Thursday, January 14, 2016

Water Power (1976)

Written by: Shaun Costello
Directed by: Shaun Costello
Jamie Gillis as Burt
John Buco as Jack Gallagher
C.J. Laing as Irena Murray

Ever since I took a new job where I'm on the road a lot, I decided it was finally time to get into podcasts. Among the shows I now subscribe to is a phenomenal one called The Projection Booth. They cover an enormously wide range of movies, from acclaimed serious movies like Sorcerer to b-movie dreck like Manos: The Hands of Fate and everything in between. Host Mike White gets tons of great interviews with the cast and crew of the movies they cover, which is really what puts Projection Booth a cut above the rest. Recently they did an episode on one of my all-time favorite science fiction movies, Phase IV. They are also responsible for bringing tonight's movie to my attention, and this tells you how truly wide a swath they cut through the world of cinema.

Water Power is a Mafia-funded grindhouse hardcore porno movie loosely based on the real-life case of Michael Kenyon, a.k.a the Illinois Enema Bandit, who gave forcible enemas to girls on one of the campuses of the University of Illinois until he was caught and jailed. Jamie Gillis even went so far as to attempt to interview Kenyon to prepare for the role. Kenyon was, unsurprisingly, not interested in helping an actor pretend to be him jerking off on girls shitting themselves in bathtubs.

Burt is a lonely, sexually frustrated man. He's a greasy recluse who lives in an apartment with nothing but a bed, a telescope for spying on his cute neighbor, and pages from hardcore pornographic magazines pinned to his walls, which might go some way toward explaining why he has a hard time getting a date. After a perusal of a porno mag so well-used it's surprising that it's not just one big, congealed page leaves him bored and limp, Burt decides to see if his neighbor is home yet. She is, but inconsiderately refuses to stand in front of the window naked. Clearly if Burt wants to please his cyclopean trouser demon tonight he'll have to take matters into someone else's hands, so he heads downtown to find a brothel.

He gets an introductory offer discount blow job, but still doesn't feel like he got quite what he needed. He goes to talk with the manager about specials, which is when he first hears about the high colonic. As it happens, there's one being administered on the premises at that very moment, so Burt goes to see what all the fuss is about. In what you would think is one of the weirdest scenes in the movie, but is in fact just barely warming up, a “doctor” who is way too into his work gives an enema to a young woman who seems to be something of a hellion, and the enema is supposed to cleanse her of foul humours and make her more balanced and well-behaved. Why exactly someone would be brought to a brothel as a fix for unruly behavior, your guess is as good as mine. The whole time he's shoving the tube up her ass and infusing her intestines with soap and water, he's going on and on about the wonderful properties of the enema and all the tools of the trade, and getting more and more wild-eyed and excited. When she finally expels the full liter of water he shot into her butt, he blows his load all over his nurse's face. Burt cums in his pants out in the hallway too, and from that moment on, he is a died-in-the-wool congregation member in the Church of the Enema.

He starts buying all the enema magazines he can get his hands on (there used to be a magazine for everything back before the internet rendered them obsolete) and even buying some equipment to perform them at home. Then comes the second major turning point in Burt's weird and lonely existence. He sees his neighbor come home and gets ready to enjoy some quiet one-on-one time when he sees she's brought a man home with her. He watches with growing dismay as they have sex, and he decides then and there that the reason all the women who won't give him the time of day act that way not because he's a twitchy leering weirdo, but because they're dirty inside, and that if he just cleaned them all out with his trusty enema kit the whole world would be one big love fest. Of course, they're going to take a little convincing.

As soon as the man leaves, Burt breaks into the woman's apartment and gives her an enema at gunpoint. Now, the enema given to the girl at the brothel was a surprisingly clean affair. Sure, there may have been a couple of little chunks floating in that bedpan at the end, but it was still mostly clear water. This time we are subjected to the sight of this poor woman on her hands and knees in her bathtub spraying thick, liquid shit all over her legs and feet while Burt stands over her and jerks off onto her ass. It was at this point that I thought to myself, Jamie Gillis is a real pro to be able to get off standing in the middle of that rancid mess. Either that, or he was really fucking weird in real life too. From what little information I have about him, I think it may be a case of a little bit of both.

I think I'm going to stop the synopsis there, because honestly, there isn't really a lot more to the movie than that. Just a couple more sex scenes, and another, even more disgusting enema scene involving two girls so you get twice the spraying shit. I will say that rather than having Burt captured by the police at the end, he escapes so we can get the amusing closing caption that the Enema Bandit is still at large, and the next person to get a gunpoint colon hosing could be YOU!

There are not a lot of movies that live up to the level of scummy sleaze you build up in your head upon hearing what they're about. This is one of those rare cases where it totally does, and maybe even gets worse with repeated viewings. The first time I watched it, I inflicted it on a couple of friends so we were talking and laughing over it so I missed a couple of the finer plot points. Watched solo and sober the second time for review purposes, the enema rape scenes go from joke fodder to extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant experiences. Granted they should be, but they just go on and on, and with the actual performers involved in the hardcore sex unlike other X-rated cuts of exploitation movies that use obviously different sex performers, it brings things a lot closer to reality than I would like. Especially that first one where Burt goes after his neighbor. It's not the most brutal or violent rape scene I've seen in a movie by a long chalk, but it's definitely one of the ickiest.

One last thing; as with most movies of this sort, there are several cuts. The version I'm advertising below is a legitimate DVD, but it's the American edit of the movie, which features a little less enema and shorter versions of a couple of less important dialog scenes. There is a fan-made Ultimate Enema Edit floating around the dark bowers of man's digital domain, which is the version I viewed for this review. The extra footage is, I believe, from the German edit of the movie. The video quality of the reinstated material is noticeably worse than the rest of the movie, which looks way better than a movie like this has any right to. Credit to Shaun Costello. He may have made smut, but he was a talented filmmaker who worked wonders with the limited resources he had, and he made some technically proficient smut. Oddly, the audio quality of the foreign market footage is considerably clearer and richer than the American footage.

This one's definitely not for everyone, but I think it's safe to say any of the audience for this site is going to hear “grindhouse enema bandit porno” and think “must-see”. Enjoy, fiends. I'll see you all again in a couple of weeks after B-Fest.


  1. Yikes. I didn't think it was possible, but this is one z-movie I can't watch. Even your review made me slightly nauseous. I salute your fortitude for watching it multiple times!

    On a "some stereotypes are based on reality" note, is anyone surprised that the German version of an movie about an enema rapist has extra footage?

  2. The fact that this got different "cuts" is mind blowing. Like the thought process was, "Let's not show TOO much liquefied bowel movement. Leave SOMETHING to the imagination..."

    1. According to the director, that's actually exactly what the thought process was.

  3. The fact that this got different "cuts" is mind blowing. Like the thought process was, "Let's not show TOO much liquefied bowel movement. Leave SOMETHING to the imagination..."