Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quickie Reviews!! March 2010 Edition Part 2!!

Hi folks. Part 2 of my quickie reviews, before I get my teeth into some Feminist Porn in anticipation of the Feminist Porn Awards 2010 in Toronto. I'm going. Like, I have my tickets booked and everything. I even have a stack of freshly purchased, nominated films to watch and review during the build-up to this fine event.

Well, without further ado...

Lialeh (Dir. Barron Bercovichy, 1974)

This one is touted as the first black XXX film ever made, and also boasts a soundtrack and appearance from Bernard Purdie, who drummed and recorded with the likes of James Brown and Aretha Franklin. Crikey! So, I knew this film wouldn't be good, but I was informed the soundtrack would funk me up. I was right on the first count, and sadly wrong on the second. The movie is about Lialeh, a wannabe singer/performer who auditions for some guy, and is coached to be better...and I guess she's supposed to be good and sexy? She's not - she is a horrible singer, and a horrible dancer, and I simply couldn't stand it. The songs weren't even that good. In fact, the film left me pining for the quality songs heard in films such as The Devil in Miss Jones and The Opening of Misty Beethoven. I'm not angry I bought the movie, but I did turn it off before the end... Y'all can indulge in the theme song at the end of the show and decide for yourselves.

Talk Dirty to Me Part III (Dir. Ned Morehead, 1984); aka. The All-New Talk Dirty to Me, Part III.

I adore Talk Dirty to Me and its unofficial sequel, Nothing to Hide. I like Talk Dirty to Me: Part 2, and I enjoyed Talk Dirty to Me: Part 4. It was always a source of pain, then, to know I could never see the Traci Lords starrer, Talk Dirty to Me Part III, where John Leslie falls in love with a mermaid. Part 4 had mermaids, sure, but it just isn't the same in a sequel. Well, cruising the adult DVD stores, I found this DVD (suspiciously priced at $3), and I got exactly what I paid for. Stay with me here, because it's hard to explain what I experienced. The producers of this film decided to refilm segments involving Lords, on cheap video no less, and insert them into the original film. Traci is now an aging Lisa deLeeuw, who spends practically the whole film sitting in a pool looking around in a confused manner, as we skip back and forth between her and the original film segments that she is "looking at" (I have surmised that the pool is on wheels). John Leslie appears at one minute in his prime, the next as a 40-something-year-old (I still love you John), and because the sound doesn't match, we are left with a lot of deLeeuw's lines silenced. I'm talking, entire pieces of her mouth moving, and all we can hear is a buzzing sound. The kicker comes when deLeeuw has a solo scene, during which the director and god-knows-who-else can be clearly heard throughout giving directions, and chit-chatting about shit they messed up. I kind of want to say this has to be seen to be believed (which is true), but the whole experience was strangely depressing. Avoid.

The Deviant (Dir. Nica Noelle, 2009)

I bought this one for a couple of reasons: 1) Nica Noelle is nominated for two films at this year's Feminist Porn Awards (not for this film though), and 2) It stars Manuel Ferrara in a feature. The man can talk! And not just whispering sexy sweet nothings in a woman's ear. ...and he can act, it turns out. I have never seen a Sweet Sinner movie before, and I was pleasantly surprised. I guess I was expecting soft sex, and very little plot, when in reality the sex was pretty hardcore, and there was a decent plot. Manuel is unhappy with his marriage to Kylie Ireland, suspicious that she is cheating, and asks his friend, Mr. Pete, to seduce her. It's hard to tell at first whether or not Manuel is justified in his suspicions or whether he's just a douche, but things become clear with time. If there was one thing I could change about the movie, it would be the sound quality - it seems that no mics are used in this film, which is a shame. Cheap sound can make a film not feel like a film, and it certainly took me out of the moment. Still, I'm looking forward to the next couple of movies by Nica. I'll report back soon. Oh! And Manuel is super-fucking-fine, as usual.

Memoirs of a Chambermaid (Dir. Eric Edwards, 1987)

There's something about this DVD cover that's very appealing, dontcha think? It's the man-ass, which is always welcome, in my opinion. More than that though, it just looks kinda quaint. The movie is actually pretty quaint, and I liked it in spite of the fact that it's shot on video in the 80s (usually a very bad sign). The script and concept is cool though: a writer moves into an old Victorian house to focus on her work, but has writer's block. After being told the house is haunted by the estate agent, she discovers an old diary, written by a Victorian woman (naturally, it's about her forbidden love for some blonde dude) and starts having "hallucinations" of the people written about in the diary. She talks to them, diddles over them, everything. Nice concept, as I said, but the key problem with this feature is the fact that the blonde dude is in practically every scene, to the point where I started FFing out of frustration. Now, if it was John Leslie, that would be one thing, but I've never heard of this Brandon fella, and quite frankly he ain't floating my boat. Still, it's not terrible, and if you happen to have the chance to watch it, check it out.

Oh, and here's your [i]Lialeh[/i] theme - this is the opening to the film, and it gets shown again in its entirety later in the film. And that lady is not Lialeh. I only wish it were... Enjoy getting its lameness stuck in your head...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quickie Reviews!! March 2010 Edition Part 1!!

Holy Guacamole y''s been too long. I have no excuses other than a combination of business, laziness, and mind-numbing experiences that made me want to shut out the internet. And in the meantime, I managed to accrue 100 followers - yippee! Rest assured, though, I have been diligently watching films, and have quite a few that I'm reserving for the full GGG treatment. For now, though, you will have to put up with some interim quickies. Drum roll please...

Obsessed (Dir. Martin & Martin, 1977)

This is one of those flicks that people kept telling me I would love, and I had to see. Well, it is rather impressive, and it has my beloved John Leslie in a starring role, alongside the wonderful pairing of Constance Money (Misty Beethoven herself) and Annette Haven. I won't give too much away, but the story centers around John and Constance (playing the titular Anna) having relationship issues, particularly in the bedroom. After Anna is raped, things take a curious turn as Anna starts hanging out with Annette (in an impressive and slightly creepy performance). This film is disturbing, intelligent, and manages to mingle eroticism with some pretty dark content.

River Rock Women's Prison (Dir. Kathryn Annelle, 2009)

I had been hotly anticipating this film for months, so when it finally arrived in the mail, I watched it immediately. Unfortunately, I turned it off after about 45 mins. I'm kinda ashamed to admit this, but I wouldn't be being true to myself if I lied - I didn't like this movie in terms of either narrative or sex. I'm starting to think there is a type of feminist porn that simply isn't my style. There were elements I liked, but this isn't the "narrative" film I was expecting - I was hoping for something linear, but instead it was much more stylized than I like. I appreciate that these films are being made - I'm always in favor of diversity of genres - but I guess this one just isn't for me. Still think Syd Blakovich is hot though...

A Thousand and One Erotic Nights (Dir. Stephen Lucas, 1982)

I went into this with low expectations due to a lukewarm review in my Robert Rimmer X-Rated Videotape Guide, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Starring the glorious John Leslie and Annette Haven, this adaptation of 1001 Nights, more commonly known as Arabian Nights, follows the original text very closely. A ruler (Leslie) decides to bed a woman a night for 1001 nights, but to kill the woman in the morning, so crafty Scheherazade (Haven) tells him stories that end in a cliffhanger in order to forge a bind between them and stave off execution. Of course, this leads to lots of fun, elegant, and erotic representations of the stories she tells. I really enjoyed this film - the cast is great, and it's filmed well. I have no earth-shattering analyses for y'all - it's just good.

Dog Walker (Dir. John Leslie, 1994)

This is another one people kept telling me to watch, so I finally watched it. This is an impressive film, and not just because it's a good film made during the video era (on a side note, I have a real soft spot for pornos that advertise proudly that they're shot on film). I can't really explain the plot, but it's to do with a young, babyfaced Steven St. Croix trying to get out of a mob-type ring he's involved in. He keeps seeing this woman walking a dog, and as he is being threatened by a mob boss, things start blurring between reality and fantasy. If that sounds vague, it's because I watched it a while ago, and I don't think I fully understood what was going on. Visually striking though, and ambitious in all the right places. It was also nice to see John and Jamie in their twilight years, looking handsome as always.

Candy Stripers (Bob Chinn, 1978)

A notorious classic that I've never seen, this is a film that also seems to be regarded as fluff. Call me crazy, but I thought this was a work of fucking genius! The "candy stripers servicing the patients" plot is played totally straight, as though sexual activity is the norm, and there is plentiful witty and deadpan dialogue, performed with admirable ease by everyone involved. I loved this film. One thing that struck me as interesting is that the film somehow manages to straddle a world where sex is seen as an everyday, normal thing, at the same time as it's a world where sex is still naughty and frowned upon. I'm not quite sure how they managed this, but it worked. Oh, and the original soundtrack kicks ass.


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