Monday, February 1, 2021

Firestorm (1984)

There is an excellent 80 minute film in Firestorm's 104 minute run time. The film is about the complicated relationship between blond, blind naif Claire (Joanna Storm) and on-again-off-again couple Kenny (Eric Edwards) and Liza (Tina Marie). The story is told as a flashback while Kenny is interviewed by some sort of reporter (Veronica Hart in a non-sex role). There are a few flashbacks within the flashback (including how Claire lost her sight and how Kenny and Liza became "off-again").

The atypical timeline and some really creative and Cecil Howard's ambitious directorial choices and editing techniques - with elements of music videos, avant-garde advertising, and European film making - elevate the film well above average. Unfortunately, lost momentum in the middle of the film, a turn to the maudlin in the final third, and an "all ideas welcome" script (Liza can't have orgasms; Claire's father Lee - John Leslie - is an alcoholic womanizer involved in shady dealings with an oil magnate and goes nuts at the threat of blackmail), kept it from achieving Mt. Rushmore status (which it was on track for through about the first 40 minutes).

I'd also be remiss not to mention Kay Parker's delightful scenery chewing performance as Claire's mother Magda. She really goes for it!

Let's get Rimmer's thoughts:

Amazingly, Howard, with the help of a good screenwriter (Anne Randall), tells this complicated, almost incredible story so that you get involved with it and believe it. He succeeds through excellent cinematography (ranging from sharp, clear lighting to chiaroscuro effects that suit the mood of the story), fast editing, good acting, and never stying too long on the genital aspects of sex.

It is no small feat that the story was presented as well as it was, though I still think it was over-complicated and over-long, and Rimmer is spot on with his praise of the cinematography, editing, and acting. "Genital aspects of sex," though, sounds like something an alien pretending to be human would say.

Firestorm, Firestorm 2, and Firestorm 3 all made AVN's 500 Greatest Adult Films list. About the trilogy, AVN says:

With scripts that scorch in their sexual energy, production values tht put most other movies of the day to shame and, most of all, performances that bind the carnal and cinematic, this trilogy stands teh test of time.

I wonder if I wouldn't be kinder to the first film with the benefit of seeing the sequels. Presumably, Robert Rimmer would have rated the subsequent films as "Collectors Choice" so it would be in the spirit of this blog to screen them. If I do, maybe I'll return to and revise this review. In the meantime, though, I'll give Firestorm a CC10.

° Cecil Howard won AVN awards for Best Director in 1984 (Scoundrels), 1986 (Snake Eyes), and 1987 (Star Angel), but lost to Anthony Spinelli (Dixie Ray, Hollywood Star) in 1985, when Firestorm presumably would have been nominated. In 1985, AVN began awarding the Best Director (Video) category, and Henri Pachard won for Long Hard Nights. Long Hard Nights is also on AVN's 500 list, but I was surprised to find that Dixie Ray isn't.

° Since I started Pornonomy up again, Eric Edwards has appeared in more films (5) than anyone else. He's followed by Jamie Gillis and Paul Thomas (4 each), and Desiree Cousteau, John Seeman, R. Bolla, and Sharon Kane (3).


On deck:

No comments:

Post a Comment