Film / Sex Mission
in Polish) is a 1984 Polish Science Fiction
Two men, Albert and Maks, are chosen to be cryogenically hibernated as part of a test. However, something goes very wrong and they are left frozen for many more years than they were supposed to. They wake up in a post-apocalyptic underground totalitarian world inhabited entirely by women, and find themselves defending the very fact that they're men. In the future, it seems, all of history has been re-written to only star female heroes, and men have since been done away with entirely. But is everything as it seems, and are men really useless, like the new society claims? Can Albert and Maks turn the world back on the right track?
The ensuing adventure is part sci-fi sex comedy, part harsh criticism on Eastern European Communism. Or any totalitarianism. And while it would appear to be first and foremost a pamphlet against radical feminism as well, that was not really the case when the movie first came out, as in Soviet-controlled Europe feminism was never actually allowed to develop anywhere beyond its early 20th century form, i.e. granting women voting and divorce rights. Still, that did allow Sexmission
to escape the fate of an overwhelming majority of comedies made in Eastern Europe during the communist era, namely being seen as hopelessly obsolete and confusing a mere few years after The Great Politics Mess-Up
. For these reasons, the film is still well-loved in Poland and other post-communist countries.
This film contains examples of following tropes:
- After the End
- Air-Vent Passageway: Combined directly with So Much for Stealth
- All Just a Dream: Played with, as a dream of this very trope being used occurs at one point.
- Anti-Hero: Maks is one. He is a protagonist thrown into a crazy totalitarian world, so he's sympathetic, and he is far from being outright villainous, being a viewpoint character for most of the movie... but he's also boastful, crude, boorish, took part in the cryogenics experiment just for the money and fame, possibly intended to leave his wife and little daughter (it's certainly what the wife seems to think in an early scene), is clearly sexist (ranging from refusing to talk to anyone in charge who isn't a man, to hitting on - and forcing himself upon - a clearly unwilling woman). Most of this is Played for Laughs.
- Apocalyptic Log: A piece of newspaper from 1993 found in an old boot reveals some details about the political situation shortly before the war, like the dissolution of the United Nations.
- Brick Joke: Just after being woken up, the protagonists have problems with artificial food, stored in weird containers. For example some sort of paste is stored in an egg-shaped jar opened by twisting it. Three guesses what happens near the finale when Lamia's served a real egg.
- Chance Activation: The capsule is activated when one of the male protagonists curses. It makes sense considering Her Excellency, who had set the password, is male.
- City in a Bottle: The nuclear wasteland that appears to surround the entrance hatch to the base (and the periscope used to observe the surface from the inside) turns out to be a circular backdrop in the middle of a perfectly fine seaside location.
- Clean Dub Name: For its Soviet release, the original title was initially translated as Новые амазонки ("New Amazons") for obvious reasons.
- Completely Missing the Point: Even if the film was criticizing Soviet communism, it was greenlit in the USSR for its aesop of the evils of a totalitarian society and historical revisionism. Only the title had to be changed to New Amazons, since "sex and violence propaganda" was prohibited by the USSR's criminal code and the topic had to be avoided.
- Corrupt Church: The all-female society follows a twisted version of Christianity in which it is Adam who picked the apple off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and later tempted the female into eating it. It is also mentioned how "the man Cain invented crime and tried it out on his sister Abla".
- Depopulation Bomb: A male gene-suppressing weapon Gone Horribly Wrong exterminated the male population, due to historical revisionism of the Women League. Seemingly it worked more or less as intended, but most of the remaining boys were converted to women.
- Disguised in Drag: Her Excellency!
Maks: "So we almost got castrated here, and you're gluing a pair of tits onto yourself, you gyp?!"
- Also Albert and Maks in the penultimate scene.
- Elevator Escape: Lots of them.
- Escape from the Crazy Place: The room where Albert and Maks are held looks almost like the one from the asylum. It's even lampshaded by Maks.
- And then it turns out the Women League's "council hall" is located directly above it.
- Escape Sequence: Most of the film is this.
- Fanservice: Quite a lot for obvious reasons - see Innocent Fanservice Girl below. Could also serve as Fan Disservice to some, considering that none of the women are shaved, the movie being made in 1980's Poland after all.
- Food Fight: With pies!
- Future Imperfect: The women of the future are brainwashed by their Straw Feminist leaders that daily-use tools, like shaving razors or corkscrews, were used by men to torture women.
- Future Food Is Artificial: Justified because of the radiation outside.note Actual vegetables are a valuable good, and it's hinted that possession of them is illegal. An elderly lady begs a visiting scientist not to confiscate her potato plant. Right after that, the aforementioned scientist bribes the elder with a jar of marmalade for some information regarding males.
- Gendercide: Obviously.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Basically the whole movie is a satire on communist society but one particular line, a solid Take That! to the Soviet Union, stands out in particular and has become one of the most-cited quotes in the whole Polish movie history:
Maks: On to the East! There must be some civilization out there!
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: Lamia.
- Human Popsicle
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Considering that they live in all-female society, the girls have no problem with their nudity, especially around the swimming pools or during shirt-swapping after games (for some reason they don't have bras in the future), much to the delight of Maks. Albert's reaction is less enthusiastic, but then, he's the more repressed of the two.
Albert: Our civilization has collapsed, and all you care about is ass!
- I Was Beaten by a Girl: Almost word-for-word.
- Kangaroo Court: The last two males in a Lady Land inhabited by Straw Feminists are put on trial, with their crime being their gender.
- Lady Land: Obviously.
- Next Sunday A.D.: The movie, made in 1984, starts in 1991 (which seems more like 20 Minutes into the Future). That said, action switches to 2044 fast.
- No Party Like a Donner Party: Before their final escape, Albert and Maks are sentenced to become organ donors; their remains are to be turned into high-protein nutrient.
- Our Graphics Will Suck in the Future: 2044's security systems run on ZX Spectrum, apparently.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: All randomly encountered women are completely unaware of the protagonists' true gender, so Albert and Maks can easily pass for women, as long as they address each other in feminine forms. It works most of the time. Justified in that most of the time average employees are supposed to be unaware of either the two men's escape or their very existence.
- The use of the trope makes sense, as no woman has ever SEEN a man, so they aren't able to tell when they do. Which adds a layer to the movie's satire, as throughout the film, women are shown being taught about the cartoonish supposed evils of men... while having had no contact or interaction with men ever. This parallels the politics and propaganda of the real-life Soviet Block, which the movie satirizes, with the demonization of the West concurrent with the government very carefully isolating people from anything Western, if possible.
- Phlebotinum Pills: All women are reminded by the computers to "take their pills". While it seems a minor background detail at first, the pills are vital to the one-gender system running smoothly. They convert the women's sex drive into professional ambitions, resulting in an asexual, career-oriented society.
- When Lamia's interest in the captured men starts wandering into unprofessional territory, she stops taking her pills. The withdrawal makes her even more unprofessional, resulting in a High-Heel–Face Turn.
- When the protagonists stumble upon a Decadent Camp, they spot couples making out, since Decadents are off the pills and thus have a healthy sex drive.
Maks: Hey, look, look! *beat* Nah, females, all of them.
- Precision F-Strike/Atomic F-Bomb: Conveniently this turns out to be the password for the lift to the surface, supposedly know only by Her Excellency. Cue surprised reactions from the clueless elevator guards.
Guard 1: What does that mean?
Guard 2: I don't know!
- It works on multiple levels - the password, while usually just translated as "fuck" when put into sentences without context, translates literally as "your mother is a whore", something no woman would say.
- The Reveal: At one late point, we learn that Maks's daughter survived the war, and is now filled with rainbows due to her wishes of applying revenge upon her father. Her desire for revenge is over him leaving her and her mother for the duration of the experiment. Come to think of it, her mother's attitude (as seen in the beginning of the movie) might have influenced daddy's decision.
- Even later, we learn that the world wasn't completely destroyed in the war. In fact not all men went extinct, however due to the Depopulation Bomb being rather effective anyway, the Women League enforced sex change operations on survivors. Her Excellency turns out to have been a man all along, surviving due to his mother's plan to disguise him.
- Right Under Their Noses
- Shout-Out: Multiple.
- Maks's surname, Paradys, connects it to the novel Paradyzja. Its author, Janusz Zajdel, also wrote Cylinder van Troffa, which has Cold Sleep, Cold Future as its main plot and features Earth as a(n almost) No Woman's Land.
- At one point, a list of older women's names is displayed, and it's seemingly full of various shout outs. The most obvious ones are the director's surname as well as Kwinto, one of the protagonists of Machulski's earlier movie, Vabank.
- Another one to Vabank - remember the black tourist in white clothes, who was walking an enormous dog? There is one in this movie too (it's the lady asking for directions).
- Situational Sexuality: The Decadents reawaken sexually once the Pill wears off, and there aren't any men left in the world, so what's a girl supposed to do?
- Straw Feminist: All women.
- Symbolism: A Communist bloc specific variety; it's for Getting Crap Past the Radar, specifically political crap. There are multiple parallels between the presented society and a communist one, with females representing the proletariat. At some points this gets quite blatant (including a scene parodying the parliamentary assembly).
- Take That!: During Maks and Albert's hearing, they try to come up with the names of various male scientists to prove that men had a lasting impact on the human civilization, however, members of the committee insist that those were, in fact, all women. Since one of the scientists mentioned happens to be Copernicus, it might be read as a parody of a German-Polish controversy regarding the nationality of the famed astronomer (who considered himself a subject of the Polish king yet spoke German on an everyday basis), dating back to the very beginnings of both the German and Polish nationalist movements.
- 20 Minutes into the Future: The protagonists wake up from their hibernation in the year 2044, fifty years overdue.
- Unusual Euphemism: Naturalization, for enforced sex change operations.
- Used Future: At one point two female workers complain about the malfunctioning equipment at their workplace.
- Zeerust: The world of 2044 is full of monochromatic CRT screens, ZX Spectrum computers, and a robotic vacuum cleaner seen in one scene doesn't exactly look like a Roomba.
- The world was turned into ruin in the early 90's, with women fleeing into mines, so it can count more as Fridge Brilliance... from a certain point of view.