Looking for a Kiss – Al Adamson’s ‘Cinderella 2000’ (1977)

12 Apr

The Killers got it right when they sang ‘It started out with a kiss, how did it end  up like this?’. My interest in Cinderella 2000 started with a gorgeous poster I was given as a gift and ended with me watching an awful softcore sexploitation-musical. Directed by exploitation maestro Al Adamson, Cinderella 2000 is your typical 1970s sexploitation let down, all marketing titillation and non existent softcore slush.

Set in 2047, our first introduction to society at this time is shocking. No one knows how to have sex. The first couple we meet are trying to dance vertically and are failing miserably, so the guy pulls out some really poor line drawings of different positions in an attempt to arouse. To say he fails is an understatement. The only arousal he conjures is a chorus of laughter from me as he is met with ‘Jeez, that doesn’t look like much fun, I could get hurt’ from his partner. What a lot of fun she is… Mind you, he doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing either; ‘Whoever knew it would be this hard’. HARD!’ she screams back as the sudden realisation that an erection is needed for them to have sex finally sinks in. Oh dear.

You see, in this society, the Big Brother-like Controller and Central Control Section have made fornication forbidden without permission. ‘A planet without order is a planet out of control… fornication must be regulated’. In the view of the Controller, the planet is overpopulated, doesn’t need any decadent behaviour and sex itself is nothing but dirty. Before Adamson lets us continue to watch the uneducated couple wriggle around and give each other far too much tongue they are interrupted by Roscoe The Robot! Clearly the bastard child of a lost Sontaran and Robbie the Robot, Roscoe does the Control Central’s bidding and stops illegal sex from happening. While the couple stand there naked, pleading for another five minutes as they ‘need the practice’, he shouts over them ‘NOT ON THE LIST!! CAUGHT IN THE ACT!!’ and takes them off to be punished.

Roscoe The Robot’s family lineage?

After this fantastic introduction, we are set firmly in the film’s version of the story of Cinderella, with added Jetson’s-esque hairstyles and outfits that you could probably get away with wearing to a Jane Fonda workout. All shiny polyester catsuits and no substance. We meet Cindy, her two awful step-sisters and the sex starved step-mother who all moan about not being picked by the Central Computer for sex. So they sing about it! Fourteen minutes in and the first song begins. Straight away you wish it was over. It’s all appalling jazz hands and dire vocals singing embarrassing lyrics. Basically they are all sexually frustrated, they didn’t need to sing about it. And, after all that, one of the step sisters has smuggled a man into her room to have sex with! What a surprise.

The two step-sisters, clear inspiration for Bugs Life character design…

Cindy in rags mode and her sex starved step-mother

We then get to meet Tom Prince, aka Prince Charming, society’s stud who gets to have sex with women allocated to him by the Computer. He’s a little bored with having sex because a lot of women don’t know what they’re doing or aren’t interested anymore. He’s after a little bit more, and so is Cindy. She goes on her vacation to the countryside where she reads her favourite story (books have been outlawed by the Controller too), Cinderella! This little bit of meta reference is about as interesting as the film gets and is a real shame because you still have another forty-five minutes to watch at this point.

Cindy meets her Fairy Godfather, who lands to earth in a space ship that looks like the bottom of a lightbulb. He is the ambassador of love and wants to teach Cindy all about the values and enjoyment of free love and making love. Only problem is, she doesn’t know what love is. His response? ‘You know, love is, take off your clothes, rub up and down against someone, feel the sparks fly and, you know, get it on’. Cue another awful song about everyone needing love and the Fairy Godfather dancing around the woods with Cindy and a bunch of woodland animals transformed into people with awful masks. Forget sexploitation-musical, the film begins to turn into a horror film. I do not want to meet one of those Rabbits down a dark alley…

Some of the scariest shit I have ever seen.

 Tom Prince manages to persuade the Controller to hold the ‘Great Controller’s Uncontrolled Masquerade Ball’ as an attempt to calm society’s sex starved anxiousness and give everyone a night off to have uninhibited sex. Of course, only the step-sisters are invited and the Fairy Godfather appears just in time to turn Cindy into one futuristic beauty fit for the ball. Using the false name Aphrodite, she meets, dances and has sex, or rather free love, with Tom before the clock chimes midnight and she has to leave. The next day Tom is given leave of absence by the Controller to find the mystery woman whose vagina his penis fits into the best. After a montage of a tired Tom having sex with plentiful women he knocks on Cindy’s door. After trying it with the step-sisters he realises that rags-mode Cindy is Aphrodite from the ball and takes her to the Controller in a bid to let him legalise making love. One blow job later and the Controller is convinced, ending the film with Cindy and Tom, the step-sisters, the step-mother and the Controller himself all having sexual fun!

Would I recommend this film to anyone? If you like men with porn star moustaches, bad acting , very bad singing, camp robots or generally all round bad films (and not the so bad its good type) then you’ll probably love it. If, however, you prefer talent of some kind stay away! Watching this film is like watching your parents do the school play at your primary school in a dream you wish you were never having. Despite all this I’d still watch it again (it’s a sexploitation film!) and I’ll always love the poster that hangs on my wall…

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