Updated: Oct 1, 2021
You know what curiosity did to the cat. For this horror film fan willing to explore unusual territory, though, The Curious Dr. Humpp (1969) did not kill me. I can’t say I completely enjoyed it; it’s a little slow and not terribly well-made. However, the idea is compelling even when the execution is not.
Yeah, it’s a more soft-soft core sex exploitation film than a straightforward horror movie, but the idea that sexual activity can somehow be transformed into the elixir of eternal life makes as much sense as the plot of any number of plain old thrillers. And this one is not without its own thrills.
The movie opens with scenes of several variations of the sex act with several combinations of participants: “traditional” (boyfriend/girlfriend), group, lesbian, and individual. Each of these scenarios is alternated with scenes of somebody or something creeping up on them, abducting them, and taking them in a hearse to their prison.
This is the lab/lair of Dr. Humpp (Aldo Barbero.) He watches each group on a monitor and continues to encourage their activity for his experiment. Dr. Humpp is not the monster that appears on the slipcover of the Blu-ray just released by AGFA. It (and others) is the zombie-like byproduct of past failures. They are now used as the mad scientist’s henchmen.
Honestly, this is the reason I bought a movie I’m almost certain to watch only once: I thought the monster looked cool. And it does/they do in the movie, as well. If you want to add more depth to the film, you can detect sympathy for these characters, as well as their continued lust and possible genuine affection for the subjects of the experiment.
Here’s a horror movie where the police are actually on top of things, although it’s not hard for them when the bad guys keep making stupid mistakes. First, one of the creatures goes to a bar and is identified so that a sketch artist can produce a drawing of it for the newspaper. Second, it goes to a pharmacy to purchase aphrodisiacs Dr. Humpp needs for his experiment.
This allows an eager newspaper reporter, George (Ricardo Bauleo), to follow the monster to the lab and discover what’s happening. Remember the type of movie, though. This happens fairly early, allowing plenty of time for him to be captured and become involved with the orgy. He might fall in love with, Rachel (Gloria Prat), the other woman in his cell, or…
…Dr. Humpp’s nurse (Susana Beltran.) He uses them at different times to help him escape. At this point, my mind was numb and George’s inconsistent relationships confused me. Or, maybe I just stopped caring. But wait, I haven’t even mentioned the talking brain in a jar! Yeah, The Curious Dr. Humpp is nothing if not a little… curious. Will it tempt you to give it a try?
Written by Emilio Vieyra
Directed by Emilio Vieyra
Starring Ricardo Bauleo, Gloria Prat, Aldo Barbero, Susana Beltran, Justin Martin
RT 87 min.
Released January 1969 (Uruguay)
Home Video AGFA (Blu-ray)