Since our hero ACE is so influenced by the Captain Hammer stag films of the 80s, and since Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space itself takes much of its inspiration from the same, we thought it would be helpful to acknowledge the connection, and to shed some light on a franchise that has all but disappeared from the mainstream consciousness.
If you were a 13-year-old male in the 80s, three things probably top your memory: Wrestlemania, hair metal bands, and Captain Jack Hammer. Buck Rogers meets Fuck Rogers – Captain Hammer movies were more than just porn. They were a manifesto of machismo, a swaggering hymn to the spirit of the alpha male which was threatened by the 1970s feminist movement. While it’s true that porn in every age can be described this way, the Hammer movies were something special, thanks in no small part to the man behind the legend, Montgomery Python.
Monty — as he was known by colleagues and friends — was an accomplished stage actor long before he became Captain Jack Hammer. Educated at the Juliard School in New York, he was your classic triple threat. He could act; he could sing; and in 1974 he won the Golden Shoes Award for tap. But after an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction burgeoned into an unrequited act of necrophilia onstage at the Players Theater in 1981, Python’s Shakespeare days were over, and he never could find work as a “real” actor again. (Lily Sumner, the actress playing Ophelia at the time, later dropped assault charges after Python promised to seek help for his alcoholism and sex addiction.)
But for every door that closes, another opens. In 1983 Python was living on the street, alternating between expressing himself through one-man performance art pieces, and spending time in jail due to the numerous counts of public indecency garnered by those same performances. But on a night in late November, rising pornography producer Hugh Jackoff happened by and witnessed the engorged member that gave Python his name. And video stores across America were never the same again.
During the next three years, the world was introduced to a kind of pornography never seen before or since. Captain Hammer was a hero that any man would want to emulate. He was the spirit of that decade of decadence and largesse, and yet still the best part of the 60s generation was able to shine through. Free love: free of guilt, free of standards, free of responsibility. Porn started to come out of the back room — out of your parents’ hiding places. Fathers and sons connected like never before, because Hammer made pornography fun again.
It’s hard to choose a favorite Hammer picture when so many were superlative and each broke new ground. But 1985’s Hammer Meets the Space Vixens is probably the most memorable for fans. In the film, the captain’s all-female crew is seduced by an evil Space Lesbian from Mars. In the end Hammer makes love to the evil Space Lesbian, turning her into a good Space Lesbian, and releases his crew from her male-hating spell. The world is saved, and everyone gets off.
Quintessential Hammer – and a shining example of what makes the series so appealing: apart from Montgomery Python, the cast is made up entirely of hot, big-breasted women. Let’s face it – porn is mostly for dudes. And dudes don’t like to see other dudes’ dicks if they can help it. The first three years of the Hammer oeuvre gave us the closest thing to that ideal –- short of actual lesbian pornography.
Unfortunately in the fall of 1986 this pan-femme approach started to shift with the release of Hammer vs. Hummer. Tired of the admittedly redundant hot-girl-saturated plots, Jackoff and his writing team wanted to try something different. This time Captain Hammer is trapped on a deserted planet with Major Hummer –- a cooked-up antagonist from Hammer’s past –- and it becomes a test of will and wits to see who can seduce the lone 4-breasted woman on the planet. While a woman with four breasts is certainly an award-winning idea, with such a limited cast it was only a matter of time before two dicks ended up in the same frame. This made the usual Hammer audience uncomfortable, yet profits rose as the series found new viewers in the homosexual community. By the spring of 1987, Captain Hammer films were nothing but thinly veiled gay scheisse films. Sons could no longer watch porn with their fathers. Hammer videos returned to the back rooms, and retreated to parents’ sordid hiding places. Major Hummer came more and more to the fore of the series as Monty Python was slowly edged out.
In 1988 Python’s erratic behavior outweighed his star power. Citing the actor’s stringent and vocal policy against the use of condoms, Hugh Jackoff cancelled his contract and relaunched the series under the title Major Hummer Goes Down. The day of the announcement, Python walked off that San Fernando lot, and the world never heard from him again.
The Captain Hammer franchise couldn’t continue forever. All that begins must end. Still, it is unfortunate that the later scheisse films buried those Fuck Rogers classics of the mid-80s. It’s sad that with all the amateur porn available on the web, 13-year-old boys of this generation haven’t heard of the porn star of their fathers. But such is fame and glory. Such is the ebb and flow of time.
Montgomery Python –- if you’re alive and reading these words –- know that there are those who still remember you for what you once were. Thank you for all the nights –- and mornings –- and lunch breaks at work –- when you helped to make single-hood bearable. And perhaps, in some small way, your name will continue to live on with the release of this horror comedy comic that your work has so inspired, Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space.