Fans of innovative Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg will recognize the emergence of a his unique voice in this 1970 project, the director's second feature (following the 1969 Stereo). The bizarre premise introduces a dystopian future society in the wake of a devastating epidemic -- which killed off most of the adult female population thanks to a buildup of dangerous chemicals in cosmetics. Victims of this particularly gruesome affliction are marked by multicolored bodily secretions from every orifice -- which seem to produce an irresistible aphrodisiac effect on others. The majority of surviving females are pre-pubescent and frequently sought by creepy underground organizations of pedophiles. When one such group kidnaps a five-year-old girl, an agent from the Institute of Skin -- bearing the interesting moniker Adrian Tripod -- sets out to find her. Tripod drifts from one bizarre situation to another in his quest to find the girl, leading to several cerebral and frequently twisted episodes.
by Cavett Binion synopsis