From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
< Water Power
In the 1970's the world of adult films was much different than we know it today, from an artistic standpoint as well as an industry standpoint. A lot of the films that were made on the east coast were made under the guidelines of the mafia, and Water Power is no exception. Under the watch of members of the Gambino crime family, director Shaun Costello was picked to make a film that is certainly more infamous than it is famous. It's the one film that people who are into extreme cinema usually come across either to total delight or utter dismay. Water Power isn't for everyone, or even everyone that enjoys extreme cinema, but the fact of the matter is that it truly is a remarkable film that stands the test of time to be one of a kind.
Pornographic film legend Jamie Gillis (Dracula Exotica, Night of the Zombies 1981, NightHawks) stars as "The Enema Bandit", a man who is trying to clean up society of "filthy women". Although his method might be a little different than your usual do-gooder in our society as he goes about town raping women and forcing them to have enemas. One night he's out trying to fulfill his perversions when he goes to a local brothel to have fun with one of the ladies. But when he's there he finds out about enemas as he witnesses a fantasy setup with a man playing a doctor performing the act on a "patient" of his. Once he gets an eye load of that, there was no going back and he was going to start cleaning the women out one by one!
Although it sounds like the most vile and silly film ever made, there is a lot that needs to be said about the film. Considering it wasn't made for anything more than to be a trash movie to play in the sleazy 42nd street porn theaters, it ends up being a lot more than that. It's a very realistic portrayal on the part of Gillis and it's basically an adult film version of "Taxi Driver". Costello managed to shoot the movie in about a day or so (or to be more accurate it was about 12-14 hours) and the fact that it ended up being anything than a terrible porno film was a miracle. This movie actually gives Gillis a chance to shine in the lead role as "The Enema Bandit" and I'm not just talking about in the sex scenes. Gillis gives the role a creepy feel and actually incorporates a lot of black humor into the role. Costello has even been quoted as saying that he feels that "Water Power" is the "funniest thing I've ever made" and that certainly wouldn't have been achieved without Gillis in the main role.
Although the film was a total bomb playing in the porn theaters of New York City, it's said that the film actually did make some money overseas when it opened as "Schpritz" in Germany. Also, Costello has mentioned that although the film was made from money from the Gambino crime family, he also had a lot of freedom in making it. It's also because of the mafia that the film is under director Gerard Damiano's name because they thought it would sell it better (Damiano is the director of Deep Throat which is the highest grossing film of all time) He said that a lot of the people involved in funding it were embarrassed by the movie and would never see it, giving him a lot more room to do what he wanted. That's why the film also comes off as the adult version of "Taxi Driver" as he was trying to parody the film.
So when it comes to the world of "extreme cinema" there are plenty of disturbing films out there but at the end of the day there is only one "Water Power" and it really has to be seen to be believed.
Reviewed by Ed Demko