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SHE-MAN (1967) **

Director Bob Clark has had a long and diverse career. He’s done everything from horror (Deathdream), sex comedies (Porky’s), drama (Tribute) and yuletide classics (A Christmas Story), but did you know he got his start by directing this low budget black and white gender bending adults only flick?

Pointlessly dubbed, “A story of fixation”, this movie would make a good double feature with Glen or Glenda though it’s nowhere near as fun. In the beginning an on screen narrator tells us, “Any facet of our lives that is left unexamined is a potential source of danger. Only by open inquiry is it possible to understand the underlying causes of the conditions of personalities that we call deviation.”

Then another narrator shows us our “case study” Albert, a swinging bachelor who gets a threatening anonymous blackmail note. He meets the blackmailer at a seedy motel who has incriminating information about his dubious war record. He reluctantly agrees to the blackmailer’s demands and she/he reveals herself/himself/itself to be “Dominita”, an obviously twisted transvestite. Dominita’s demands are that Albert becomes her/his servant for one year. Dominita takes him to the “Transformation Room” where Albert unwillingly dons a maid outfit and is christened “Rosealbert”. Dominita humiliates him by slapping him around and making him parade in drag in front of his old army buddies. Eventually “Rosealbert” gets the goods on Dominita and wins his freedom by exposing her as (SHOCK!) a man. There’s also a very Glen or Glenda wrap up (which calls for acceptance of transvestites) as well.

The set-up is potentially interesting enough, but it’s all rather tame (there’s no nudity). I guess you have to applaud Clark for trying to do this with a straight face, but his considerable skill prevents this from falling into the “So Bad its Good” category. (What unintentional laughs there are come from people not recognizing that Dominita is clearly a MAN.) Despite the cross dressing angle, there’s not a whole lot to distinguish She-Man from the myriad other tepid adults only movies from the late 60’s. Clark completists with an hour to kill will still want to check it out though. Co-starring Clark regular, Jeff Gillen.

AKA: Fixation.
Tags: exploitation, s
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