Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Quickies are Back!

Hi folks - as I struggle to finish my next chapter, y'all will have to make do with another Quickie Review edition, which will hopefully be followed by a little analysis of a pretty interesting failure I watched recently. Until then though, here is what I've been watching for fun recently...

Blonde Goddess (Bill Milling, 1982)

I thoroughly enjoyed this film - effectively a series of vignettes, reminiscent of Star Virgin, and representative of what a vignette film should be. The sex is loosely linked together by a slight plot (nerdy comic book illustrator has fantasies of being a stud in various scenarios inspired by his comic book creations; the Blonde Goddess is the women who shows up at the end of each scene, a seemingly unattainable fantasy). There's bags of fun to be had thanks to the variety of scenarios that take place during different eras, and eventually project into the future.

Consenting Adults (Gerard Damiano, 1982)

This is another vignette-ish film, but one that plays out like a documentary, and in my opinion is way ahead of its time in its gonzo-stylings. Hosted and conceptualized by Annie Sprinkle, we're guided through a series of scenes, only some of which involve sex, but all of which deal with some kind of kink, whether it be Marc Stevens watching his wife fuck another man, Jill Munroe dominating her sub, organized "apartment wrestling," or labial piercing (used the FF button on that one).

The real winning attribute for me, though, was the way two of the scenes utilized a commentary track by the performers, each one saying what is going through their mind during the scene. It's an innovative and sexy technique, and one that, like all forms of creative verbal/aural devices, seem to be sadly lacking in adult film.

The Defiance of Good (Armand Weston, 1975)

Yikes. I nearly turned this off after I couldn't take anymore virgin raping in an insane asylum. As I reached for the remote, however, a bearded man comes to "save" the poor girl and take her to his own special hospital. Now, I'm not an idiot - I've seen enough 70s porn to know this guy's hospital is going to be like something out of Story of O, and sure enough it's an initiation site for innocent young girls to shed their repressive femininity. It's a familiar trope in porn, and one that I can sometimes appreciate, and occasionally this format can do some subversive things in terms of gender, but not this one unfortunately. I just found it a little too unsettling and seedy for my tastes - I know it's supposed to be unsettling and seedy, but hey, if I don't like it, there's not much I can do about that. Unpleasant. (The ending was interesting though).

Tigresses (and Other Man Eaters) (Joe Sarno, 1979)

More vignettes! I never normally watch vignettes...what's going on? Unfortunately, this one didn't really live up to my expectations, whatever they were. A great cast, and I was excited to see Vanessa Del Rio, but she was criminally wasted, in my opinion. If she's going to play a character who speaks no English, that's fine with me, but please have her audio track present - her constant talking through her scenes is my favourite thing about her. A bummer, then, that the audio was dubbed.

I've heard that a couple of scenes, or at least substantial material is cut from the currently available version, so I will be willing to watch it once it comes out in the Platinum Elite series, restored and complete.

Bootylicious Girls (Mason, 2010)

I was initially excited to see this film because it features Kristina Rose, but her scene ended up being my least favourite, mostly due to her co-performer Ice Cold, who just didn't do it for me (his verbalizations were not my cup of tea). Luckily, the rest of the film is great, particularly Isis Taylor's scene with Manuel Ferrara - awesome tease, awesome scene - the fun and passion is tangible, and Manuel is on the verge throughout, which is pretty fun to watch.


Jimmy said...

Tigresses (and Other Man Eaters) will be released this year in the Platinum Collection as Steven told me in one of our email exchange. But I really hope to see Roommates, Hot Honey or Jack'n Jill appear before this one (JNJ was never mentionned but that one title I'm sure would sell well in the collection).

Don't let Defiance of Good discourage you on the works of Armand Weston (even if I personally like this film). He has also directed Expose Me Lovely, Take Off and The Taking of Christina who are 3 great films.

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Hey Jimmy! Good to know. I agree - Roommates and Jack n' Jill should totally be Platinum Elites! I haven't seen Hot Honey...I will order it.

Thanks for the tips regarding Weston - I love Take Off (I'm writing about that in my dissertation, seeing as it's an adap of Picture of Dorian Grey) and I've heard that Taking of Christina and Expose Me Lovely are fantastic. Granted, I heard the same about Defiance, but I'll always give something a try (plus, it's not that Defiance was *bad* per se...just...y'know. I'm sure the reason people like it are the same reasons I didn't).

P.S. I'm really enjoying and appreciating your reviews - I don't comment too often because I would end up repeating "Cool!" or "Awesome!" which would be silly. :) I contribute when I have something more constructive to say! Just know you're doing great work.

Jimmy said...

Hot Honey is the first adult production directed by Bill Lusting (the other being The Violation of Claudia that I haven't seen yet). Jamie Gillis, Heather Young and serena are in it and there are a lot of historical New York footages in it. I think you would like it since you are a big fan of Gillis.

Thanks for the compliment. I'll try my best, of course it would be easier in french but nobody would read me :-(

Of course I like yours also.

John Lyons said...

Here are my thoughts on the career of Armand Weston:
Weston was one of those filmmakers who wanted to make movies which went above and beyond run-of-the-mill sex films. He wanted sex scenes which built his characters or added to the overall feeling of the story.
He didn't like shooting hardcore because he felt that the explicit nature of the sex scenes deprived them of their humanity and lessened the acting ability of the performers. Out of the six X rated films he made, I've seen five (he technically directed a seventh; a shot on video feature called BLUE VOODOO, but he was more a hired hand on the project than the actual director) and I think he was easily the most unique and fascinating X rated filmmaker, after the great Chuck Vincent.
Weston had no qualms about pulling cinematic gut-punches. Since his goal was not to turn people on, per se, his films use sex to shock, amuse, or develop the narrative/characters. THE DEFIANCE is no exception. The first 30 minutes are supposed to disgust you, and the last 40 are an obvious and intentional pastiche of the late 60s/early 70s post-Manson cult craze.
Weston didn't do things accidentally, and all of his films were very heavily scripted, including the sex scenes. Just take the incredibly staged "day room" scene, or even Jean Jenning's brutal gang-rape. At roughly three minutes in length, it's one of the most agonizing rape scenes I've ever seen in any film, not because it's particularly brutal, but because it's so well directed and acted and the filmmaking is so damn good!
The subsequent portion of the film, in the home of Doctor Gabriel (who, you might recognize, is played by the wonderful Fred Lincoln) is an exercise is overly stylized S & M. It's taken to the point of ridiculousness, with candle lit orgies in which participants are garbed in the requisite black robes or leather bracelets and bathed in errie red and yellow lights, to the hilarious bloody whipping scene shot, of course, in slow motion.
All of these stylistic decisions were made with full consciousness to mock those very people who would ordinarily be horrified (or turned on) by such imagery. And it worked [unfortunately, the painfully dark transfer used for the VHS and DVD releases render most of the beautifully lit S & M scenes rather muddy and grey; the film is a sight to behold when seen projected].
The film was viewed by critics either as an alien work, only to be viewed by extreme S & M or rape obsessives, or as a perverse piece of degrading filth, which only strengthened the tired arguments about "porn being inherently violent." The bottom line is that they all missed the point.
The proper way to approach Weston's small, though incredible, filmography is with a grain of salt and the knowledge that he was well aware of how his films would be [mis]construed and took that knowlege as almost an excuse to toy with those very genre expectations.

**no time for proofreading...pardon the spelling/grammar errors**

Jesús said...

Well, anyone (neither his partner) could be dissapointed with Manuel, he's a gret performer (although he can't actually act!) And Kristina... she's great, but not always effective (but I thank god that porn bring us a girl with no implants, hurray for natural tits!!! I love it!!!)

BlackSix said...

There's an interview with Weston (it use to be on the Alpha Blue website) where he says that he thought the storyline for The Taking of Christina wasn't really appropriate for an erotic film, but the idea came from Jason Russell so I wonder what he thought of Defiance when he was making it. I think it works as a very dark S&M fantasy but can see why the material would be too much for a lot of people.

John Lyons said...

Yeah, I was trying to find a link to that very interview and post it here.

What Weston also said, which, to me, speaks volumes about his approach, is that he enjoyed making films about sexuality, but didn't like hardcore because he felt there was no room for emotional performances. He said he wanted his films to be ABOUT sexuality, not just show it.


Related Posts with Thumbnails