For whatever reason, pseudonymous English writer Lewis Carroll’s novels have proven to be fruitful material for celluloid erotica. Indeed, arguably the most notable example of this is Jonas Middleton’s hardcore arthouse horror effort Through the Looking Glass (1976), which is based on Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871), which is the less popular sequel to the author’s Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865). Additionally, both French auteur Louis Malle’s sometimes sensual surrealist work Black Moon (1975) featuring Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro (who was no stranger to nudity and even pornography, although he does not go unclad in the film), as well as Cecil Howard’s shockingly artsy and kaleidoscopic porn fantasy Neon Nights (1981) demonstrate blatant Carroll-esque elements, not least of all because they both star a naïve blonde girl who becomes immersed in a striking fantasy realm of mystery and intrigue. Of course, the most blatant example of Carrollian celluloid carnality is the pornographic musical Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Comedy (1976) aka Alice in Wonderland directed by horror hack turned pornographer Bud Townsend (Nightmare in Wax, Terror House) and starring fashion model and Playboy cover girl turned porn star turned semi-mainstream actress Kristine DeBell (Meatballs, The Big Brawl). Produced by porn mogul Bill Osco, who is notable for producing the first mainstream adult film, Mona the Virgin Nymph (1970), as well as the erotic Flash Gordon spoof Flesh Gordon (1974), Alice in Wonderland bears the seemingly strange distinction of being a fuck flick that was picked up and distributed by 20th Century Fox, though they cut three minutes of the work so they could receive an R-rating. Luckily, in 2007, the now unfortunately defunct label Subversive Cinema released the film on DVD in both its hardcore and softcore versions, with the former being the version I had the marginal delight of recently viewing. Undoubtedly, out all the Carroll-themed fuck flicks, Townsend's Alice in Wonderland is the most innately juvenile as a work that genuinely seems like it was created to appeal to children, thus making it quite at odds with Middleton’s genuinely dark and depraved blue movie masterpiece Through the Looking Glass. Of course, considering porn films and musicals share similar structures (e.g.: little bit of storyline, ‘action,’ little bit of storyline, ‘action,’ etc.), it should be no surprise that someone would make a sing-a-long porn movie, but I would be lying if I did not admit that I forwarded through most of the songs in Alice in Wonderland, which reek of 1970s retrograde raunch. Indeed, while Townsend’s smutty musical is worth a see, it is far too ‘cute’ and pathologically ‘positive’ to compare with the great works of the porn genre, as it is more or less a piece of cheesy post-counter-culture propaganda with Afrocentric undertones that reminds one how much hippies suck.
Aside from a couple weak cumshots and passive penetration scenes, Alice in Wonderland seems more or less like a cheapo spoof of the classic fairytale made for sexually curious teens, though, somewhat dubiously, the film would surely appeal to younger children as well as it is certainly less sophisticated than an episode of The Ren & Stimpy Show. Personally, I was completely put off by the film’s innately lighthearted tone, conspicuously cliche post-hippie “peace and love” and “live and let live” messages, mind-numbingly mindless celebration of hedonism, and truly vomit-worthy sing-a-long songs, though the work certainly has its rather memorable “magical” moments, especially when Humpty Dumpty falls off the wall sporting a dildo instead of his real wang. Indeed, if you’re looking for a more ‘evil’ and ‘esoteric’ take on Carroll’s novel, the part pseudo-documentary/part psychedelic celluloid trip Alice in Acidland (1969) directed by John Donne is certainly more effective in that regard, even if it is true retrograde trash. A work where virtually all the male characters are gay or ambiguously gay, the King is an Afrocentric pimp who plays bongo drums and fucks cracker cunts doggie style while they eat fried chicken, the Queen is a less than aristocratic mudshark who looks like a haggard white trash whore that was found at a Texas truck stop, Alice acts like a half-retarded bitch who will commit any sexual act so long as someone gives her a semi-logical reason to do so, and the White Rabbit seems like a pedophile Rebbe who uses goofy make-up to lure in little kids, Alice in Wonderland is certainly a work that the viewer will never forget, whether they want to or not. Considering the rumors that Lewis Carroll was a pedophile who may have wanted to marry an 11-year-old girl, Townsend’s version seems to take a more ‘subtextual’ approach to the classic fairytale, especially considering the truly adolescent-like and pedomorphic lead really seems like a petulant preteen princess who's giving blowjobs and cunnilingus for the first time. Somewhat surprisingly, in 2007, an Off-Broadway musical entitled Alice in Wonderland: An Adult Musical Comedy based on the film was staged at the Kirk Theatre in New York City, thus demonstrating that the fetishistic filmic fairytale has developed a certain amount of respectability and artistic merit over the past couple of decades. Additionally, an amateurish animated porn flick entitled Alice in Wonderland: A XXX Parody (2011) directed by W. Crawford that is vaguely in the satirical spirit of Townsend's film was released a couple years ago. Somewhat interestingly, the 2007 Subversive Cinema DVD release of the film features a somewhat recent featurette entitled Alice In Wonderland 30 Years Later: Back Down The Rabbit Hole where a couple of the flick's cast members, including elderly Hebrew Larry Gelman (aka “The White Rabbit”) and Lena Romane (who claims to have starred in a whopping 800 to 1,000 different fuck flicks during her rather long career!), reflect on the work some 30+ years later. Notably, all of the subjects of the doc rightly agree that pornography has degenerated drastically in terms of both artistry and morality since the release of Alice in Wonderland, including Hebraic hack porn star/director William Margold, which says a lot considering the man is so depraved that he once confessed in a interview with Rona Barrett that he would be willing to perform in a sex scene with his own daughter. Indeed, it certainly says a lot about our contemporary zeitgeist when a Lewis Carroll adaptation featuring Alice giving a half-ass blowjob to the Mad Hatter seems totally ‘old hat’ nowadays.