Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hey, something new finally!

You shouldn't take the stasis of this blog as an indication that I haven't been watching adult films. I have been, but for some reason, I haven't had the drive to write about them when they're over. Well, here are a few I've seen over the past few months, most recent first:

Little Orphan Sammy (1976)
One thing I can say for the movie is everybody in it gives 100%. It's very much a movie of it's time. As a parody, it feels a lot like Blazing Saddles or Murder By Death. (A more direct comparison would be The Girl from S.E.X., I guess.)

Daddy Sawbucks (Neil Flanagan in a non-sex role) has developed a formula for turning garbage into oil, and Hata Mari (Jennifer Welles) wants it. In order to get an "in" with Sawbucks, she adopts Sammy (Rocky Millstone) from an orphanage. Sammy and Daddy Sawbucks have some sort of connection, but why, if they're so close, Sammy is living in an orphanage is never explained. Millstone plays Sammy like a super patriotic Beaver Cleaver (sincere, without a doubt, but he comes across with more than a slight touch of "serial killer") that says "leapin' lizards" a LOT. Each of the five sex scenes Sammy is involved in spring from his All-American desire to "help." I never realized that eating ladies out was a civic duty, but that's a lesson I took from the movie.

The movie is light and fairly well paced, and the aforementioned commitment of the cast make up for some of its short comings. B-

Lust on the Orient Express (1986)
This had been on my radar since X-Ray's review and I finally got around to watching it. It turned out to be a sterling example of why I need to relax my semi-arbitrary 1985 cut-off.

The story - a potboiler mystery writer (John Leslie), in need of inspiration, sets of on a pan-European trip with his wife (Gina Carrera) aboard the Orient Express and stumbles upon a murder and jewel heist plot - was solid, the cast, acting, and production value were terrific. So much so that were it not for the sex scenes (most of which felt pretty organic, and not tacked on, which is a problem with a lot of adult films that have quasi-mainstream qualities), it easily could have been a movie I watched on USA on a Saturday afternoon in the late '80s. A-

Garage Girls (1980)
I really wanted to like this film - if for no other reason than the leading ladies looked effing amazing in their overalls-and-nothing-else get ups - but after reading GGG's review, figured it was best to temper my expectations*.

While not a terrible film, Garage Girls is a prime example of a "If Only" porn, a movie that could and should have been much better than it was. The premise, four women (Brooke West, Cris Cassidy, Dorothy Lemay, and Lisa DeLeeuw) start an auto shop and are antagonized by chauvinist male mechanics, is simple and solid enough to make a good porno. The problem is that frequently that plot line takes a back seat to scenes, characters, and plot developments whose sole presence seems to be to make the film "zany." Look, zany is fine as long as its fun and not frustrating. Unfortunately, more often than not, Garage Girls was the latter. C (I could have graded it a little lower, but it gets bonus points because, seriously, the actresses are all super hot.)

Dixie Ray, Hollywood Star
(1983)
Dixie Ray has a lot going for it: a pretty interesting story (blackmail, crossing and double-crossing involving a fading starlet in 1940s Los Angeles), relative attention to detail (the noir feel was captured quite well through costuming, sets, camera work and editing, but bizarrely, towards the end of the film there's a LONG scene in which an actor can be seen stretching and, seemingly doing calisthenics, in the reflection of a mirror; "breaking the fourth wall" is an understatement), and fantastic cast. What it didn't have going for it, was natural-feeling sex scenes. It's not an exaggeration to say most scenes were: John Leslie walks into a room, questions a suspect in the blackmail investigation, fucks them. I can't remember the last time the "action" in an otherwise solid film bored me so much. C+

People (1978)
Like Odyssey (a film I really need to revisit), People is a series of unrelated vignettes. Unlike Odyssey, the scenes in People have a common (although simple) theme: interpersonal relationships. This being the last review in the post makes People the film I watched longest ago (that's a clumsy way to word it, I know, but you get the drift), so the details are a little fuzzy in my brain. Trust me, the film deserves a much better review than this....

In his review of the film, Jimmy mentions it's a shame that if most people know anything about Gerard Damiano, it's that he directed Deep Throat (an assertion I only partially agree with; while not as solid as Odyssey or People or DMJ, I quite enjoy Throat...), watching this film, it's plain to see Damiano has some serious chops. A

* I just revisited GGG's review to see why I remembered it making me temper my expectations (I didn't re-read it immediately before writing my thoughts because I wanted to make sure my review wasn't influenced). Turns out, her review was overwhelmingly positive, save one brief homophobic slur by De Leeuw. For whatever reason, that must have been what stuck with me. All told, I think her review is an interesting counterpoint to mine.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I'm a little bit hard on Deep Throat, maybe I should rewatch it in a double program with The Confessions of Linda Lovelace soon. I just find that more praise worthy films were made before it (by exemple The Debauchers, The Morning After, Cozy Cool or Bottoms Up).

    I watched also Dixie Ray, Hollywood Star some months ago without reviewing it (sometimes I've nothing to say so I write nothing) and I felt that something was missing. An hybrid version with this version and It's Called Murder, Baby (the softcore version) is probably the best way to see it. But for all I know that doesn't exist.

    Glad you enjoyed People also.

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