Monday, March 31, 2014

R.I.P.: Harry H. Novak


January 12, 1928 — March 26, 2014

Harry H. Novak, alongside David F Friedman (24 December 1923 — 14 February 2011) one of the great (s)exploitation kings of the last half of the 20th century, died 26 March 2014 at the age of 86. 
Novak began his career at RKO, where he worked until the studio collapsed in 1957. Next, he went to work for Seymour Borde at JEM Distribution, whence he was eventually fired after an argument with Borde. Forming Boxoffice International Pictures, the firm's first release, the monster nudie musical Kiss Me Quick (1964), directed by Peter Perry (as "Seymour Tuchus"), was a hit and his future in exploitation set in cement: for the decades to come, Novak produced or distributed hundreds of notable, un-notable, forgettable and un-forgettable movies spanning the whole palette of exploitation: nudie-cuties, white coaters, shockumentaries, hixploitation, Blaxploitation, roughies, soft-core sex films, hardcore sex films, horror films — you name the genre, he probably released a title that fits it.
To do a detailed career review presentation of the projects Harry H. Novak foisted upon the American public would take more time than we have, but nevertheless shall attempt a superficial one in the months to come...
Trailer to Kiss Me Quick:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Short Film: Hunger (Canada, 1974)

GIF courtesy of Network Awesome's tumbler.
Once again, Boing Boing leads us straight to a blast from our past. We don't remember how old we were or where we saw it and, indeed, we never actually saw all of it — but in our younger, more impressionable days we once caught the ending of a truly disturbing, expressionistically drawn animation film in which a gluttonous man was... well, see the end of the short. Way back then, we didn't see the film start, we didn't know what it was called, and we never saw it again, but we also never truly forgot those few minutes we saw — indeed, it inspired a nightmare or two in our pre-teen days.
And then, unexpectedly to say the least, Boing Boing had it in their daily email the other week. After decades, we now know the short was (appropriately enough) entitled Hunger. Hunger was made in 1974 by the Hungarian-born Peter Foldes (1924 — 29 March 1977), one of so many forgotten, interesting, but not overly productive animated-film makers of the world.
Network Awesome says the following about the good man, who studied painting at the Slade School of Art and the Courtald Institute: "Peter Foldes was [...] one of a number of Hungarian émigrés drawn to animation. Following his relocation to Britain in 1946, Foldes became closely associated with the Halas and Batchelor Animation Studios. Founded in 1940, the studio was known as the British Disney, producing hundreds of animations ranging from commercials and public-information films to full-length animated features, notably [the first British full-length animated feature] Animal Farm (1954 / trailer) [...]. His work achieved considerably notoriety after A Short Vision (1956) was screened on the Ed Sullivan Show. The film, which had been assembled in the Foldes' kitchen, graphically depicts the annihilation of the world. A blunt Cold War allegory, the experience of watching it apparently left much of Sullivan's audience traumatized."
A Short Vision (full short), which looks much like the animated film that Bernard Buffet (10 July 1928 — 4 October 1999) never made, is an amazing and disturbing film and, likewise mostly forgotten today, is equally worth being chosen as our Short Film of the Month — but the unstated rule here at A Wasted Life is that any given filmmaker can only be chosen once, and we've chosen Hunger.
Hunger, which was nominated for an Oscar as Best Animated Short in 1974 (it lost to Bob Gardiner &  Will Vinton's equally nightmarish Closed Mondays [full film]) — "as well as receiving a special jury prize at Cannes, a Bafta and a Silver Hugo" — is generally touted as one of the first computer-animated films ever made. (The first one being, arguable, Hummingbird [1967 / fragment].) Hunger, however, was Foldes' second computer-animated film, preceded as it was in 1971 by the less interesting experimental short Metadata (full film). Hunger, which took one and a half years to produce, takes the then-new technical possibilities experimented with in Metadata, particularly those offered by morphing, and melds them successfully with the almost expressionistic drawing conventions found in Foldes' 1967 short Un Garcon Pleain d'Avenir ("A Boy with a Big Future") and the bleak and merciless view of the world found in A Short Vision
In its view of greed and gluttony, Hunger is possibly even more relevant now than when it was made, as the gap between the haves and have-nots is bigger now than ever.
 Hunger by Peter Foldes: 
 
The memorable music is by Pierre F. Brault (3 August  1939 — 14 January 2014), and while we are sure we've heard it sampled somewhere, we can't remember where... anyone know?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bad Moon (USA, 1996)

The book is supposed to be better, but then, everyone always says that anyway. One thing for sure, though, is that this Bad Moon is a film probably better suited for dog lovers than horror fans, providing the former have nothing against a little blood and guts, for while this low budget, direct-to-video B-film features relatively few scenes of violence, two of the film's "high points" are not short on ketchup.
As in Wayne Smith's book Thor, the real hero of Bad Moon is neither human nor werewolf, but rather the German Shepherd of single mom Janet Harrison (Mariel Hemingway of Into the Badlands [1991 / trailer] and Lipstick [1976 / disco down]) and her son Brett (Mason Gamble). Into their life returns Janet's brother Ted (Michael Paré of Village of the Damned [1995] and Blood Rayne: The Third Reich [2010]), a photographer last on assignment with his girlfriend Marjorie (Johanna Lebovitz) somewhere in Nepal. Unbeknownst to Janet, but as the viewer knows due to the earlier well-staged, tension-building opening sequence of major coitus interruptus in Nepal, Marjorie was bloodily torn to pieces by a werewolf and Ted infected by its bite before he could blow its head away with a shotgun (silver bullets be damned here). 
Despite the trail of murder that seems to follow Ted where ever he goes, when a sleazy swindler ends up ripped to shreds near the Harrisons' home, Thor (a nice doggy once named Primo, probably long dead in real life) is assumed to be the guilty one and is sent off to the pound, from where he is no longer able to protect his "family" from the danger he knows to be lurking in the trailer parked next to their house. Luckily, plucky Brett isn't about to give up his beloved dog so easily and breaks into the pound that very night to help Thor escape. At that very same time, far across town and just as the moon is about to come out, the suspicious Janet finally confronts her ever-more-unhinged brother just as he is about to handcuff himself to a tree... 
Bad Moon is no film to write home about, to say the least, but then, there hasn't really been a good werewolf film since Dante's The Howling (1981 / trailer).* Still, considering all the really lousy werewolf flicks available at your local video store — including that big budget fiasco Wolfman (2010 / trailer) — this unpretentious little B-film is entertaining enough, if only for its opening scene, one nicely done track shot that reveals what happened to Ted's second victim, Parè's unexpected turn as a good actor, and Hemingway's even rarer turn as an adequate actor.
But while the acting and the direction of Bad Moon are definitely strong, the script itself is so full of flaws and holes to be almost undeserving of the unexpectedly good performances by Hemingway and Paré, two has-beens of the 1980s who never had the career their initial debuts so promised, but at least can obviously still pay their rent doing what they do. (Hard to believe that Hemingway ever had brief period of infamy by being one of the first Hollywood starlets to publicize pumping up her boobs just to get the lead in a movie, Bob Fosse's Star 80 [1983 / trailer], an action that made more waves back then than is presently understandable in this post-Demi Moore & Pamela Anderson age in which every American female gets plastic pads as soon as the parents are willing to pay for them. Really, why do American women still wear bras? It ain't like their boobs ever sag anymore or even move when they run... but we digress.)  
That scriptwriter and director Eric Red is capable of much stronger scripts is evident in that he is the man who wrote the classic (original) road thriller The Hitcher (1986) and the flawed redneck vampire movie Near Dark (1987 / trailer)... but then, he is also capable of much worse scripts, like that of the abysmal female cop driven to revenge flick, Blue Steel (1990 / trailer), not to mention the gagathon Hitcher Returns (2003 / trailer). Still, it seems a bit careless on part of the scriptwriter to state that a lycanthropy victim reverts by every full moon and then have every night a full moon... or did time fly while we were having fun? (Not likely.) 
Likewise, the film leaves one scratching one's head about how a werewolf can climb trees, how Ted manages in the mornings to undo the handcuffs he uses to fasten himself to a tree each night, why none of the doctors Ted went to because of his "sickness" didn't have him locked up, why no one ever suspects Ted despite his trailer being located so close to all the brutally torn-apart victims referred to but (other than for two) never shown, why no one notices when Brett breaks into the pound, how a revolver can fire 8 times without being reloaded, why the damned werewolf looks so fake, and why ain't there more gratuitous blood & guts & titty scenes?
But to return to Wolfman (2010), for a moment. This film here probably cost that film's toilet-paper budget, and for all its flaws is also far more entertaining than the big-budget Hollywood snoozer, which totally wipes butt in comparison to Bad Moon. So if you ever are in the need of a werewolf flick and have to choose between the two, we here at A Wasted Life say take this one, it's definitely the better of the two...
* This blanketing statement, of course, ignores a variety of films in which werewolves make appearances — not to mention two later top-notch werewolf films, Ginger Snaps (2000) and Dog Soldiers (2002).

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

R.I.P.: Harry Reems, Part VII (1986-2013)


27 August 1947 — 19 March  2013

Harry remembered:


A year ago today, Harry Reems died. High time to finish our career review. Most of the following films are not really of the type that interest us (much too normal), but closer looks always reveal interesting facets...


Go here for Part I
Go here for Part II (1969-72 )
Go here for Part III (1973-74)
Go here for Part IV (1975-79)
Go here for Part V (1980-84)
Go here for Part VI (1985)





Corporate Assets
(1986, writ. & dir. Thomas Paine)

We could find little info about Thomas Paine (born Paul Parco, not to be confused with the totally forgotten z-grade non-porn director Paul S. Parco — or?).
Paul S. Parco — Pucker Up and Bark Like A Dog (1989):
Paine seems to have left the biz in 2003 after almost two busy decades as a writer / director. The last reference we could find of him was on Luke Is Back, where some dude named Andrew Trentacosta said (in 2005): "I want to warn all producers and video companies about this awful man. I tried to help him many times when I was at Adam & Eve, Spice and Playboy, and the way he paid me back was to steal thousands of dollars from me. He is a thief, dishonest, uncouth and vile. If anyone hires him, they should be prepared to be robbed."
3XUpdate explains all you need to know about Corporate Assets: "This was one of the adult blockbusters of 1985 when the Golden Age was drawing to a close. It was the directorial début of Thomas Paine [...], and presented one of the best possible combinations of plot and porn ever concocted. The always-underrated Tish Ambrose delivers a career performance as Jill, mother hen to a handful of call girls used (and that is the right word for it) by wicked Robert Bolla [aka Robert Kerman] for corporate blackmail schemes. The other girls are fan favorites all, ranging from unusually sweet and sensuous Amber Lynn to the elegantly debauched Rachel Ashley. Most memorable is the multi-award winning Sheri St. Claire as new kid Babette who soon learns the ins and outs of Bolla's set-up the hard way. Though the story's involving, it may disconcert some viewers that there is occasional violence to be found, sometimes in conjunction with the sex. A very well acted adult classic, a tribute to days gone by when the 'adult' tag meant more than just explicit sexual content."
Over in Brugge, Belgium, Dirtymoviedevotee (dries.vermeulen@hotmail.be) adds "Though the story's involving, it may disconcert some viewers that there is occasional violence to be found, sometimes in conjunction with the sex. Nowadays the adult industry tends to avoid such mixture for legal reasons and I understand that the current video version omits some of the nastier stuff that befalls St. Claire's character even though I always felt that none of it was gratuitous and indeed essential to understand that character's evolution. Ah well... This should in no way discourage you from seeking out this beautifully made, very well-acted adult classic, a tribute to days gone by when the 'adult' tag meant more than just explicit sexual content." (Wait! Was that just deja vu?)
Sheri St. Claire, who won "Best Actress in a Film" at the 1985 AVN Awards for her performance in this film, retired from the adult film industry in the early 90s and now supposedly runs a dog grooming business in La La Land.



Ginger's Sex Asylum
(1986, dir. Bruce Seven)

Another film we would have skipped were we not so impressed by Ginger's ugly 80s hair. Hard to believe that we once had the same 'doo, if only for a few weeks (we couldn't deal with the constant teasing) — in all truth, it didn't look better on us, either.
Tagline to the film: "You gotta be crazy to get in. You gotta be insane to want out." Plot? Foxy Plaza says "Vivid presents Ginger's Sex Asylum starring Ginger Lynn, Sharon Mitchell, Bionca and Brittney Stryker. Ginger Lynn is a new arrival at the Asylum and she completely turns the place upside down with her sexual theatrics! Just her presence alone makes everyone completely CRAZY for sex, even the head guy in charge! Soon enough she takes over the place." Lynn and Reems have the first scene, then he collected his check and left. Sharon Mitchell, who plays Nurse Pyle in this film, left the biz in the 90s. On rare occasion, she pops up in non-porn films — for example, she can be seen bald somewhere in Class of Nuke 'Em High Part II: Subhumanoid Meltdown (1991) and as a nurse in the original version of Maniac (1980). 
Trailer to Maniac (1980): 
   


The Amateurs
(1986, dir. Richard Mailer)

Direct-to-video product by Richard Mailer (seen here to the left) — aka A. Stootesbury, Greg Poupon, M. Mustard, Richard Milner, Grey Poupon, Mr. Mustard and Grey Poúpon — who was an "avowed lifelong bachelor" and "one of the most beloved figures in the business"... at least until his suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound the day before his 63rd birthday on 28 June 2008, in Westwood, California. Most sources say his act was based on "professional setbacks as well as an escalation of the effects of Myasthenia Gravis, the neuro-muscular disease that he suffered with for several years". 
Mailer entered the biz in 1970 doing home-made loops and towards the end was living and working in Prague (a great city in the Czech Republic, in case you're from the US and don't know); an interesting self-written life review (framed with NSFW pictures) can be found here.
The plot to this un-noteworthy film as taken from the back cover of the DVD: "Follow the action as the legendary Harry Reems and his two beautiful co-stars Gail Force and Trinity Barnes drop in on a real-life swing party. Their purpose is to observe The Amateurs in hopes of learning something new to enhance their professional status. That's the 'Method' system, according to Harry. They wind up taking a voyeuristic reconnaissance mission that proves to be more turn-on than fact gathering. What they see gives them the erotic challenge to prove once and for all who are the pros, and who are The Amateurs." In regard to co-star Gail Force's haircut (see the DVD cover above), former working wiener Michael Louis Albo once noted "Gail discovered that having an aerodynamic hairstyle facilitated those trademark sloppy blowjobs."
Co-star Trinity Barnes (better known as Trinity Loren, born Joyce Evelyn McPherson) and her impressive natural 38 E cups left the business on October 24, 1998, via an overdose of prescription painkillers; her only non-sex roles that we could locate were alongside Sharon Mitchell (see Ginger's Sex Asylum above) as a "Bald Subhumanoid" in Class of Nuke 'Em High Part II: Subhumanoid Meltdown (1991) and as a nude dancer in Troma's Death Dancers (1993).
Class of Nuke 'Em High Part II: Subhumanoid Meltdown
full film:




Angel's Revenge
(1986, dir. Richard Mailer)

More big 80s hair on the cover of another direct-to-video hand helper from the same director of The Amateurs. No one on-line seems to have seen this easily downloadable film, or if anyone has they haven't seen fit to write about it. AVN, which advises that one should not think too much about the plot, says that the plot involves a club owner (Harry Reems) who "sends men out to have sex with known lesbians, thereby turning them into heterosexual demons". (It is a well-established fact, you know, that the only thing a gay guy or lesbian needs to go straight is one good heterosexual fuck. Honest.) In any event, there's a lot of lesbian sex for those who are into it. Among the scissor sisters seen are Patty Petite, who started her porn career in 1984 with For Your Thighs Only (see Part V); she left the business in 1988 after being involved in an auto accident that resulted in the death of fellow porn actress Tiffany Rose — depending on whom you choose to believe, Patty either did or didn't lose a leg in the accident. Over at the NSFW EricaBoyer.net, which adheres to the loss-of-leg story, they go a step further and say "Rumors circled of her suicide or death by O.D., but those rumors were proven false, as Patti found religion and lives in Oregon, on a commune were she leads a peaceful life." Chanel Price, 6'3", also found in this movie, O.D.ed on 20 December 1992 in Eureka, California.



 Having It All!
(1986, dir. Richard Mailer)

The third Mailer flick of 1986 that Reems took part in. Porn BB, which describes Reems' scene as "possibly the single most intense scene of his long and glorious career", offers the following plot description: "What makes some people winners and others losers? That's what Sara (the unbelievably busty Trinity Loren [née Roxanne McPherson, also present in The Amateurs (see two films above) and currently a permanent resident of the Chatsworth Oakwood Memorial Cemetery in Chatsworth, California]) wants to know. Her boyfriend Randall (Tom Byron of The Human Sexipede — First Sequence [2010 / trailer]) falls into the loser category. She's wondering whether or not to join him on his dream vacation… Whenever Sara thinks too long, her thoughts wander to the wicked side. She's easily distracted by the erotic activities of her frisky friends: young and sensational Gail Force and Brittany 'The Body' Stryker. [...] Meanwhile, foxy forces are at work to change the tide of fate for our hero. Love and lust combine to raise him up from the dark depths to the full peak of his throbbing power. The story of a man who once had nothing and now accepts nothing less than Having It All!
As Classic Porn, which says "this one is above average and worth a look", also points out, "Having It All! is chock full of stars in little roles [and...] is set in what appears to be the wilds of Colorado, [but] don't expect to see much of the outdoors." Among the cast is the perky former Seventeen magazine covergirl Stacey Donovan: born Kelly Howell on 9 October 1964 in Encino, California, USA, she didn't particularly like working in pornography and then sabotaged her own career by biting the hand that fed her in the 1980s when she not only testified on behalf of the farce known as the Meese Commission but bad-mouthed the industry on national TV.
Among the engorged protein-spewing fountains in the film are those of two porn film legends: Randy West, who in August 1980 was the first centerfold of Playgirl magazine to show vein, and Eric Edwards, who made his first credited appearance (as "Robb Everett") in the forgotten mockumentary Is There Sex After Death? (1971).
 
Trailer to Eric Edwards first screen credit,
Is There Sex After Death?:




 
Back Door Bride
(1986, dir. Sid Shephard)

We would assume that the name of the director is pseudonymous, as Mr. Shephard popped suddenly on the scene in '85/'86 to do two films — his other being Blonde on the Run (1985 / first NSFW 45 minutes) — before falling off the face of the earth. The plot of this anally fixated film, taken from the DVD back cover: "For our newly wedded Mrs. (Brittany Stryker), the trip down the aisle is a miss by a mile. There are a lot of shoes — and a lot of rice — but her groom (Rick Savage) is so nervous he says, 'No Dice!' It's really killing — he is just way too shy and just not willing to make whoopee. Yet, if the unblushing bride is nursing second thoughts about marriage to a mate who has popped nothing but the question — the reception party proves to be a bang-up success for every other member of the wedding. There is something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue in some new twists of an old tradition. Finally, for better or worse, even the groom rises to the occasion to win the day and the charms of his Back Door Bride."
According to since deleted Wikipedia page, Brittany Stryker, who made her début in For Your Thighs Only, "was born Laurie Beesely. [...] She was introduced to the world of porn by fellow actor Harry Reems. She was working as a waitress at an awards banquet when she met Reems. The couple eventually broke up, but she continued her career, becoming one of the more popular actresses by the late 1980's. [...] She was known to prefer black men. She retired from the industry in the early 90's after making close to 75 features."
Among the massive meats of the film is that of hirsute Dick Rambone, whose wiener ranks amongst the largest in the history of the porn industry (that said, the popular "life-size" dildo popular amongst size queens has a couple of inches added). His career was brief, for though endowed with the inches (in length and width) he had difficulty maintaining an erection, something he tried to blame on his size. According to NewArt.com, "Dick Rambone gave up his life as a pornstar after surrendering his life to Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. He is now living his new life under another name somewhere in the United States."
One thing about films like this that always amazes us here at A Wasted Life is how no matter how many back doors might be opened, there is never any santorum to be seen when the deed is done...



 
Erotic City
(1986, dir. Gary Graver)

Reems has a scene with Amber Lynn in yet another Gary Graver — or rather, "Robert McCallum" — porn video... the day of "porn film" was long gone by the time this video hit the stands. But bad hair was there in a big way...
The "plot", as given by CD Universe: "City life has never been so hot and pulsating! This is the city… the Erotic City. Here the hot, pulsating beat of the music blends with the throbbing tempo and driving rhythm of the street to incite new heights of sexual passion and desire. On this typically torrid day, a corporate battle is about to be laid wide open at Kingsley Industries. Who wins and who loses? Take a lusty look for yourself in the X-Rated soap opera that makes Dynasty (1981–1989) look like Captain Kangaroo (1955-92)! Delicious Desiree (Laurie Smith) is the scheming strumpet trying to take over Fred Kingsley's (Jamie Gillis) company… and she'll stop at nothing! First she seduces a sexy stockholder (Joey Silvera)… then she blackmails Fred's promiscuous wife (Joanna Storm) with a scandalous video tape of her illicit affairs… and then she sweet-talks secretary Shelly (Amber Lynn) in a girl-girl tryst that really starts tongues wagging. The sex and intrigue continue at a fever pitch! Dow Jones averages go through the roof in Erotic City!" Adult DVD Talk, which says "this [film] is certainly no classic" and that "the sex and the storyline to this movie are severely lacking", has a rare complaint about Erotic City: "Basically the problem is that there was no plot at all and this is a problem in a porn film that pretends to have a plot. This movie pretended to have a story line and it had just enough to get in the way but not enough to make any sense [...]."
Old-timer Joey Silvera, by the way, is often credited as having brought transsexual, or she-male, videos to the porno mainstream; one of his rare non-porno roles was in Andy Milligan's last film Surgikill (1989).
Some scenes from Surgikill (1989):

Among the non-sex performers in Erotic City is Robyn Whitting aka Valdesta aka Jacqueline Giroux, the cult-worthy bit-part-actress former wife of Steve Railsback (of Disturbing Behavior [1998] and Ed Gein [2000]) found — sometimes uncredited — in numerous fun flicks such as Trick or Treats (1982 / trailer), Summer Camp (1979 / trailer — which we actually caught in a theater when it came out), Drive-In Massacre (1977), C.B. Hustlers (1976), Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975 / trailer), Video Vixens (1975 / trailer), Terror on the Beach (1973 / full film), Slaughter's Big Rip-Off (1973 / trailer), Prison Girls (1972 / trailer), The Erotic Adventures of Zorro (1972 / trailer) and Sweet Sugar (1972 / trailer).



Ultimate Lover
(1986, writ. & dir. Thomas Paine)

Another Payne/Parco film (see Corporate Assets [1985]), seemingly a Tracey Adams and Nina Hartley vehicle with Reems in it somewhere. The plot description that appears all over the web: "Finding their male partners to be less than perfect, two girls (Tracey Adams and Nina Hartley) design a sexually superior man in the form of an android (Eric Edwards) who can more than satisfy every woman's desire. But they made him just a little too perfect; unleashing a Frankenstein Monster of sexual frenzy on the world. Well plotted with red-hot sex scenes and outstanding acting. Ultimate Lover is the ultimate sex film." In 2010, Nina Hartley was many of the talking heads in the documentary After Porn Ends.
Trailer to After Porn Ends:




Evil Angel
(1986, dir. John "Buttman" Stagliano)

Aka Female Force and Working Girls. A year after scratching Brittany Stryker's Indecent Itch in the film of the same name, Harry Reems — as "Harry Reams" — plays some dude named Blake in this Erica Boyer video vehicle. She, as common to the times and amongst many American women even today, suffered Big Hair during the production. The plot? According to Atomic Cinema, "Lisa (Erica Boyer) is a young 19-year-old woman who is highly attracted to her neighbor, Mike (Gerald Elliot). However, her father (Brockton O'Toole), who believes that men are out for one thing only, controls her. As Lisa's sexuality reaches its peak, she begins to watch Mike secretly through his window at night. Her sexual hunger turns into much more than she ever imagined." 3X Update offers some additional details: "[Lisa] loves working out at the gym with other hard bodies, getting hot and sweaty on the equipment. But when her drunk of a father finds her sneaking out at night to pleasure herself with the sexy studs, she is in for a spanking. Will Erica's devilish dreams turn into a steamy reality?" Sex star Erica Boyer (often tagged as having been one of the rare "true" lesbians in heterosexual porn), was killed at the age of 53 on New Year's Eve 2009, nine years after her last film, Dark Chambers (2000), when an off-duty Florida Highway Patrol Officer named Gregory Lowe driving a 2001 four-door Hyundai ran her over in Panama City Beach, Florida. The old geezer that played the non-sex role Boyer's father in Evil Angel, Brockton O'Toole, once appeared in a forgotten but relatively idiotic film, American Raspberry aka Prime Time (1977 / scene).
Trailer to the forgotten movie, Prime Time:




Flasher
(1986, writ & dir. Lasse Braun)

Harry Reems plays Sammy in this movie based around the scientific and absolutely true fact that a woman need only to be shown a warm wiener and she'll get so horny she'll fuck anyone and everything. The plot description given everywhere, taken here from CD Universe: "A Masterpiece of Erotic Compulsion! Legendary porn director Lasse Braun helms this atmospheric tale of flashers, freaks, and fiery sex. A beautiful runaway, shacking up with a lesbian supermodel in glittering Manhattan, is first seen in a fashion photo session in Central Park. Strolling away from the group of models and photographers she is confronted by a handsome man who exposes his naked body. This act sets off a series of sexual situations that daringly reveal the perversities, phobias and hidden desires of our lovely runaway, her lesbian lover, and other girls who become the flasher's victims. The action builds to a fever pitch as the police strive to track down the notorious flasher — but will they catch him before it's too late?" Going by the DVD cover, Billy Dee plays the flasher...



Naughty Nurses
(1986, dir. Mark Curtis aka Mark Carriere)

In all truth, the poster seen above is to a completely different and unknown film about which we could find nothing, but we like the image a lot more than the generic and dull but real video cover (seen left) to the film at question here. 3X Update say the following about Mark Curti's totally superfluous direct-to-video hand-helper: "There's something about this feature that makes me think I've seen this before. Is it the music score? No, that's just a derivative of some of the pop hits I hear on the radio nowadays. Could it be the sex? Maybe. After all, there's only so many ways to 'do it,' and the way it's done here can be seen just about anywhere. But wait a minute! I know what it is! It's Harry Reems as a comical doctor, who cures a girl's (Robin Cannes) sexual problems after he discovers her clitoris is in her throat. Sound familiar to you? And he even makes a reference to that famous film of about 12 years ago (and that girl 'Linda something or other'), where just like with Cannes 'deep throat' saved the day. Sex scenes are spliced together with 'flash cards' saying who'll be doing what to whom, and Bunny Bleu, in one brief scene, is the only actress to actually wear a nurse's uniform. Stacey Donovan, the alleged other 'nurse,' I don't think says more than three words during her two brief stints on screen."
The short film below from 1969 actually has the title Naughty Nurse, but hell, it's from Paul Bartel and pretty funny, so here it is...
Naughty Nurse (1969):




Deep Throat II
(1986, dir. Larry Revene)

Not to mistaken with Joe Sarno's softcore sequel from 1974, Deep Throat, Part II. Rated "Three-Quarters Erect" upon its original release by Hustler (July 1986), which wondered if the producers "were just squeezing a final million dollars out of the durable original", but nevertheless decided that "whatever the case, Throat II is [...] a worthy successor to number one [...]. Throat II is an intelligent, if quirky, satire, rather than an inane imbecilic farce [... that] may be more memorable for tickling the funnybone that the trouser bone."
Harry Reems' participation in this movie is even more limited than that of Linda Lovelace, as the clips taken from the original Deep Throat (1972, nice poster left) to drive the narrative of this second "Part II" focus, logically, on her more than him. One thing we learn in the movie is that Deep Throat was actually based on a "true" story about the sex-crazed flesh-sword swallower Lily La Rue whose prudish daughter Laura (Krista Lane) is married to Senator Liplock (Jamie Gillis). According to Jason S. Martinko's book The XXX Filmography, 1968-1988, "Senator Liplock (Jamie Gillis) has formed the Liplock Commission to investigate pornography and its evil influence on society. He's unaware that his beloved wife Laura (Krista Lane) is the daughter of Linda Lovelace. When the Commission screens the original Deep Throat film as part of its investigation, Laura gets a familiar tickle in the back of her throat and proves to everyone that she's mama's girl." Martinko fails to mention that her new desires are the result of being possessed by the spirit of her mother, Ms. La Rue. By the end of the movie and all the exchanged body fluids, all the would-be censors decide to scrap their anti-porn findings...
AVN says "DT II is a serio-comic thought-provoking, issue-raising film that explores the manipulations of First Amendment rights."
Director Larry Revene made about 11 porn films in his life, including the classic Wanda Whips Wall Street (1982 / NSFW trailer), but was primarily active as a cinematographer, and in this position he worked on films such as The Crawlers (1993) and Deranged (1987 / rape scene), among others.
Joe D'Amato's The Crawlers aka Contamination 7 aka Troll III (1993):

All for His Ladies
(1986, "dir." Anthony Spinelli)

A direct to video hand-helper of the kind that is less filmed than edited together. Harry Reems is in some scene taken from an earlier movie. Over at Vintage Archive, they have the gall to call this thing a "classic", but don't be fooled: this is one for the indiscriminate pud-puller. 
The real star of video in John Leslie and his reliable root, as officious review at Vintage Archive makes clear: "Certainly, in any listing of the super-studs of XXX-rated movies, John Leslie will be in the top five. This tape leaves no question of how he earned the title. Leslie and Director Anthony Spinelli spend an hour and a half looking at scenes from their previous work together, while ostensibly waiting for John's next leading lady to arrive, but this viewer forgot about her very quickly. Never before have I seen such a non-stop presentation of the most beautiful and talented women in XXX today, being pleasured by one of the genre's most talented actors. Leslie performs with his usual wit, vigor and talent, and oh, those ladies!!! Most of your favorites are probably represented, and whatever your pick, her performance will fall somewhere between 'terrific' and 'unbelievable'. [...] The hottest compilation tape I’ve seen in the past year." Whatever.
John Leslie (25 January 1945 — 5 December  2010), who died of a cerebral hemorrhage, appeared in nary a non-porn movie over the roughly 35 years of films, and one of the few in which he can be seen, in an uncredited appearance as a gypsy (providing you get the long version), is in the 1984 backwoods slasher  from porn director Edwin Brown, The Prey, which Trash Film Guru calls "one of the  slowest, most hopelessly padded, most agonizingly repetitive entries in the entire 'country killer stalks the city slickers' canon, yet  also a  remarkably interesting one — albeit for all the wrong reasons."
Trailer to The Prey (1984):




 The Beat Goes On
(1987)

As a compilation tape, one is hard pressed to say the "movie" was "directed", but at least one download site credits Bobby Hollander (20 April 1929 — 7 March 2002, born Ira Allen Sachs) as having done so. An ex-husband of the recently departed Gloria Leonard, Hollander is "one of the pioneers of the shot-on-video porn movie". We include The Beat Goes On here primarily because the cover, reflective of the entire intent of the VHS / DVD, is so cheaply 80s. The product description found across the web: "A pulsating video jukebox consisting of 10 musically erotic video vignettes. Starring the prettiest actresses assembled and performing in this full-length, 90-minute video feature. Action-packed, cum-drenched, pulsating beats will keep you glued to your seat. Watch this tape with someone you love or you'll be holding your own!" Among the scenes collected this hand-helper is one featuring the manliness that was Harry Reems with Christy Canyon and Erica Boyer. If one is to believe Wikipedia, Bobby Hollander considered his first (and only 35 mm) directorial effort, N.Y. Babes (1979), poster below, as his best film. It does not include Reems in the cast.



 
Pulsating Flesh
(1987, dir. Carlos Tobalina)
We could find almost nothing about this film directed by Carlos Tobalina (aka Troy Benny aka Bruce Van Buren aka Jeremiah Schlotter aka Efrain Tobalina), a mostly forgotten man — seen below to the left — some refer to as the "Ed Wood of Porn". (We thank The Classic Horror Film Board for much of the info that follows.)
Born in 1925, Tobalina even used to own, among others, the fabulous Mayan Theater in downtown LA (which is now a hip club); he died at the age of 63 in March, 1988, but during the seventeen years between 1969 (with the white-coater Infrasexum) and 1987 (Super Sex being his last porn movie) he cranked out a healthy amount of ineptly shot films, not to mention re-titled re-releases of anything that fell into his hands. (Hey! he needed product for his theaters.) Infrasexum was not only his first movie — "Color! Reality! Hollywood's answer to the new European films. Warning: Restricted to persons over 21 only!" — but it was the first sex movie to be screened in his just-purchased Mayan Theater, the exterior of which he also repainted, "abandoning a dull two-tone scheme of tan and orange for its current gaudy design featuring purple, red, brown, turquoise and orange (LA Times)."
The various groovy posters seen here are to his seldom seen (if not lost) non-masterpieces, which sometimes enjoyed oddly familiar titles — I Am Curious Tahiti (1970) or The Last Tango in Acapulco (1973 / full NSFW film in a foreign language), anyone? Regrettably, it seems that for Pulsating Flesh, he went for a cheap modern poster instead of the oddly retro and well-painted sexual illustrations common to many of his earlier movie posters.
Tobalina also appeared in a variety of non-sex supporting roles in both his own films and those of others, even gaining an AFAA award for Best Supporting Actor in 1976 for his fully dressed appearance in Tell Them Johnny Wadd Is Here (in 12 minutes).
During the mid-eighties he obviously felt it was time to go legit, because, as "Efrain Tobalina", he finally undertook what seems to be his first (and only) non-porn production, The Kulies ("Filmed entirely in Misiones, Argentina"). Starring the hunkadelic former male model Francis Coady — who supposedly subsequently became a successful trader on Wall Street and is now a chef in Malibu, CA — The Kulies "was one of those bizarre 1980s cavemen-and-cannibals fantasies, shot with an English-speaking cast on location". The seemingly now-lost movie got screened at the American Film Market in Beverly Hills on February 27th and March 1st 1988 and, according to the 1988 L.A. Times' list of forthcoming releases, told the tale of "a prehistoric tribe whose members are at war with a more primitive tribe (which practices cannibalism). The dilemma: Beela the cave woman loves Yvor the cave man from the opposing tribe! [...] With Michelle Smith, Francis Coady and Argentine sex symbol Susana Traverso (which means the loincloths will be teensy)." That same year, SPIN Magazine wrote the following about the film: "A no-budget cross between a caveman-lust saga and a pitch for Brazilian tourism, it features a completely incomprehensible plot and valley girls in prehistoric bunny slippers. The worst. Makes Edward D. Wood look like Steven Spielberg. Don't miss it."
In 1980, Bill Margold — who starred in Tobalina's Marathon (1982) and Lust Inferno (1987) — had the following to say about Tobalina's filming talent in his review of Three Ripening Cherries (1979) and Champagne Orgy (1978): "Troy Benny [Carlos Tobalina], the director, may well have turned the cameras on and walked out of the room during this unarousing excuse for adult entertainment. What is supposed to be a cast party degenerates into an orgasmic-less series of grunting and grinding grapples during which many of the holes and poles spend more time looking into the camera than in each other. Cum shots are the main course, and Benny never misses the chance to show us a man's seed from every angle possible. If I were a spermatozoon in Champagne Orgy, I'd file for residuals."
In any event, it would seem that if anyone out there has ever viewed Pulsating Flesh, they never found it worth writing about online. The only description of the movie that we could find is from Jason S. Martinko in his book The XXX Filmography, 1968-1988: "Mrs. Wilson (Tess Ferre) brings home Peter (Ray Wells) and has a birthday surprise for him of two high-school girls (Tami Lee Curtis and Bunny Bleu).* The milkman (Reems) watches them through the window as 'The Joan Garson Show' plays on TV. It turns out Peter is a guest on the show and he's famous for being able to impregnate women any time. It ends with an orgy." (We here at A Wasted Life never realized that being able to impregnate someone is considered a special talent.) But if you have the urge to watch it and write about it, currently the full NSFW movie is available here.
In the meantime, below is the trailer to Héctor Olivera's 1985 Argentinean sword & sorcery & tits movie Barbarian Queen, which is perhaps the most famous film that Susana Traverso, the female lead of The Kulies, ever took part in...
*Who look like anything but high-school girls.
 Trailer to Barbarian Queen:




 
L'Amour
(1988, dirs. Marga Aulbach & Jack Remy)

Despite its relatively late year of production, this porno was not a direct-to-video flick but was actually shot on film. As perhaps to be expected, what with Harry Reems' drinking real-life drinking problems by this time, and as more than one reviewer points out, he doesn't have a single money shot in the entire film, even when he does bang a gal. This film also has the distinction of being the closest thing that Reems ever did — other than sticking a carrot in Jamie Gillis' butt in Every Inch a Lady (1975) — that is even mildly homo-tinged: his limp weenie gets blown by Ivory Essex, who then lifts "her" dress to reveal her sizable-if-limp torpedo. (Ivory Essex, seen below left, seems to have appeared in only one other movie, Corrupt Desires [1983] — as a blonde — and her penetration scene from that film with Rhonda Shantell is easy to find on the web; after L'Amour, she seems to have disappeared.)
Rame.net explains the plot: "Poor Vince Brewster (Harry Reems) can't make his alimony payments. His lawyer buddy Jerry (Gillis) warns him to pony up, but before Harry can get it together, ex-wife Ellen Brewster (Kay Parker), with son Mark Brewster (Tom Byron) in tow, moves in with Vince and his gold-digging, pill popping new wife, Gloria (Angel). Gillis is the lawyer for both ex-wife Ellen, ex-hubby Vince and is fucking Ellen on the side. Can anyone say conflict of interest? Vince tries to throw Ellen out, but the threat of arrest for non-payment of alimony makes him change his mind. Gloria pitches a fit, but eventually changes her mind after Ellen Parker saves her from drowning. Meanwhile, son Mark has wasted no time getting acquainted with the lovely Pam Wilson (Shanna McCullough), a roller-girl waitress at a local eatery. Ellen and Jerry fuck and Ellen confesses that she still loves Vince. After a brief round of musical beds, Gloria winds up with Jerry and Vince and Ellen wind up getting back together."
Shanna McCullough, by the way, appeared in the horror compilation Terrorgram (1988 / trailer), while Kay Parker took part in the funny mockumentary short Dick Ho: Asian Male Porn Star (2006).
Trailer to Dick Ho: Asian Male Porn Star (2006):





 
China and Silk
(1988, dir. Steve Scott)

The second of three Steve Scott (19 February 1937—12 September 1987) heterosexual porno films featuring Harry Reems; some three years earlier, Scott (née Salvatore Grasso) directed one of Reems' best latter-day movies, Trashy Lady, and a year after China & Silk Reems appeared in Scott's Too Good to Be True. The dates given for all three films are those supplied at imdb; according to this typically NSFW website here, all three shot-on-film productions were made for Midnight Video in 1985. This, of course, would help explain the presence of both Lynn and Reems, among others, in all three films.
The basic plotline found across the web, probably taken from the DVD back cover, makes the movie sound like a Ginger Lynn vehicle, but she is actually only one of many bonking babes in the movie and hardly the main character. AVN, which points out that the movie "has one of the most sensual and sensitive sex scenes to grace the adult video screen with veteran actor Herschel Savage and sexy newcomer, Ginger Lynn", also offers a plot description that is a bit more on the mark: "The film finds Harry playing the role of a veteran police captain investigating a drug smuggling ring and the death of his partner and war-time buddy, played by Paul Thomas. Kristara Barington co-stars as Lily Wong, a Cambodian peasant girl who befriended Harry when he was wounded 15 years earlier, during the Vietnam War. Lily now lives in L.A. as a leading importer of cocaine."
One notices, as with all Steve Scott porn films, there is actually a plot to the movie...
Herschel Savage also appears in this video —
Texas Vibrator Massacre (2008):




 
Honky Tonk Angels
(1988, dir. Richard Mailer)

Yet another direct-to-video release directed by Richard Mailer (see above: The Amateurs, Angel's Revenge and Having It All!). In truth, the film is less directed than edited: the storyline is non-existent and the whole movie is simply outtakes from other films. The product description found across the web, always with the same typo: "Women and the mean [sic] they love that's the theme of this new story based on a collection of Richard Mailer's greatest scenes from intropics. Here they all are: Blondi, Nina Hartley, Jeanette Littledove, the one and only Angel, and many, many more of the industry's hottest stars. They're honky tonk angels, and they'll bring out the devil in you!"
A film made only to support the Kleenex industry, we include it here only as an excuse to embed a video of Kitty Wells singing It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels...
Kitty Wells — It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels:




Night Prowlers
(1988, writ. & dir. "Will Kelly")

Imdb, like most online sources, credit the film to an unknown "Will Kelly", whereas AVN credits Hal (Harold) Freeman. Freeman — like Reems, if only 1.5 decades later — was another victim of a governmental witch hunt and ridiculous attempt to curb porn when the California government charged him, as a major producer of porn, with pandering — or, the procurement of persons 'for the purpose of prostitution'. Despite the initial setbacks — namely, he lost the case — calmer, more logical and intelligent heads held sway during his later appeals and now California is a porno Eldorado, of sorts. 
AVN also says the following about Night Prowlers: "A lively scripted story involving two high dollar call girls (enthusiastically played by Heather Wayne and Susan Hart) and a slick L.A. detective (Harry Reems). Hart and Wayne, as it turns out, are pretty ambitious young ladies. While they're making their house calls on lovely Laurel Canyon/Beverly Hills estates, they're also 'casing the joints,' only to return later and rob them clean. Reems, on the other hand, is trying to solve this recent series of robberies. So we get alternating scenes between Hart and Wayne on their house calls (where they coincidentally perform incredible sex), and Reems tracking down leads and finding new clues to solve the case (where he somehow manages to, coincidentally, perform incredible sex). The so-called hook is that Reems and Hart and Wayne all live in the same apartment building. One night when Reems gets beat up and knocked out in the parking lot building, Susan and Heather drag him into their place and nurse him back to health in unconventional, albeit effective, fashion. They don't know he's a cop, he doesn't know they're call girls. How long will it take for two plus two to add up to four? [...]"
Hal Freeman also has a very rare non-porn credit or two to his name, including the obscure 1987 gore flick Blood Frenzy. Among the non-teen teenagers of Blood Frenzy is no one less than the original Wednesday Addams of the TV version of The Addams Family (1964-66 / opening credits), Lisa Loring — who was known to do occasional non-sex extra work in porn films once upon a time.
Scene from Hal Freeman's Blood Frenzy:


 



 
Some Kind of Woman
(1988, dirs. Guido Williams & Joe Williams)

Many websites credit "Jack Williams" as the director — who knows, maybe they're all related. 3X Update offers the following plotline: "Ginger Lynn is the hostess of a TV talk show about (what else?) sex. Her ratings are booming, her audience is fixated and best of all, Ginger's own sex life has never been better. Everything is perfect until Amber Lynn, a young hot-body from the sticks, steps off of a bus and heads for the studio. She is determined to make it big in L.A. and she sees the show as just the stepping stone she needs. But her presence on the set threatens to set the already volatile erotic atmosphere afire, and to ignite total carnal chaos. Ginger is obviously none too happy, and when the girls finally come to blows, it is a battle royale not to be missed."
The only review we could find of this film was over at AVN, which pans the movie: "Playboy. Entrepreneur. Film Producer. Duke Hamilton (Paul Thomas) is found dead at the 'supreme moment of sexual excitement.' And this film should have been laid to rest along with him. [...] Duke's boring, obnoxious 'best friend' and go-fer (Herschel Savage) relates his buddy's life story of fun and games on a Carson-like talk show (if this is fun, I'll take two weeks' vacation in Newark). They use flashbacks to illustrate various sexual exploits, but most border on the non-erotic. I know the directors wanted these guys to be the sexual equivalents of Butch and Sundance. Yet, I kept hoping they'd get to the cliff, jump off and miss the river. [...] Even Thomas, usually a great stud, looks bored. Even his opening encounter with Ginger Lynn is bad [...]. Harry Reems takes a short part in this subpar film, but does little to enhance it. The directors try to create a rich, classy, glamorous atmosphere and some unique settings, but they forget to show the sex from angles that are not stagnant. Perhaps a better title would be Lifestyles of the Dull and Shameless [...]."
Among the male members of the cast is Jon Martin, a perennial and unsung working stiff of the industry since getting naked and hard in Behind the Green Door (1972 / full movie); he seems to have retired as of 1995, after doing two blink-and-you-miss-me roles in the non-porn C-films Texas Payback and To the Limit (starring Anna Nicole Smith).
French trailer to To the Limit:

 
 


 
Unleashed Lust
(1989, "dir." unknown)

Another direct to video hand helper that is not directed but edited, included here only because we like cleavage and cleavage (in a nice outfit) is on the video box cover. Harry Reems appears in scene 4, "Deep Desires", with Bunny Bleu (born Kimberly Sue Warner).



 
Too Good to Be True
(1989, dir. Steve Scott)

Probably filmed in 1985, the synchronicity is obvious: Steve Scott's swansong film release is Harry Reems final porn film, but whereas Reems found god and moved to Utah, Scott died of AIDS and went six feet under.
The plot synopsis as found everywhere on the web: "Remember how simple life used to be? Well, that's the way it was for Tom Hadly (Peter North, once known as Matt Ramsey, famous for bottoming so well with gay porn legend Rick Donovan), whose only worry in life was to make sure the cows were fed and the barn cleaned. Life on the farm has been laid back until Tom receives an urgent telegram informing him that his rich old uncle has died, leaving him with tons of cash. He soon learns that his rich, old, innocent, dead uncle was the owner of a whole house and that the inheritance would take him from keeping up the farm to carling for the stable. Naturally, in order to sell your product, one must sample the inventory. And this, Tom willingly does. One new pimp finds himself in all sorts of encounters with his young ladies . . . the shower, the pool, the car, the bedrooms of the brothel, etc. [...]"
Reems has a special appearance as Myron the Accountant, and his appearance with Felicia (Ginger Lynn), the house madam, has Vintage Classix gushing: "Reems is looking fabulous in this movie, with his gorgeous cock being a sight to behold." They also mention that "The lighting should especially be noted as the silhouettes and natural-looking bodies are superb compared to the washed-out, over-done, too pretty bodies often seen in today's releases."

 


 
Inside Deep Throat
(2005, dir. Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato)


800 hours of interview and archive footage edited down to 89 minutes.
All Movie explains: "Directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato follow up Party Monster (2003 / trailer) by returning to the documentary form of their most popular film The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000 / trailer). Rather than examining evangelists-cum-gay icons, this time the duo takes aim at the cultural phenomenon that is and was Deep Throat, the hardcore porn film that cost 25,000 dollars to make and grossed over 600-million-dollars world-wide, making it the most successful independent film of all time. The impact of the film on the public's perception of pornography is discussed, as is the unlikely relationship the film had to the Watergate scandal. Actress Linda Lovelace who later denounced Deep Throat, claiming she'd been forced to make it at gunpoint, appears in interviews that were shot just before her fatal 2002 car accident."
Deep Throat: "It was filmed in 6 days for 25 thousand dollars. The government didn't want you to see it. It was banned in 23 states. It has grossed over 600 million dollars. And it is the most profitable film in motion picture history." Or so goes the story — more than one person has suggested that it is probably more likely that the mob simply used the film and its popularity to launder money. (Over at Random House, Will Sloan is of the opinion that "Had [Al] Goldstein* not written a rave review of a low-budget film called Deep Throat ["I was never so moved by any theatrical performance since stuttering through my own bar mitzvah"], it would never have become a hit at New York's World Theater, would never have been targeted by the vice squad, would never have spawned a First Amendment cause célèbre, and might not have led to the modern porn industry.") Be what it may, the movie left its mark on the history of the US and the fight for the freedom of speech — and Harry Reems caught hell for starring in it: though only an actor in the movie, he was busted in 1974 by the FBI and indicted in Tennessee in 1975 (and convicted in 1976) on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute obscenity across state lines. Later, rightfully so, his conviction was overturned and eventually all charges dropped, as it was all based less on prosecution than persecution. Still, the stress of the events sent him on a downwards spiral to alcoholism and homelessness that, unbelievably enough, he one day got out of.
Over at imdb, Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com) says that Deep Throat "created, for a brief moment, a possible future where sexuality in film had a bold artistic potential. This film covers the story of the making of this controversial film, its stunning success, its hysterical opposition along with its dark side of mob influence and allegations of the on-set mistreatment of the film's star. [...]"
Shadows on the Wall liked the documentary, saying that: "Bailey and Barbato expertly analyze this particularly gonzo period in U.S. history, gently underscoring the obvious parallels with today. [...] Bailey and Barbato assemble their material with a sharp eye for detail and bracingly hilarious wit. The range of interviewees is breathtaking, and where someone has died, the filmmakers find archive footage to let them speak as well. The film is packed with insightful background about the central figures, including the conflicting accounts by Lovelace herself, which may never be adequately settled. And Deep Throat's detractors are given the chance to have their say without too much fun-poking, while clips from the film itself add meaning (and earned this doc an NC-17 in America). Bailey and Barbato also highlight the fact that what Damiano admits is 'not a good movie'** had a revolutionary effect in America, bringing sex and gender issues into the public forum. [...] In the end, there's a chilling statement that the same vague, pliable obscenity laws are still on the books, while today's political climate is even more zealously rabid."
*The once eternally entertaining sleazebag and publisher of that influential weekly Screw (68-03) died an impoverished, forgotten old man at an old age home on Staten Island.
**But entertaining, and funny, it is... despite zitty butts and legs.



 
Vintage Virgins
(2010, DVD)

Direct-to-DVD compilation of old stag flicks from put together by the "Custodian of Records for Historic Erotica" M. Stuart (630 9th Ave. NY, NY 10036)... oddly enough, the names credited on the cover (Barbi Allen / Kathy Lin Starr) seem to be made up; imdb lists the featured gals as Justine D'Ore and Kristine Heller, the latter of whom killed herself in 1989. She made her porn debut in 1976 (as Britt Britain) screwing Paul Revere (Jeff Lyle) in Spirit of Seventy Sex (1976 / one hairy NSFW minute). The very young, clean-shaven Harry seen here is there for the ride in Vintage Virgins.



 
Lovelace
(2013, dir. Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman)


Forty-one years after the release of Deep Throat (1972) and eleven years after her death in Denver, CO, due to internal injuries resulting from a car accident, Linda Susan Boreman (10 January 1949 — 22 April 2002) — otherwise known as Linda Lovelace — gets the Hollywood treatment in this bio flick directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (the directors of, amongst other films, Howl [2010]). (In her grave, Ms. Boreman probably thought: yet more people making money off of me from which I don't see a cent.)
Needless to say, the "Harry Reems" is there, played by Adam Brody (of Scream 4 [2011 / trailer] and Ring [2002 / trailer]). The cast is pretty impressive: Amanda Seyfried as Linda, Peter Sarsgaard (of Orphan [2009 / trailer]) as her manipulative first hubby and career director Chuck Traynor, Sharon Stone (of Total Recall [1990 / trailer], The Quick and the Dead [1995 / trailer] and Deadly Blessing [1981 / trailer]) & Robert Patrick (of Faculty [1998 / trailer], From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money [1999 / trailer], Autopsy [2008 / trailer] and Terminator 2 [1991 / trailer]) as Linda's parents Dorothy and John Boreman — not to mention Debi Mazar (who?) as Dolly Sharp, James Franco as Hugh Hefner, and, in other roles of varying importance, Wes Bentley (of P2 [2007] and Weirdsville [2007 / trailer]), Eric Roberts (American Strays [1996]), Juno Temple (Maleficent [2014 / trailer]), Chloë Sevigny (Kids [1995 / trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9a5tZSKDOU] and Gummo [1997 / trailer]) and Chris Noth (who?).
The films skips Lovelace's classic short Dogarama (1971 / you don't want to see it), but spans her life from ages "20 to 32" — or from just before she learned to swallow swords to the day she went anti-porn (she was tossed from the softcore Emmanuel Forever [1976] cause she was not only a total druggy by then but was so against nudity that she even objected to the exposed breasts of the on-set statue of the Venus de Milo—a very American objection, actually).
The last step — anti-porn — was officially inaugurated with her first third "memoir" Ordeal (1980),* which was accompanied by a polygraph test confirming that what she wrote was true — something not deemed necessary for her earlier pubs from 1974, Inside Linda Lovelace (with its in retrospect queasy dedication "to Chuck Traynor—the creator") and The Intimate Diary of Linda Lovelace.

Lovelace is still on our list of eventual sees; it came and went too quickly for us to get to it. But among those who did, the reaction to Lovelace seems to have been mixed. Armchair Cinema, which says that the movie "does its best to toe the line between depicting Linda Lovelace as an inculpable martyr and a complete weakling", observes: "Once, long ago, Hollywood made biopics about monarchs and presidents, people who accomplished things and changed the world. Now, rather than pages out of history books, we get pages out of the tabloids.  [...] That’s exactly how Lovelace feels. This is not the portrait of a life, but a dreary soap opera about an abused woman with a scummy husband who forced her (at gunpoint, we're told) into a life of pornography and prostitution. The problem is that this movie is all tragedy and no substance [...]. This is drama played at the level of a bad Lifetime Original Movie."
Behind the Hype, while admitting that "Linda's tumultuous life unfolds like something of a soap opera" also says that the movie has "far more cinematic scope and a heroine far more endearing": "Linda's strict mother, Dorothy (Stone), was always extremely mistrustful of Linda. Living at their house at age 20, Linda was treated with the rules of a preadolescent. When Chuck came along, it seemed like the perfect way out of a prison-like existence. Not yet aware that she was trading one prison for another, Linda allowed herself to believe that she was truly in love with Chuck. [...] But, ultimately, this forced oblivion cost her, and by the time she was ready to break free, it was too late. Seyfired, who has always proven herself to be an adept actress, renders Lovelace with a certain vulnerability and intelligence."
The Big Gay Picture Show complains that in Lovelace, "a fascinating true story is rendered less than it might have been due to a weak script and a structure that wants to have its cake and eat it. The film ends up undermining the power it could have had":  "How do you make a true-tale movie where the facts are in dispute? Well, you either pretend they're not in dispute, or you try to find a way to suggest you don't fully know what happened. Or, like Lovelace, you try to do both and trip over yourself in the process. Lovelace is split into two parts. The first shows us the public face of the story — the innocent young Linda Boreman comes from a strict, straight-laced family, but after meeting and marrying Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard), her horizons are broadened and she becomes involved in porn, making a hardcore film as Linda Lovelace. [...] The film then jumps to six years later, when a far dowdier Linda is about to release her autobiography. We then see the story again, but this time adding in Linda's personal side of the tale, where while those involved believed she was willingly getting involved in porn, she was actually forced into it by the controlling, violent Chuck, who thought nothing of pimping out his wife whether for the cameras or just for cash."
Filmdick, which compares Lovelace to "Velveeta cheese" and has the movie as a dubious mention on its "Ten Worst of 2013" list, complains "Damning their film to the bargain bin at Wal-Mart, Epstein and Friedman take out every unique and dark angle to Lovelace's life. They don't include any of her New York life in 1971, where she made dozens of hardcore loops. [...] They also gloss over Lovelace's post-porn life.** Here, [...] the movie closes with a title card that claims Lovelace spent the next twenty years fighting for women's rights and decrying porn. Once again, cherry picking to suit their will, Epstein and Friedman don't acknowledge that Lovelace made the R-rated Deep Throat II (1974). They also don't cover her attempt to cross-over into the mainstream [with] Linda Lovelace for President (1975), a goofball 'comedy' that co-starred Mickey Dolenz and Scatman Crothers. Nowhere to be seen is her disastrous Las Vegas show that opened and closed quickly. [...] Epstein and Friedman never point out that Lovelace eventually lashed out at the feminists she believed cared about her. In Legs [and] McNeil and Jennifer Osbourne's oral history of porn, The Other Hollywood, Lovelace stated, 'Between Andrea Dworkin and Kitty MacKinnon, they've written so many books, and they mention my name and all that, but financially they've never helped me out. When I showed up with them for speaking engagements, I'd always get five hundred dollars or so. But I know they made a few bucks off me, just like everybody else.'*** [...] The absence of this sentiment makes sense once one learns that Catherine MacKinnon served as a consultant on the film."
Over at Random House, Will Sloan puts it best: "Lovelace, a new biopic starring Amanda Seyfried, offers both a nostalgic ode to the era of 'porno chic' and a feel-good story of a woman reclaiming her agency. The real Lovelace's memoirs show that neither narrative fits."
*Interestingly enough, ghost-written by Mike McGrady, the journalist and mastermind behind Naked Came the Stranger, the multi-author Jacqueline Susanne spoof that became a bestseller and then a "Henry Paris" porn flick (1975 / trailer). Nevertheless, it was supposedly turned down by thirty-three publishers before Lyle Stuart, the publisher of The Anarchist Cookbook, picked it up.
**Not to mention the child she put up for adoption at age 19.
***Will Sloan states that after she became the poster girl for the Women Against Pornography movement, she got $1,500 a pop for speeches at colleges and religious groups which, if true, is indicative of Lovelace's selective memory.
Amanda Seyfried (Lovelace) and Adam Brody (Reems) worked together previously in the abysmal movie Jennifer's Body (2009):

Jennifer's Body - Red Band Trailer von dreadcentral




Harry Reems — May He Rest In Peace

Still to come, one day:
Harry Reems, Addendum — the films we missed the first time around.

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