Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000 (1994)
AKA Virgin Hunters
Starring Morgan Fairchild, Ian Abercrombie, Brian Bremer, Christopher Wolf, Sara Suzanne Brown, Michele Matheson, Don Dowe, Tamara Tohill, Laurel Wiley, Robin Joi Brown
Directed by David DeCoteau
Expectations: Pretty low.
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
From the risque, James Bond-inspired opening titles, to the striptease dream sequence about 30 seconds into the film, you might guess that Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000 is more softcore than sci-fi comedy, and you wouldn’t be totally wrong. Full Moon had an off-shoot company called Surrender Cinema that traded solely in late-night fare for Cinemax and the like (and this film was released by its predecessor company, Torchlight Entertainment), but despite what the jazzy porno music might make you think, this is actually a real movie. Well, one with a few gratuitous, lengthy softcore sex scenes, that is. I had previously removed the softcore films from this series as they don’t offer much traditional movie content, but Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000 is definitely a worthwhile film for review.
The film opens in the year 2019, as a group of teenagers (all born in the year 2000, get it?) do their best to pay attention to their history teacher’s propaganda about how the corporation always knows best and stuff like that. But Vin can’t focus on his studies because the girl in the row in front of him has an ass that just won’t quit. He can’t stop looking at it, and he begins to fantasize about her slowly stripping for him and asking him if he likes what he sees. This leads us into the necessary component to any great sci-fi story: the reveal of what defines the world. In this version of 2019, all sex, as well as lustful thoughts, have been outlawed and all reproduction is performed via test tubes.
For his transgressions, Vin and his buddy Naldo are held after class, along with Reena, the girl who inspired the naughty, naughty thoughts. But instead of being reprimanded, their teacher rips his shirt open to reveal a tattoo of a peace symbol, known in this version of 2019 as the symbol of the rebellion. He provides the kids with a key to the archives so they can learn the true history of the world, and that it wasn’t always so puritanical. Eventually, they find a time machine and transport themselves back to 1994 to save the future!
Now, I’ll admit that this is a pretty wild premise for a film, but therein lies its charm. I’m a sucker for a good sci-fi story, and while this isn’t high art, it definitely hit the right buttons for me. Like Robot Wars, the film successfully uses a modern-day timeline as a “retro” set, so when they leave the future and arrive in 1994, it works like a charm because it’s actually 1994. It feels even better now, years later, as it serves as something of a time capsule. It’s simply done, and nothing too impressive, but it’s just a smart way to go about time travel in a low-budget film and I respect that.
Of course, a borderline softcore film wouldn’t be anything without those softcore scenes, and that’s why their 1994 destination is an all-girl boarding school. Naturally, because as we all know, all major political decisions concerning the future of the world are made in boarding schools. Their target is the headmistress, one Morgan Fairchild, who is strict with her students and looks to her framed picture of Ronald Reagan for guidance and inspiration. The comedy in this movie hits well, and often, so even if the sci-fi stuff isn’t your bag, it should at least provide a few quality laughs.
But before I forget, I had started talking about the sex scenes. They’re filmed pretty well, and I’m sure to those that enjoy ’90s softcore they’re pretty titillating. To me they felt out of place, and they derail the narrative thrust and turn it into an oiled, slow-motion affair. They’re easily the worst part of the movie, but at the same time I can see someone feeling that they were the only worthwhile parts. That’s just different expectations, of course, and I was here for the sci-fi comedy. Anyway, they aren’t graphic, but they get ridiculously close a few times; I was honestly surprised how far they pushed the “envelope.”
And before I forget, there’s one other key element to the plot: the Terminator, or rather the LEX 500. He is sent from the future to hunt down our main characters, and he arrives in a leather biker outfit and a pair of black sunglasses. His arrival is heralded by pseudo-T2 music, and he talks in a ridiculous Arnold accent. Needless to say, he’s the source of many great laughs and his character adds a lot of stupid fun to an already stupidly fun movie. On a side note, I really liked how DeCoteau chose to shoot the red, Terminator vision scenes on video instead of film like the rest of the movie, as it gives it a distinct quality and makes it look a lot more genuine to the character. Mixing mediums isn’t a new thing, but I found it to be especially rewarding here.
Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000 was a lot more fun than I expected it to be, and the softcore scenes were sparse enough so they didn’t drag down the film too much. I had a blast watching this, and if you’re willing to watch a movie called Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too. Also, because this is a David DeCoteau movie, there’s a few dudes in their underwear standing around. It wouldn’t be a DeCoteau movie without ’em!
Next week on Full Moon Tuesday, there won’t be a Full Moon Tuesday! Oh no! No folks, the series isn’t over (much to everyone’s chagrin), it’s just taking a small hiatus during our year-end closeout special event, Futures Passed. So try not to miss it too much!