. "I said I’d do it because there was some comedy there and I wanted to experiment with doing some comedy. The actors were not good actors -- it was a salvage job for sure.”

Otis is much kinder in his assessment. "It's entertaining. It's titillating. So I think it's a successful movie and they should be proud of it," he told CBC. "There's not a lot of what we call 'artsy filler.' It kind of delivers the goods."

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