Isle of Lesbos

Li'l Abner" meets "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in "Isle of Lesbos," a high-spirited, low-budget attempt at an old-style Technicolor musical that plays like a gay Mardi Gras outing. Campily parodying a genre that's already entered the annals of camp, former political documaker Jeff B. Harmon's extravaganza doesn't play half as funny as it sounds, and looks to be limited to midnight screenings at gay fests and specialty vid labels. Helmer's often witty songs, however, save pic from being a total car wreck. April (Kirsten Holly Smith) is a blushing bride in small-town Arkansas who leaves dopey groom Dick (Michael Dotson) at the altar, blows her brains out and ends up on the 99%-femme Isle of Lesbos, ruled by gross-out diesel dyke Blatz (Danica Sheridan). "Did I die?" asks April. "Honey, you've just begun to live!" growls Blatz. Getting no reply to his pleading telegrams, Dick finally turns up dressed like Rambo to cart April back. Instead --- you guessed it --- he falls for the isle's sole male, Lance the Nance (Alex Boling), who's relegated to washroom duties in this Sapphic solar system.

With:
April Pfferpot ..... Kirsten Holly Smith Blatz Balinski ..... Danica Sheridan Emphysema Jones ..... Sonya Hensley Dick Dickson ..... Michael Dotson Lance the Nance ..... Alex Boling Ma Pfferpot ..... Janet Krajeski Doris ..... Sabrina Lu Viv ..... Dionysius Burbano The Bomb ..... Calvin Grant Pa Pfferpot/ Dr. Sigmoid Colon ..... Jeff B. Harmon

With costumes ranging from MGM castoffs to swingin’ ’60s discowear, Harmon’s intention seems to be to pack as much color in the frame as possible rather than carefully ape Golden Age tuners. The humor, too, revolves more around packing in naughty words like “dyke” than constructing real jokes or comedic situations.

Wholly shot in a studio in Sylmar, Calif., pic has production values that are strictly papier mache. Cast’s singing voices are all good, though outside the 15 numbers (topped by “I’m a Lesbian,” “Same Sex Love” and the title song), Smith is blah as April and Sheridan plays Blatz like an unfunny cross between Mae West and Ethel Merman. Strongest on all fronts is Sonya Hensley, as the black R&B high priestess, who hints at what a bit more coin and style might have achieved.

Isle of Lesbos

Production: A Duce Films Intl. production, in association with Stone's Throw. (International sales: Picture This! Entertainment, Los Angeles.) Produced by Jeff B. Harmon. Co-producer, Daniel L. Stoecker. Directed, written by Jeff B. Harmon.

Crew: Camera (color), Clark Mathis; editor, Duncan Burns; music, lyrics, Harmon; musical director, Anthony England; production design, Martin Roy Mervel; art direction, Richard N. McGuire; costume design, Fayette Hauser; hair and makeup design, Tony Cupstid; sound (Dolby), Pat Toma; choreography, Gail Conrad; associate producer, McGuire. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 21, 1997. (In Forum section; also in London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.) Running time: 96 MIN.

With: April Pfferpot ..... Kirsten Holly Smith Blatz Balinski ..... Danica Sheridan Emphysema Jones ..... Sonya Hensley Dick Dickson ..... Michael Dotson Lance the Nance ..... Alex Boling Ma Pfferpot ..... Janet Krajeski Doris ..... Sabrina Lu Viv ..... Dionysius Burbano The Bomb ..... Calvin Grant Pa Pfferpot/ Dr. Sigmoid Colon ..... Jeff B. Harmon

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