Meet Dr. Darius Eldritch, the world’s leading authority on Atomic-Satanism, a potentially cataclysmic new science which can unlock evil in women at a genetic level, transforming previously respectable girls into an army of erotic hellcats, bent on strangulation, decapitation and penetration in Zack D. Goodmyer’s 1976 XXX horror romp Radioactive She-Devils.
Even in the cash strapped oeuvre of Die Toten Cobra’s adult’s only output (released by numerous short-lived distribution companies founded by the DTC’s eccentric owners – The Brothers Browkowski – including Ample Productions and The Randax Corporation) Radioactive She-Devils stands out as a particularly grimy and ignoble entry in the canon. With budget at a premium, director Goodmyer (Radical Arsenic / The Eyeball That Ate Paris / The Bavarian Rumour) raced to the bottom, replacing character development, logical plotting and well framed camerawork with leering, sweaty sexploitation, rough sadism and high melodrama, as various down-at-heel former Euro-stars bravely tried to elevate the film out of the soul-sucking mire of filth and sickness it found itself in with a few game performances.
The producers also rounded up some skin cinema’s most recognizable performers including Red Biloxi (Stains of Honour / Fire Island PD / Spit Griddle) and Mindy Powerless (The Erotic Adventures of Gandalf / Hot Switchblades / The Deadly Losers), but the underdressed sets, cheap effects and static, stilted fight choreography means this porno thriller kung fu hybrid only really takes off during the frequent, whiplashing sex scenes, which occur with numbing regularity.
The reasons why Dr. Darius (Biloxi) wants to turn the entire female population into an army of beautiful sex zombies is never clearly explained (nor their sudden expertise in numerous martial arts) but the films hints at a grand plan to hold the governments of the world to ransom. A scene in a sparsely furnished room meant to represent the United Nations descends into a messy, badly edited orgy that’s intercut with US Army atomic test footage before we return to a more or less random selection of money shots, car crashes and zero contact high heels Kung Fu.
The film splutters to an abrupt halt at the 71 minute mark with no real explaination, cutting to a ‘professor of sexology’ sat at a desk who gives a four minute speech about the dangers of ‘erotic suppression’ accompanied by candid slides. This sequence is clearly spliced from some kind of Mondo film from the previous decade. The movie wraps up with some inexplicable and heavily damaged S&M footage featuring a completely different cast which plays out while the theme song by obscure Jazz-Fusion band Celestial Harmonies noodles along in the background.
Goodmeyer apologists sometimes try to hold up Radioactive She-Devils as a minor classic in the unloved directors filmography but It’s no Chili Dog High School. To be honest, it doesn’t even rate higher than The Wolves of Chenobyl which is widely thought of as the filmmakers nadir. Self-hating Sexploitation completists will doubtless want to seek out this truly awful movie but be prepared to feel nauseous and used.
Zack D. Goodmyer Selected Filmography
1972 Radical Arsenic
1972 The Web of Omega
1973 Hunch! A Bellringers Tale
1974 Harlem Overlords
1974 The Eyeball That Ate Paris
1975 The Terrifying Slime
1975 Beneath The Terrifying Slime
1976 Radioactive She-Devils
1976 Skank Leather
1977 Chili Dog High School
1977 The Planet Thrusters
1978 The Philadelphia Shock
1981 The Bavarian Rumour
1982 The Upskirters
1982 Legal Boundaries
1983 Clean Linen, Dirty Money
1984 The Clandestine Risk
1985 The Twelve Guns of Lahore
1986 Evisceration Camp
1986 Evisceration Camp 2: Skin Trade
1987 Flayin’ Alive
1988 The Alabama Wife Swap
1989 Short Changed & Deranged
1990 The Wolves of Chenobyl
1991 Sex Bullets From the Planet Nymphoid