As much as I love to see boobies, they’re sometimes just not enough to substantiate an entire movie. Case in point — The Booby Hatch, an unfunny T&A flick from 1976 that was made by the co-creators of the original Night Of The Living Dead (1968), John A. Russo and Russell Steiner.
Writer/director/star Rudy Ricci, whom George Romero fans will recognize as a biker from Dawn Of The Dead (1978), takes us on a journey into Joyful Novelties, Inc., a company that manufactures a wide array of advanced sex toys. Marcello Linguini, our lead male character (Ricci) has been one of the company’s best product testers for years, but is lately unable to get it up for reasons unbeknownst to him. Meanwhile, his co-worker Cherry Jankowski (played very blandly by a very bland Sharon Joy Miller) finds herself unable to get very enthusiastic about her work anymore — and the thinly disguised plot has our two heroes attempting to find true love in their dull day-to-day routine of sex… or something like that. It’s really hard to tell what the hell this movie is about when every other shot is a wacky screwball moment that is painfully reminiscent of films like If You Don‘t Stop It…You‘ll Go Blind!!! and Can I Do It ‘Till I Need Glasses, only without the bad sketch comedy routine.
It’s hard to find a positive side to a movie that consists of nothing more than bad double entendres, sex jokes, and (dare I say it) BORING nudity, but, remarkably enough, The Booby Hatch does benefit from being cult fave David (Dawn Of The Dead) Emge’s screen debut. Granted, the man that an entire generation refers to as “Flyboy” hasn’t made very many appearances on the silver screen, but he is about the only saving grace in this film (which isn’t saying much when I think about it).
Synapse Films has shamelessly seen fit to unleash the damn near forgotten sexcapade The Booby Hatch on DVD, and present the oh-so-grainy film in an anamorphic 1.66:1 widescreen ratio. The movie was shot on 16mm stock (probably close-out stock at that) and as such, some information has been excised from the top and bottom of the screen to accommodate the widescreen presentation (although as to why they just didn’t release it in its original standard format is anyone’s guess). A mono stereo soundtrack gives the movie an extra-added “place a newspaper on the seat before you sit down” feel. No subtitles or closed captioning is available on the Region 0 NTSC disc.
Sure enough, Synapse has gone to the farthest extreme to assure what few fans of The Booby Hatch are out there will get their money’s worth — and the audio commentary with Rudy Ricci, John A. Russo, and Russell Steiner is evidence of such. But the goodies don’t end there: there’s also the fun ten-minute featurette “A Flyboy In Earth Shoes.” In this one-on-one with David Emge, the actor relates how he came to be an actor, how he wound up being a part of this mess, and subsequently wound up co-starring in one of the greatest zombie films ever. Additional special bits include two trailers and a complete alternate version of the main film (dear God, no — not again!) under the title The Liberation Of Cherry Jankowski… which should only be used in the event of an emergency (although the quality of the alternate version looks a lot better than the main version).
The Booby Hatch is an inane comedy chock full of sophomoric sex jokes and a lot of jiggling lady parts. Unfortunately, whereas those are usually the makings of a really good Farrelly Brothers film, The Booby Hatch only goes to make Kentucky Fried Movie seem like a milestone in artistic filmmaking by comparison. Seek it out only if you’re a David Emge fan.