Fascination (1980 - Video-X-Pix)
Christie Ford (as Christi Ford)
Patty Boyd (as Josie Jones)
Veronica Hart (as Randee Styles)
Mike Feline (as Mike Filene)
In his autobiography, Ron Jeremy said that the wide-eyed, kid in the candy store look his character had amongst the neon of pre-Giuliani Times Square at the beginning of Fascination was easy to achieve – it was exactly the excitement and fervor with which he dove into the New York sex scene of the ‘70s.
In pretty short order, we’re shown that Ernie (Jeremy) is unlucky in love. (Well, sex, anyway.) His “moves” on Sharon Mitchell are interrupted by his parents and sister Victoria (Candida Royalle) coming home, he’s kicked out of an adult theater for trying to force a woman to go down on him (which sounds a lot worse in print than it plays out on screen, honest), and is knocked out and robbed by a tranny hooker. Lucky for him, there’s an add for "The Successful Seducer" in the back of High Society. After the book arrives, Ernie learns that “every man must have a bachelor apartment – or “pad” – in order to score." He’s able to find one from that comes with a nosy landlady with a penchant for peeping and a wisecracking parrot.
You might expect that Ernie’s “conquests” don’t go quite as planned. His first attempt is with a coworker (Arcadia Lake) that is ruined by her husband. His other attempts (including a woman that won’t stop talking – Merle Michaels – and a couple of vicious, sex-crazed lesbians – Samantha Fox and Marlene Willoughby) don’t fare much better. At one point, Ernie’s pad is used by his father to score with his secretary (Mike Feline and Veronica Hart) and his sister and her boyfriend (Ron Hudd) one after the other resulting in a series of “hide in the closet/pantry, someone’s coming” that would make "Three’s Company" proud.
How both the father and sister got into the apartment will be a debate that rages for generations (probably): 1. Ernie’s spare key is hung on his parents’ refrigerator; 2. Under the cover of seeing “what’s for dinner” Victoria sneaks the key replacing it with an impostor; 3. Seconds later, Ernie’s father does the same thing; 4. Ernie’s father and the secretary get to Ernie’s pad before Victoria and her boyfriend. How did Ernie’s father unlock the door with the phony key, I ask you?!? Oh well, I suppose continuity is not a hallmark of pornographic films. (After all, within a minute at one point Veronica calls Ernie her little brother and then Ernie calls Veronica his kid sister….)
It may be strange to call a porno “charming” but that’s the word that comes to mind: Ron Jeremy has a natural charisma, the script was good, the movie well acted and directed. Fascination joins Frat House (and Stiff Competition, which I’ll review eventually) as films I’d screen for people interested in, but inexperienced with, porn from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. A-
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