3 out of 5 stars
The 1970s saw numerous revolutionary movements in film, from new American cinema to its foreign counterparts, all gloriously gritty in both subject matter and cinematography. But few genres of film in this decade were as emblematic of the gritty cultural movement as the pornography industry. Beginning with the infamous ‘Deep Throat,’ in 1972 and progressing down various avenues of expression and fetish, ‘Water Power,’ released in 1977 is a classic XXX roughie, and perhaps one of the genre’s most bizarre offerings. Directed by Shaun Costello, ‘Water Power,’ is possibly the adult industry’s most famous enema film and an important picture in the development of the roughie and Jamie Gillis’ legacy.
Costello’s picture has a relatively simple plot, following the exploits of a disturbed intrinsic man with an unhealthy obsession with cleaning the filthy women of New York. Initially Gillis’ character is shown ambling around some sort of block party, seemingly without purpose. Following this character to his home, it becomes clear that this man has a passion for porn, which is pasted all over his wall above his bed. Finding a magazine tiresome, Gillis moves to a telescope positioned to spy into a neighbor’s apartment, where he watches her move in and out of focus while undressing. While visiting a brothel, Gillis witnesses another man’s fetish being played out, a high colonic. The victim of this particular incident is none other than Jean Silver, slightly deformed stripper and porn star of the infamous ‘Long Jeanne Silver,’ (1977). Instead of one of her feet, Silver was born with a slender phallic stump, which later became her claim to fame. ‘Water Power,’ is one of Silver’s first roles, although in this particular film, she appears in socks with a prosthetic foot. While Gillis’ obsession with administering forced enemas to the female population increases, the police begin to track him, as he is continually making front page headlines as a serial rapist. A trap is created to snare ‘the enema bandit,’ yet Gillis is able to elude the bumbling police force, where the film closes on a haunting close up of the misunderstood deviant in the ominous glow of a red light. Continue reading