Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Year Quickies!

Hola! Boy, what a week! Started back at school (so far, so good -- I'm actually feeling motivated...gasp!) and haven't seen a single, solitary film since last Sunday. I plan on making up for lost time this weekend though. Until then, here is a quick rundown of the last batch of flicks I saw, for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

Raw Talent (Larry Revene, 1984)

I knew going into this that the film was cut to pieces, and that several key scenes (Jerry Butler fucking a cooked turkey, Jerry Butler raping Lisa deLeeuw over a toilet, Jerry Butler kicking ass karate style) were missing. Nevertheless, I figured watching a butchered version was better than watching no version, and happily I was right. That's not to say the edits don't ruin the film, it's just that instead of being left feeling angry, I was left feeling even more anxious to watch the complete version. This is easily one of the strangest, nastiest adult films I've (sort of) seen, and Butler's character is surprisingly unhinged.

Butler plays Eddie, a wannabe actor working as a waiter, who accompanies his buddy (Joey Silvera) to a porn shoot and winds up performing in it when Joey can't get the job done. Eddie embarks on a porn career, after being told by director Carolyn (deLeeuw) that porn won't harm his acting career, but of course his past rears its ugly head during his later mainstream success in a soap opera. I don't think there's a single likeable character in this film -- at least, no one you feel entirely sure about or comfortable with. Eddie (played brilliantly by Butler), while sympathetic, is dangerous and bitter from the get-go, and Carolyn is simply something else. If you ever get the chance to see his uncut, I implore you to do so.

Sweet Alice (Joseph F. Robertson, 1983)

I was excited to see this, seeing as it stars Kevin James (as a cowboy, no less!) and lovely Seka. Not only that, the cast boasts such GGG favourites as Jamie Gillis, Paul Thomas, and Desiree Cousteau. Turns out, it's a loop carrier, so it's low on narrative, and most of the performers don't have speaking roles. I enjoy a good loop carrier, and Kevin James was goofy enough to keep me watching, but this was ultimately a bit of a snoozefest.

Any Time, Any Place (Kirdy Stevens, 1981)

From Helene Terrie and Kirdy Stevens, the team that brought you the Taboo series, comes this neat little film. Seka is vibrant as usual as Lynn, a criminal who along with her two male partners in crime (Mike Ranger and Jesse Adams) go about burglarizing, bantering, and fucking. It's not terribly memorable, but it's fun, and while not as good as, say, Taboo II, it still offers the same light-hearted quality you would expect from a Terrie/Stevens film.

Sexcapades (Henri Pachard, 1983)

Holy shit, does it get any better than this? No matter how many times I feel like I must have reached some kind of apex of adult film, another outstanding flick seems to be just around the corner to prove me delightfully wrong. Eric Edwards cements his position in my Top 5 male performers with his role as Harry, a filmmaker gone broke who returns to his adult film roots much to the displeasure of his wife, Sharon Mitchell. What ensues is a sort of fantastical and witty, but also grittily real, descent/ascent into the world of porn and all its shenanigans, with a focus on Harry's directorial struggles, his psyche, and his sexuality. The intertextual, meta nature of the narrative is so skillfully and playfully executed, I spent the majority of the film in baffled, captivated awe. So much so, I had to watch it twice. Awesome stuff.

Great Sexpectations (Henri Pachard, 1984)

So, remember two minutes ago that whole "apex of adult film...another film proving me wrong" thing? Turns out, the very next film I watched after Sexcapades totally blew my mind. It's the sequel, and I had read that some folks think it's better than Sexcapades, but y'know, I thought it couldn't get much better. At best, it would repeat the formula and just be almost as good, but be remembered as better because it's new. Kinda like Waynes World 2. In reality, much like the Talk Dirty to Me sequel Nothing to Hide, Great Sexpectations is both entirely fresh and entirely as good, or better, than the first installment. Trying to decide which is the superior film is impossible, and unnecessary -- they belong together, and it would be a shame to have to pick just one.

Eric Edwards is back as Harry, nailing his performance in a way that rocked my world. I knew Edwards was a good actor, but this flick takes the cake. Some might say something like Firestorm is where he's at his best, but for me it's the subtly humorous and playful, but simultaneously complex and serious, performances that really test an actor, and in this film Edwards is pitch perfect. Harry is now divorced from his wife, and still making adult films. His newest endeavour stars John Leslie (playing himself) and adult star Marilyn Camp (Kelly Nichols, who also really impressed me). Marilyn is notoriously difficult to work with, but it soon becomes clear that she's a complex personality, and their multi-faceted working/personal relationship becomes the focus of the film.

For once, the DVD tagline is factual.


Roger Feelbert said...

Whoa, what a post! To my knowledge, I've seen the first four of these. I know I've got a copy of Great Sexpectations, they synopsis doesn't ring a bell, but man oh man does it sound like I need to check it out!

During my viewing of Raw Talent, I was struck by the "lack of drama," but in actuality I think it's a result of - like you nailed - there not being a "single likable character."

I thought the "loop carrier" nature of Sweet Alice made for some hilarious juxtapositions. (Especially when James finds "Sweet Alice" on that porn set.) Honey Wilder's magnificently awkward attempts at sympathetic acting are worth the price of admission alone.

The thing I remember most vividly from Any Time, Any Place was how terrible the lighting was. (Most likely a result of the transfer.)

I'll co-sign every great thing you said about Sexcapades. Now I really, really want to watch it and Great Sexpectations as a double feature.

I'm interested to see that Nothing to Hide was a sequel to Talk Dirty to Me. While I've only watched half of NTH (the Of Mice and Men aspect was kind of killing me), the only TDtM film I've seen is the #3 Lisa De Leeuw recut. Apparently, I should really see the first considering my whole idea of the series is informed by a mermaid movie....

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Haha -- thanks! I felt pretty strongly about a couple of these, as you can tell. I thought to myself, "Am I gushing? ... Ah fuck it, I *should* gush over these films!" Yes, you must go out and get Great Sexpectations, especially if you liked Sexcapades. A double bill is totally the way to go. Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

And we clearly feel the same way about Raw Talent and its cynical landscape. Boy, it's an unusual flick.

Oh, and you must see TDtM!! It's awesome -- I love Nothing to Hide, but each to their own. I think you'll dig the first one. There's also Talk Dirty to Me Part II, also starring John Leslie. Perhaps the only instance of a film with two part 2s starring the same actor?

MeganH said...

Hey GGG, it's Meg from Fangirltastic; great blog! You know I saw the edited version of Raw Talent and actually thought it was a sweet sorta romance with some sharp industry commentary; I'm actually glad I didn't see the one with the rape scene. Another older gem I just picked up is Ladies Night with Annette Haven, which centers around dissatisfied housewives who go to a male strip club. Fun stuff!

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Hey Meg! Wow, that's interesting you see Raw Talent as a romance -- I suppose it is in a way (a tragic one!). I want to see all works of art in their original form, no censorship for me. If there is rape involved, then the filmmaker obviously felt it was something he/she should include (goodness of intent is open to question). In this case, removing the rape scene and fight scenes made the film completely nonsensical. It was only once I saw the very end that I figured out what he was doing in that alleyway, and what happened between him and deLeeuw. It destroys the narrative.

I think I saw that Annette Haven flick -- must be time to revisit, because I only have very dim memories. Sounds like something I would enjoy!

MeganH said...

Hey GGG! Yeah, I definitely see what you're saying; I abhor censorship in all forms--as long as the film was made with the cooperation of consenting adults, it should be left alone. With this film, though, I remember the last shot with fondness (spoiler alert to everyone else:)with the blonde lady running into his arms--they had both had a tough time of it and I was glad to see them find some happiness. If I had seen him rape the woman, though, I probably would have turned the movie off in disgust and ended up hating his character. I guess I don't mind there being different versions of movies--though even after seeing the edited version of Raw Talent, I had trouble eating turkey sandwiches for awhile! lol

I hope you get to see Ladies Night again, it was fun--also let me know if you're still looking for vampire porn, I have a ton of suggestions.


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