Cinderella 2000 is a hilariously written concept made-reality thanks to the incomparable Al Adamson and Sam Sherman, two drive-in legends who wallowed in outrageous 'B' movies. It's hard to describe articulately what Cinderella 2000 really is. It is a softcore exploitation picture that borrows heavily from the popular Brother Grimm's fairy tale while injecting a musical component into the mix. It is one of those rare films that can be regarded 'so bad they're good.'

It is important to remember that Cinderella 2000 was made during an era when hardcore pornography was the primarily preferred genre over softcore. Softcore was, for the most part, a staple of sixties cinema. Many softcore films produced in the first half of the seventies had pornographic inserts utilised to full effect in catering to audiences that were very much taking an inclination to hardcore pornographic cinema. The slick raincoat crowd thought Softcore pornography was tame by comparison. But in 1976, one film blew away all these convictions as Alice in Wonderland achieved not only box office success as an r-rated film but as a triumphant 'triple X' musical that has descended into legend. Alice in Wonderland ushered in the adult musical phrase that included films such as The First Nude Musical, The Erotic Adventures of Superknight, and Cinderella 2000. What brought success to Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella 2000 was the fairy tale aspect.

Needless to say, Cinderella wallows in bad music, poor choreography, feeble acting, horrendous costumes, hilarious dialogue, and bizarre sexual scenarios. But it is precisely these defects that have erected Cinderella 2000 to the 'classic' status it has justifiably earned.


The year is 2047, despite the misleading title, and the Controller of this futuristic epoch has publicly declared any sexual act between consenting adults illegal due to the sharp increase in population. Anybody caught engaging in this thoroughly deprave act will tackle the full force of the law. But to make sure that the population at large are adhering to this totalitarian enforcement, the Controller sends a robot to patrol the city, and anybody unluckily caught doing what they shouldn't be doing are immediately arrested with the robot screaming, "Fornication without a sanction! Fornication without a sanction!"

Away from this regime of radical moralists, we meet a young and lonely woman called Cinderella, played here by Catherine Erhardt. She lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters who receive sickening pleasure in treating her more like a pet animal than a family member. When Cinderella isn't scrubbing the floor without anybody to help her, her confrontational stepsisters and sex-obsessed stepmother are bullying her. Cinderella often feels jealous when she is bullied for her scruffy looks and lack of sexual prowess in luring a man. Therefore Cinderella often wanders from home to seek the occasional solace from her argumentative and spoilt-rotten stepsisters. However, during one of her contemplative wanderings, Cinderella is visited by a UFO that lands before her in the forest. An intergalactic fairy Godfather suddenly emerges and teaches Cinderella the joys of lovemaking and granting her the wish to attend the annual ball. However, Cinderella doesn't have an invite, but before long she finds herself in the position of obtaining one.

She attends the ball and leaves everyone shocked at the physiological beauty that has just walked in. Her eyes meet the love-struck stare of Tom across the room and both fall head-over-heels in love. The night eventually descends into passionate lovemaking before the couple are discovered fornicated by the patrolling robot.

As the midnight hour is at hand, Cinderella runs away and returns to her wasted life, leaving Tom to ponder on what could have been with Cinderella. However, Tom simply cannot forget the blonde beauty, and when he eventually cultivates the courage to locate the Cinderella after one of his lengthy melancholic broods, he is willing to risk anything in giving Cinderella the life she so desperately craves.

Cinderella 2000 delivers exactly what you would expect from an Al Adamsom feature. You get the trademark naked women, softcore sex scenes, pathetic humour, outrageous storylines, and don't get me started on the set design. The music and singing is awful and quite embarrassing but downright hilarious to watch. If it isn't the fairy Godfather dancing to the tune of "we all need love," it is the mechanical robot providing his own personal rendition to country music with "mechanical man, is what I am, if you turn me on." I really don't know what's worse: the sinister robot dancing to disco music with stiff mechanical choreography or the image of him having sex with a damn X-ray machine. It took me days to expunge these tunes from my head and even now they're still trying to possess me. And those fornicating rabbits. OH MY GOD!

Al Adamson, it seems, really does possess bad taste, and that's why we love him. It is rather sad that Al isn't alive today to see this 30th anniversary edition of Cinderella 2000 for himself. Psychopath Fred Fulford tragically murdered Al in Indio, California on the 2nd August 1995. Al's body was found buried under his freshly laid cement and tiled bathroom. His murderer even posed as him by using his clothes and credit cards at a hotel in Florida while on the run from the police. Fred Fulford was eventually convicted and sentenced to 25 year to life.

Bud Donnelly is often criticised for writing the lame script, but his intentional bad jokes and hilarious ideas should be applauded by all. He scores top points in writing a genuinely funny script, but Al Adamson's direction doesn't grant the script any justice.

Producer Sam Sherman even got in on the act by provided a hilarious orgy scene between Snow White and the 7 dwarfs. Dwarfs made frequent appearances during the European hardcore porn scene at the time, the famous one being the vicious, whip-wielding black dwarf in the French film La Nymphomane perverse in 1977.


It was brilliant to have witnessed Catherine Erhardt playing in a non-hardcore porn role for once. Her acting and all-round performance in 1976's Through the Looking Glass is legendary, and was one of the very few films she had ever participated in. The other films to her acting credit are the hardcore pornographic films Double Exposure of Holly and Expose Me Lovely - which went under the title of The Big Ones in a softcore version during the x certificate days at the BBFC. In Cinderella 2000, she unquestionably captures the appearance of scruffy woman wholly neglected and abandoned by a totalitarian society. Unfortunately, it does seem that Cinderella 2000 was the very last appearance of Catherine Erhardt in a film. It appears that her very last acting appearance altogether was her saleswoman role in the Full Marital Jacket episode of L.A. Law in 1988. She didn't appear in many films, but she has left some classic performances for us to cherish.

Back to Cinderella 2000, I cannot help but criticise Retro-seduction for the poor state in which the film is presented. You get two versions of Cinderella 2000 on the disc; one being the US r-rated version and the other being uncut euro version. The euro version is 15 minutes longer than the US version and contains lengthier scenes of softcore sex. Both versions are presented in a cropped format on this DVD. The opening credits are presented in 2.35.1 non-anamorphic wide-screen, but the film then descends into a full frame transfer and sourced from a video master. The pictorial texture is somewhat washed out and soft in appearance.

This is rather disappointing given that retro-Seduction usually release their sexploitation DVDs in pristine condition. This disappointment is increasingly accentuated when considering that Cinderella 2000 was originally announced for a release three years ago. Those who like this film will surely be disappointed with the transfer Retro-Seduction have provided.

The audio is in much better condition given the video presentation. The English dialogue is presented in Dolby Digital Mono and is fresh and lucid, but with the exception of the occasional flatness and declivity in sound quality.

The producer Sam Sherman makes a return with a commentary to an Al Adamson feature by providing an in-depth talk about the history of the film and the multiple versions that were floating around, especially in hotels. The commentary itself lasts for 51 minutes. The other extras include a trailer for Cinderella 2000 and a heap of other trailers for various Al Adamson sexploitation films. Also provided is an alternative opening credits of Cinderella 2000 using the alternative title Future Sex. However, the greatest extra provided with this DVD is the booklet containing liner notes of a discussion between Chris Poggiali, the editor of the Temple of Schlock fanzine between 1987 and 1991, and David Konow, the author of Schlock-O-Rama: The Films of Al Adamson (Lone eagle, 1998). The discussion itself is fascinating and between two connoisseurs of the genre.

Cinderella 2000 is classic trash. The film may have developed a cult following but some people still readily criticise it for being a feeble film scooping the very bottom of the trash can. It may be trash but Cinderella 2000 is an extremely fun film crammed with campy adult fun: shockingly bad set pieces and costumes; and hilarious renditions of musicals, Brother Grimm's Fairy Tales, and Star Wars - but it's precisely these peculiarities that make Cinderella 2000 a comical oddball of a film that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Al Adamson, we love you!

Reviewed by Pryce

Released by Seduction Cinema
Region All - NTSC
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review