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Film / Sex Mission

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Sexmission (Seksmisja in Polish) is a 1984 Polish Science Fiction film.

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 today, that was not really the case when the movie first came out, as in the Eastern Bloc 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 Soviet collapse. For these reasons, the film is still well-loved in Poland and other post-communist countries.


It received two loose video game adaptations in 1991 and 1996, both titled A.D 2044.

This film contains examples of following tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Albert is told by representatives of Women League that Copernicus and Einstein were both women, annoyed Maks asks rhetorically whether Curie-Skłodowska was one as well. This makes the crowd erupt in laughter.
  • After the End: The action of the movie takes place a few decades after nuclear war which rendered the surface of the Earth lifeless (except it didn't — it is all just a ruse).
  • 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, and took part in the cryogenics experiment just for the money and fame. 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.
  • Censor Suds: Towards the end of the movie, there's a completely gratuitious scene of Lamia and Emma taking a bath together and chatting (although we mostly hear giggling) which is full of the stuff.
  • 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.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Even if the film was criticizing Soviet communism, it was still 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.
  • Cryo Sickness: Maks and Albert wake up blind and disoriented, and have to spend some weeks in "adaptation".
  • 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 has a very bright-lit, clinical, observing-the-odd-creatures-safely sort of a look. 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 having been made in 1980's Poland after all.
  • Food Fight: With pies! Just don't ask from where they got them.
  • 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.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Lamia.
  • Human Popsicle: The guys are part of a pilot program - it's only been tested before on a chimpanzee.
  • 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.
  • Only A Dream: Subverted and Played for Laughs halfway through the movie. When Lamia injects unconscious Albert with a drug in order to wake him up, we may see that he is dreaming about waking up three years after he and Maks were frozen, just as planned. It suggest that all events in the movie up to this point were just Albert's hibernation-induced delusions. However, it quickly turns out that no, it was all real.
    Albert: [in dream] It's so good that it was only a dream!
    Albert: [after actually waking up] I, uh... I had such a beautiful dream [breaks down crying]
  • 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 none of these women has ever SEEN a man, so they're unable 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 isolating people from anything Western as carefully as possible.
  • Path of Inspiration: Our protagonists are told it was 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". Implication being, the rewriting of historical records also involved a similar rewrite of religious scriptures.
  • 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.
      Albert: [stands up, about to wander into Decadent camp] Maks! Come on!
      Maks: [stops him] No! Be careful. There are only babes there too, after all.
  • 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: [shrugs her shoulders with "I have no idea" expression]
    • It works on multiple levels - the password, while usually just translated as "fuck" when put into sentences without context, translates literally as "mother whore", something no woman would say in-universe.
  • 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.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Scenes involving Her Excellency after The Reveal. Also, the opening credits, which feature drawn images of various scenes from the movie. They are a mystery when you watch the movie for the first time and don't know the context. After you've already watched it, though, the very same drawings will look familiar.
  • Right Under Their Noses: Her Excellency. Played by Wiesław Michnikowski in drag - which makes perfect sense because his character is literally a man Disguised in Drag.
  • 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 who asks 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: The official ideology of the dystopian world.
  • Symbolism: There's a whole lot of sneaky anti-communist imagery. 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 security guards, listening to conversation between Lamia and elderly lady via hidden microphone, complain about the malfunctioning equipment at their workplace (although in this case, unbeknownst to them, Lamia deliberately sabotaged it). This is actually one of many subtle jabs at contemporary reality of communist block, which always lagged behind the West in terms of civilian technology, forcing people — even those working for security services, who you'd think would have access to better stuff than common citizens — to rely on a subpar, unreliable equipment.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The country in which the story takes place is never specified, and and there is no implication. The scientist who invented the experiment, is named Viktor Kuppelweiser, a very German-sounding name. Everyone in the movie speaks Polish (granted, that's where it was made) and the names of the protagonists are also ambiguous. Maximillian and Albert. While those names are in use in Poland, they're also used in a lot of other European countries. Max mentions waiting for a flat allotment, which is something typical for just about any of the Eastern Block country. It is very ambiguous which country the story exactly takes place, and if the two main characters are even from the same country. It was done intentionally; once the apocalypse happened, men died, and women retreated underground, the borders made no difference.
    • At one point, the protagonists actually do stumble onto a tunnel with a border checkpoint. When the guard demands passports in German, they flee in terror. While this is mostly a cheap gag based on All Germans Are Nazis associations, it narrows the setting down somewhat.
    • One exit to the surface is located on a sea shore. The surface scenes are kind of obviously shot in Łeba.
  • 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.