“The problem is, I just can’t seem to avoid sex.”
This amiable sex farce follows the exploits of a young Australian man (Graeme Blundell) who – for reasons not stated in the movie – women find completely irresistible.
Alvin Purple is a seemingly regular guy who stirs utterly boundless lust in the loins of women – ALL women.
They are powerless to resist his charms, and he can’t escape the armies of lust-crazed women who need to use him to satisfy their depraved desires.
Alvin Purple is from the Benny Hill school, with flocks of crazed, uniformed schoolgirls on bikes chasing our hero on his bike, with a musical accompaniment not a thousand miles from the actual Benny Hill theme.
In another chase scene, the wife of Alvin’s teacher (Jill Forster) appears and gives him a ride back to her place, where bonking is once more the order of the day.
Alvin is supposed to be 16 at this point (even though he looks about 30), but he’s still equipped to satisfy Mrs Horwood – although she does comment, “you’re a big boy for your age”.
After reminiscing for a while over Alvin’s youth we are transported to the present day (1973). Alvin is now 21 and a waterbed salesman. Alvin’s friend does presentations for the public while Alvin does the at-home demonstrations (you can see where this is heading, right?).
The heavy “customer contact” is wearing Alvin out, and he confides in his friend Tina (Elli Maclure) and ends up seeking psychiatric help in an effort to straighten out his predicament.
Seeing an analyst turns out to simply add to his problems though – First Alvin visits Dr Liz Sort (Penne Hackforth-Jones) who tells him he needs someone on whom he can “lavish the full extent of his emotional reservoir,” and that he needs to learn that he can do things other than sex with women, thereby keeping his fluid reservoir dammed up.
The two become friends, and Dr Sort successfully conditions him, turning him into a sort of ‘Pavlov’s Alvin’ who runs around the block or takes a cold shower whenever he feels any sexual inclination.
Her training inevitably backfires when Alvin won’t bonk her, so she ends up blackmailing him and attempting to make his life a misery.
Alvin then seeks help from Dr McBurney (George Whaley), who sees a way to exploit Alvin’s talents in a way that will be profitable to both of them.
Alvin ultimately realises that he loves Tina, his platonic friend who has been there for him all along. It’s not a total epiphany, but Alvin realises that sex without love, while fun, is still empty, and he follows Tina to the nunnery she’s run away to.
Here he becomes the gardener and a changed man . . . or is he?
The talented cast of actors tries hard to keep the thin material afloat, and the movie spawned two sequels – Alvin Rides Again (1974) and Melvin: Son of Alvin (1984) as well as an Australian TV series, also titled Alvin Purple (1976).
Dr Liz Sort