Cord Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by One Eyed Films
Directed by Pablo Gonzalez
Written by Pablo Gonzalez and Camilo Salazar Prince
2015, 65 minutes, Not yet rated
Laura de Boer as Tanja
Michael Schumacher as Konrad
Christian Wewerka as Czuperski
Tired of dull, sexless dystopian futures in which the post-apocalyptic inhabitants seem more interested in scrabbling around for tinned fruit than getting laid? The horny alternative is here in Cord, which depicts the troubles inherent when curing blue balls in the future. It shows us a familiar grubby wasteland reminiscent of Fallout and The Road, but presents us with a problem other than there being a lack of food and fuel – no sex.
The thing about the future being that everything and everyone is so dirty (not in a kinky way) and unhygienic that safe sex is an impossibility. Hence the rise of such homemade masturbation machines as created by inventor Czuperski, hoping to achieve a level of simulated sex that might even live up to the real thing. Enter subject Tanja, a sex addict who agrees to be guinea pig in testing Czuperski's latest inventions, herself hoping for a transcendent onanist experience.
Described as an 'erotic sci-fi', Cord sees the pair grow ever closer as Czuperski straps Tanja into his low-fi lovemaking machines, eventually and inevitably bypassing the fake sex in favour of the very grotty reality. Outside of extreme pornography, this might be the only erotica you'll see open with a man shitting in a tub. Unless you've a fetish for dirty people (again, not in the kinky way – although they are quite kinky), you're unlikely to be particularly turned on by the proceedings. It takes all sorts, of course – somewhere out there, a guy with a tramp fetish has just found his holy grail.
Even if you're not getting your kicks from Cord, there's plenty to enjoy. Czuperki's homemade inventions are particularly fun, looking at one point like Matt Damon's suit in Elysium. His experiments into titillation feel excitingly Lovecraftian in places, like From Beyond crossed with Fifty Shades of Grey (in this case, the fifty shades are all of dirt and damp). It's well acted too, in an appropriately mumbling arthouse sort of way. With a core cast of two, it couldn't have worked without strong leads, and thankfully Laura de Boer and Michael Schumacher are more than up to the task. Particularly de Boer, who gets all of the nude scenes (no Schumacher dong for you, unless you count the silhouette glimpsed during an opening turd). This, combined with the general scruffiness of it all, stops Cord from properly functioning as erotica, but it does make for good sci-fi.
Slow but never boring, it's a fascinating take on a relationship predicated on a man plugging a lady into his dangerous orgasm machines and taking notes as she shudders about therein. You may snort, but how else do you think the sex machines of Demolition Man got invented? Like its characters, Cord is bleak, rough around the edges and surprisingly prudish. And yet... there's an attraction there.