But nearly a decade later, the $8,000 flick has achieved its second step toward immortality — the first arguably being a combo of a deadCENTER Film Festival award and a 2007 DVD release — by being one of only five dozen-ish movies spotlighted in the brand-new book Fervid Filmmaking: 66 Cult Pictures of Vision, Verve and No Self-Restraint.
Author Mike Watt (not the punk-rock legend) writes of the film across a three-page chapter, “Made on a budget of spare change and food stamps in Oklahoma City by Sharpe and company, Sex Machine is an energized piece of science-fiction noir. ... (It) takes on the voltage of the Crank movies. ... All of the pluses of Sex Machine … override any and all drawbacks.”
Although Sharpe, who now lives in Austin, Texas, has yet to follow up his labor of love, he’s in mighty fine company; his fellow Fervid directors include such film heavyweights as Robert Altman, Steven Soderbergh and George A. Romero.
And to answer the question on the minds of those who haven’t seen Sex Machine, Sharpe is quoted in the book, addressing that titillating title: “’It’s not porn.’ That’s my first response to the inevitable first question I’m always asked.”