Friday, June 10, 2022

Memphis Cathouse Blues (1982)

Plots surrounding the world's oldest profession and the hypocrisy of the religious right, politicians, and/or men in power are evergreen. Were it not for the film version of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Louie Lewis's Memphis Cathouse Blues may not have been made in 1982, but it probably would've been made eventually.

Mavis (Annette Haven) is the third generation madame of the Feline Farm, the South's premier brothel. She has a long-standing relationship with Sheriff T.J. Thomson (Mike Horner), but unfortunately, Reverand Noble Pritchit (Paul Ross) has had his fill of the community turning a blind eye to the Farm and convinces Judge Franlkin (Dale Meador) to shut Mavis down.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Battle of the Stars 2: East Versus West (1985)

There were sixteen reasons I moved down one spot from Battle of the Stars to Battle of the Stars 2 when the former came up in my random movie picker. Based on the scene breakdowns, the formula looks pretty consistent: two female stars (Kristara Barrington and Heather Wayne) are pitted against one another by pairing them with the same guy (Tom Byron), with each other, and then in two separate small group scenes (Barrigton with Gail Sterling, Don Fernando, and Jonathan Younger; Wayne with Nina Hartley, Fernando, and Jessie Adams).

On paper, that's fine. "Getting to know" movies were nothing new, from the OG Inside Jennifer Welles to Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle, Inside Little Oral Annie, and Centerfold Celebrities and its sequels. And the interest in these productions didn't go away as evidenced by Evil Angel's I Am... movies. In practice, Battle of the Stars 2 is fucking exhausting. Both the sax and piano-heavy jazz background music and Kristara Barrington's incessant porn moaning is non-stop and mixed too loud.

Much of the movie - which, like Centerfold Celebrities was shot on video, so looks pretty shitty - was edited like a trailer, cutting between the two women in flagrante and Tom Byron's talking head answering questions and comparing/contrasting the women. Early on, it feels like a novel choice, when, for instance, he was discussing the differences on how the women liked their nipples treated (which was basically a microcosm of the two women's sex styles: Barrington rough and ready, Wayne demure and seductive). After a bit of that, I kept waiting for the bounce-around editing to mellow out and just focus on the sex, and that just never happened.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Skin Flicks (1978)

I like Gerard Damiano, and a film written and directed by Damiano about making an adult film should have been a slam dunk, but Skin Flicks is just under-cooked.

Young director Harry (Tony Hudson) is struggling to complete his film, getting pressure from his best friend and manager Max (Beerbohn Tree) on behalf of - and then directly from - made man financial backer Al (played by Damiano himself). He maintains he needs more time for shooting, more time for editing, more time to get the music right.

It's impossible to tell what sort of movie he's actually making. Of the eight hardcore scenes in Skin Flicks, only two are for Harry's picture and they're shot on wildly different sets. One looks like a bedroom in a low-tier bed and breakfast and is decorated with a bunch of creepy dolls and the other could have been used for Damiano's sci-fi film Satisfiers of Alpha Blue.

During what seems like an audition, Bethanna is paired with Tony Mansfield and they have sex in front of Harry on a set made up to look like the yard of a house, complete with a swing that gets put to creative use.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Every Woman Has a Fantasy (1984)

In Every Woman Has a Fantasy, producer-writer Summer Brown (as Sandra Winters) and husband director-writer Edwin Brown (as Edwin Durrell), let the viewer into the inner sanctum of a group of women who meet weekly to discuss their lives and open up to one another about their sexual fantasies. Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden was published more than a decade before Every Woman Has a Fantasy was made, so I guess it was pretty well-accepted that many women had rich fantasy sex lives. The implication here, at least, was that it was still rare for them to open up about them, with friends, and especially partners.

When Ben (John Leslie) asks his wife, Teri (Rachel Ashley), if he knows any of the women in the group, she explains that the women not knowing each others' spouses is a benefit to opening up since there's no threat of the fantasies getting back to their husbands. Ben's fascination with the group turns to an obsession as he progresses from hearing the fantasies relayed by Teri to convincing her to smuggle in a tape recorder to hiding in the closet when she hosts the group to, finally, dressing in drag and posing as his visiting cousin, Jennifer, to sit in on a meeting.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Centerfold Celebrities (1982)

"The tape you're about to see is called
Celebrity Centerfolds.

What is a 'celebrity centerfold'?

The girls you're about to see, in x-rated action, hardcore sex, are girls that you see and fantasize about in men's magazines."

So says director Bobby Hollander in the introduction to the video Centerfold Celebrities or Celebrity Centerfolds or maybe Triple X Confessions 1 depending on which version you come across.

He goes on to say, "You'll see them in adult films and hear how they feel about posing in the nude for you, out there, to see."

Bobby's first interview is with Laurien Wilde (credited and introduced as "Lauren Wild"), who was just a few months into her adult career. She has a natural charm and while Bobby Hollander was no Johnny Carson, his conversation with Wilde was pleasant enough, and he was quick enough on his feet to drop a laugh-out-loud moment when Wilde said her preferred dick was, "Long and not toooo...round in circumference," and he asked, "Not square?!?" to which she clarified she meant not too thick.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Pleasure Palace (1979)

In Carter Stevens's Pleasure Palace, recently terminated Big City vice cop Jimmy (Eric Edwards) and his two-bit, ambulance chasing lawyer pal Mike (R. Bolla) are the proud new owners of a brothel, thinly veiled as a massage parlor.

Among their first new hires is Carol (Serena) a streetwise and world-weary call girl who Mike takes an immediate physical and romantic interest in.

Things at the parlor get off to a rocky start with the Fire Marshal threatening to close them indefinitely for a litany of fire hazards. Fortunately, Mike's time on the vice squad taught him how the sausage is made, so he sets to appeasing the Marshal with some companionship (Robyn Byrd and Veri Knotty) and making sure the "village elders" - including the sheriff (Joey Silvera) and judge (Jake Teague) - are kept happy with some champagne, a hot tub, and the attention of another girl on their staff (Lisa Heyman).

Unfortunately for Jimmy and Mike, things get complicated when a couple of heavies, Al (Roger Caine) and Pete (Bobby Astyr), show up on behalf of their crime lord boss, Joe Goodson (Jamie Gillis). After Jimmy and Mike send the goons packing letting them know in no uncertain terms that their boss won't be getting an interest in their business, Goodson strikes back by orchestrating the sexual assault of one of the parlor's employees.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Boiling Point (1978)

About 15 minutes into Boiling Point (aka Intimate Illusions), I said I bet director Paul Levis had fewer than five adult film credits. Sure enough: Boiling Point was his one and only. I wonder if he had a sense that he was only going to make one film, because it was (at least) four separate half-baked ideas crammed into one movie.

First, in an opening reminiscent of Thoroughly Amorous Amy, Angel (Phaedra Grant) is walking through the streets of San Francisco to a song (presumably) called "City Girl," and it seems like it's going to focus on the life and times of a young lady in the city. When she gets back to her apartment, she calls Alex (John Seeman) for some phone sex, presented with some pretty clever set design.

The scene had a very play-like quality. After they both get off, Angel tells her phone partner they can smoke a cigarette and then she needs to go, adding "Here's looking at you kid," the first of multiple times the line pops up throughout the movie.