Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rape-revenge of a different sort...

I have been meaning to write about this movie for a long while now, especially since someone asked me if there were any movies featuring female rapists. Well, not to give too much away, there are elements of this in Paul Thomas' Cry Wolf (2008). This is a truly great adult film - well-acted, well-shot, brilliantly scripted and directed... I could go on.

The plot is pretty complicated, and I had to watch it three times to even establish an opinion, but it roughly goes a little something like this (and I'm going to try to avoid major spoilers, but if I didn't give anything away this would be a three sentence review): the film opens with Sylvia (Monique Alexander) and Roger (Marcos Leon), a failed child star, arriving at his apartment after a date. They fool around, almost start having sex a few times, but things are weird as Sylvia is something of a tease, and Roger is definitely insecure about his masculinity. Things take a turn for the worse, and it appears that Roger rapes Sylvia, though much of the film is taken up with flashbacks and different stories regarding exactly what happened.

After Roger has attacked Sylvia, he calls his friend Danny (the delicious and wonderful Mr. Marcus) to help him clean up the situation, and from there things get darker, more tangled, and more intriguing. This is a far cry from your regular rape-revenge movie - think a pornographic, Hitchcockian I Spit on Your Grave with a true tit-for-tat revenge (no castration though). The acting, particularly on the part of Marcos Leon and Monique Alexander, is excellent, and the always-reliable Steven St. Croix turns in a memorable performance as a coked-up drug dealer/pimp. His speech about "spending your entire life trying to get back into the pussy" is awesome. 

Really, though, everyone in the film does a great job - including the editor. I don't think editors get the credit they deserve, probably because the majority of the time, if they do a good job it should go unnoticed. However, on this occasion, with all the twists and turns, flashbacks and multiple narratives, the editing is truly outstanding. Finally, as Sylvia, Monique does a great job in a role that calls for more than simply a stock "rape victim." Sylvia is a complex character, party to blackmail and revenge, as well as a woman who experiences a grueling rape.

The thing I found most fascinating about this film is the way in which it grapples with cultural expectations of masculinity and femininity - Roger is so painfully insecure about his masculinity that he takes it out on women, blaming them for his failures and his sexual misadventures. Ultimately, the film ends up being a commentary on itself; on the reasons for much of pornography's existence. Roger's initial attack is prompted by one of the best lines in the movie (made even more awesome by Monique's fantastic delivery), when Sylvia feeds Roger Viagra, telling him, "It'll help you, and that's not your cock anymore - now it's gonna be my little blue dildo, and you're gonna fuck me all night." Lines such as this, as well as Roger's rant about the ease of "fucking hookers," and St. Croix's tribute to the warmth and safety of the womb/pussy, surprised me with their directness in addressing Western male sexuality, particularly in relation to pornography and aggression. 

Complex characters, right down to the cameos, intelligent scripting and directing, excellent acting...hell, even a healthy dose of psychoanalysis - these are things a porn nerd waits years for in a movie. I seriously recommend checking this one out.

8 comments:

T.L Bugg said...

This flick sounds pretty entertaining, and a bit of a departure for Paul Thomas. I have heard one review of this already, but the reviewers were only interested in the sex scenes and not the plot, and they did not speak a highly of it (however I put little stock in those particular reviewers opinions).

Your review peaked my interest in Cry Wolf because of the multiple themes the film addresses. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention, and great post!

And if you're taking suggestions, I would love to see you cover the '70's classic, the Devil in Miss Jones.

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Thanks Bugg - which review did you read? I am currently writing about this title, and have been having a really hard time finding reviews. I can't believe they didn't speak highly of it (although, there are a few reviews that, even though they ultimately say it's great, complain about the "non-traditional" sex scenes). On the other end of the scale, I was talking with someone the other day who complained there was too much sex for his tastes. Guess that throws the porn-watcher stereotype out the window!

Holy moly, I *love* the original Devil in Miss Jones, and would love to post a review - it's sat right next to me in my office. Consider your request noted!

T.L Bugg said...

I actually heard a review of it on a podcast called Porn++. I only listened to a couple of episodes before I realized that my own tastes and that of the hosts were entirely incompatible. So if you are to check it out their podcast is on iTunes, but i doubt you'll find yourself going back to listen to more, but if you are writing a paper about it it might be worth hearing what they have to say.

Glad yo hear you like DiMJ, gotta give it up for the classics. I'll be covering Debbie Does Dallas coming p here shortly.

Johnny 666 said...

I hadn't heard of this one before, but you certainly have me interested to check it out now. Another one to throw onto my 'to see' list!

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Sweet! I think you will be impressed. The acting is so good (when I first watched it, when it first came out, I assumed Marcus Leon was not a porn star, but a "real" actor - just goes to show my former misinformed judgments of porn...). But the cinematography is also something to take note of - so refreshing to mention such details regarding porn...yet this was Vivid's last feature shot on film. Sigh...

X-Ray Specs said...

I had this one on my rental list, but it was a little bit down on choices. After reading your review, I'm going to move it on up to the top.

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Awesome! I am confident that you won't resent me for it. It's really quite amazing - especially in the context of recent releases.

Let me know what you think! There aren't many people around to get feedback from...(!)

Soiled Sinema said...

One can never get enough rape/revenge films. Will have to check this out.


-mAQ

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