George Kuchar is still making films, that is if you can call these two things “films.” Kuchar has been noted as one of America’s preeminent experimental filmmakers going back as far as the 1950’s; “Hold Me while I’m Naked”, “P***y on a Hot Tin Roof”, and “House of the White People” being among his most well known early titles. As of 2001, Kuchar has made around 60 films and nearly 150 videos. Since 1971, he has been a faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute where the man seems to churn out a video project of his own each semester.
His newest absurdist works are a campy throwback to the old B-Movie science-fiction and horror adventure romps of an era now gone. Both “Planet of the Vamps” and “The Stench of Satan” share almost non-existent budget and a public access flavor.
“The ambitions were high and the necklines low in this effects laden tribute to pulp fiction fantasy and intergalactic intercourse” says Kuchar in his Artist’s Statement for “Planet of the Vamps”.
As far as a storyline can be understood, “Planet of the Vamps” concerns a crew of Earthmen seduced by some h***y Martian vixens, accompanied of course, by a very loud bravado musical score. Kuchar directs a colorful cast of non-actors, containing many young scantily clad girls. While being exceedingly silly, “Planet of the Vamps” successfully retains an erotic edge. Meanwhile, “The Stench of Satan” centers on some demonic items which make their way into a museum dedicated to “the spiritual overthrow of family values”. A young girl is then lured into a fast paced adventure which takes her to the ruins of Egypt and back.
æsthetically, Kuchar’s work is purposefully bad, loosely scripted, yet very playful. There’s no big intrinsicality to be found here. In his middle-age, Kuchar appears to be is taking a break from making personal memoirs. In creating theses bits of nonsense, it seems as if he’s enjoying his work whole heartedly. He’s truly an experimental filmmaker, you can’t take that away from him.