Saturday, April 18, 2009

2009 AVN Awards... tonight on Showtime!

Be sure to watch it! I think it's showing at midnight ET. I attended in 2008, and it was super fun to see all these stars in their element, very candid and able to be proud of their work, and a great antidote to the smugness of the Oscars. While the show was a little boring in places, they have apparently amped it up to include more skits, more of our favorite porn stars, and a bunch of other fun stuff. I know from looking at the winners list (the awards were taped in January) that this will be a fun show. Plus, one of the most awesome people in the world, Belladonna (the one with short hair pictured above) is hosting, along with Jenna Haze (also pictured). I met Belladonna at the AVN Expo, and I have to say that while I don't really watch her movies (because they scare me - lots of gaping...) she was absolutely charming, friendly, and genuine. In fact, pretty much everyone I met was charming and friendly, but Belladonna really took the cake. Even with a long line of people waiting to meet her, she spent time chatting with each and every one, and was really enthusiastic to talk about her work. She also made a movie with perhaps the coolest title ever, My Ass Is Haunted

Be there or be square, it's gonna be a blast!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

R.I.P. Marilyn Chambers

A brief, and very sad, farewell to the magnificent - and genre-crossing - Marilyn Chambers, who was found dead on Sunday at age 56. According to Adult Video News, she was found in her mobile home (where she had been living??) by her daughter. Cause of death unknown, but they say they aren't treating it as suspicious and autopsy will be performed.

Industry folks are coming out to pay their respects, including people I didn't even know were still around, like Johnny Keyes (who starred in Behind the Green Door in probably the first interracial scene in a big feature movie, with Chambers). Chambers' death is also, predictably, bringing out the cretins (lots of Christians) who want to suggest that such a sinful and disgusting woman got what she deserved. Oh well. I'm not paying much attention to them, and neither should you. 

I will remember Chambers not only for being perhaps the most beautiful woman in porn, and not only for being one of the most open and upfront porn stars regarding their career, but also for being one of the first crossover stars, being the lead in David Cronenberg's Rabid - a film I saw before I had even seen a single porn movie. My favorite movie of hers, though, is The Resurrection of Eve - one of the best porn movies ever made, in my opinion. 

As porn fans, horror fans, or a bit of both, let's remember Chambers with fondness and admiration.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Everything You've Ever Wanted to See of Sylvester Stallone

Ok, I guess this was bound to happen sooner or later given my interests. I actually saw The Italian Stallion (aka. The Party at Kitty and Stud's) a little while back, but re-watched it today because I'm presenting a paper on it this Thursday morning at a conference (that's right - and I'm going to be showing pictures too...). What interests me about this film is the way they repackaged it for post-Rocky audiences. 

Made in 1970, when Sly was a mere 24-years-old, the film was shelved until Rocky came out to wild acclaim and popularity in 1976. The Party at Kitty and Stud's was promptly re-edited, with the help of adult film director Gail Palmer, and repackaged as The Italian Stallion in 1978 (actually, that's not terribly prompt...). The plot is very, very simple (a relief after my last two posts...): Stud is super hot and hip, and is obsessed with having sex - so much so, that even though he has regular sex with girlfriend Kitty (Henrietta Holm), he still sees apparitions of naked women wherever he goes. They gaze at him, and he gazes back, and for some reason this makes him mad. 

Meanwhile, Kitty is also pretty hip, and somewhat hot, and she just can't get enough of Stud: "It seems like I can’t get enough of that guy. I wish I could have him in me 24 hours a day." Alas, she can't. Instead, they throw a party, and the whole movie deteriorates into a rather confusing "orgy" (people rubbing their naked bodies against each other on a rug, and dancing in a circle naked). 

I should note at this point that there is NO HARDCORE in this movie - there are rumors that a hardcore version exists, but in the course of research, I have surmised that this is false. Some people point to a movie named Bocky, in Germany, but it seems that the hardcore scenes are inserts. Besides, watching all the flaccid penises, it's pretty clear that this is your run-of-the-mill sexploitation/skin-flick, and that's nothing to complain about. 

On to Stallone, seeing as that's the reason why this is available on DVD at all. The most interesting part of the movie is Gail Palmer's introduction (and her speech on the trailer), which not only mocks the size of Stallone's penis, but implies that men are the intended audience, whereas in the trailer she tells us that Stallone is the man of "every woman's dream." Who the spectator is intended to be is a little ambiguous. Or, rather, pretty obvious when it comes down to it - the film is riding on the back of Rocky, which was well-attended by a presumed heterosexual, male audience. In marketing this film, then, the distributors seem to have gone for a "mediated-homoeroticism" angle, cashing in on the existing mediated homoeroticism of Rocky (mediated by violence). By presenting the film as though it were for heterosexual women, the marketing makes it "safe" for heterosexual men to go and indulge in their favorite action hero's penis. Genius!

Aside from the homosocial viewing relations, there are some pretty classic lines, added post-Rocky to enhance the Stallone-centered quality of the movie. The voice-over is supposed to be spoken by Kitty, though it was obviously added in later. The most telling is when Stud prophetically mutters, "When are they gonna recognize me?" Kitty responds, "Soon. Everyone will know who you are." Then, without her mouth moving, she says, "Some day you'll get known as the Italian Stallion."

 I believe my favorite line is when Kitty is bandaging Stud's hand (he fantasized a naked lady, and got so mad he punched a window - this kind of behavior makes Kitty really "hot" and she drinks his blood, then washes the wound and bandages it) and promises Stud that she will be "velvet-mouthed on your shank of love." 

While that line is pretty priceless, there are many other elements to savor in this essentially terrible, and cringe-worthy film (you see a lot more of Stallone's testicles than any other part of his genitalia - if that's "all you've ever wanted to see of Sylvester Stallone," as Ms. Palmer promises in the trailer, then knock yourself out). One scene is worth watching the movie for, though: Sly and a bad-ass black lady dancing on their rug (the same one they all have an orgy on later). It's super cool. Really.

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