Monday, December 24, 2018

Alice in Pornoland: Hardcore Encounters with the Victorian Gothic

I've been very lax in my reading it, but I want to recommend Alice in Pornoland: Hardcore Encounters with the Victorian Gothic by Laura Helen Marks to everyone who follows what I write here. Dr. Marks is incredibly knowledgeable on this subject, and this book is a must for any serious scholars of adult films. On a personal note, Laura is also someone I consider a friend. She is a consummate teacher because I am constantly learning from her even when we're just having a casual conversation. One minor example is that it was her own (deleted, alas) blog which pointed me in the direction I wanted to go in doing something like Super Cine-Vision. I am grateful to know Dr. Marks and thank her for everything she has done for me. The least I can do is promote her book, which you can purchase at Amazon and other fine retailers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

School Girl Reunion - The Sensuous Fly Girls

Hiding behind the innocuous title SCHOOL GIRL REUNION (probably given to director Shaun Costello as a starting point) is one of the saddest and most melancholy adult films I've watched in recent memory. I mean this in a good way. But it's almost like a sucker punch because it's not what you are expecting.

The premise is that Roger Caine (as football hero "Roger Caine") has returned to his college for a five year reunion. While reliving old glories at the seemingly deserted football field, he meets up with Kim Pope who is a fellow alum and both familiar to him and yet not. They trade stories which trace the path to a conclusion you will see coming but which still packs a wallop when it happens.

The most remarkable thing about this movie is that the shenanigans which go on are pretty familiar fare, well-staged and shot, but completely re-contextualized through the eyes of Caine and Pope's characters. Roger's jock seems like a good guy who works hard and has big plans, but he's a little dense. Pope's portrayal of his old classmate is stunning in its wounded fragility. I completely bought it.

There are a lot of really great cinematic touches in the film, and the most creative use of a table tennis trophy I've ever seen. Not that way, ya gutter mind. SCHOOL GIRL REUNION is a movie I think is going to stick with me for awhile.

On a completely different note, we have THE SENSUOUS FLY GIRLS. It's a somewhat more polished version of the type of movies Shaun had been making up to that point. The dialogue appears to be largely ad-libbed (coached at best), and the story is appropriately ridiculous. NASA (discreetly never actually called that) is testing stewardesses to send one on the Jupiter Probe because all that time in space is making the astronauts gay! So we get some "testing" and reminiscing and it's all in good fun if you don't take it too seriously. The flight attendant theme was also seen in Shaun's COME FLY WITH US, as was filming a scene in a stable with Shaun and one of his attractive leading ladies. I bet you weren't expecting to see shots of a horse in this movie, but have I got news for you.

There's an amazing and uncannily familiar soundtrack and a twist ending after a fashion. It has all the earmarks of a Costello film, so it's a little surprising to learn Shaun has no memory of making it! He suspects some of it might be his, but that it is a mix of work from him and others. For example, he thinks the scene in the stable might have been from a shoot with Gerry Intrator. It's probably worth mentioning that credited co-director "Constantine Zuba" is an alias used for Doug Collins on TEENAGE NURSES. That might be a piece of the puzzle of the film's genesis.

I have to hand it to Shaun Costello for always making these movies worthwhile no matter how slight they might seem at first blush. SCHOOL GIRL REUNION is memorable and THE SENSUOUS FLY GIRLS is enjoyable nonsense no matter who made it. A quality release from Vinegar Syndrome which you can buy here.



Saturday, December 8, 2018

Gail Sterling in FLESH AND BULLETS

Among the crazier things I did in 2017 was get heavily into Carlos Tobalina films. One that I was reluctant to try was FLESH AND BULLETS. It's not an adult film, but rather an attempt by Tobalina to do a "mainstream" action movie. I finally gave in early in 2018, and boy, am I glad I did. The movie has since become a favorite of mine, though not because it is any kind of cinematic classic.

As I watched FLESH AND BULLETS, one of the things that struck me was the actress playing "Gail Borden" in the movie. Billed as "Susan Silvers", she looked familiar somehow. Finally, I said "Is that Gail Sterling?"

Gail Sterling (IMDB and IAFD profiles) is an adult film performer who I like a great deal. But she's not really a big star, and it was certainly possible that her participation in FLESH AND BULLETS had flown under the radar. Plus, she had worked for Carlos on LUST INFERNO and CARNAL OLYMPICS, so there was definitely a connection there.

Courtesy of Georg Domkamp and Jimmy Simard on Facebook, here are screenshots of "Susan Silvers" in FLESH AND BULLETS:

Upon seeing these screenshots, Shaun Costello (who knew Gail and directed her in HEAVEN'S TOUCH) confirmed that they were Gail. But if you need more convincing, I have examples of Gail Sterling, too. And since this blog entry is pretty image-intensive, we'll put in a break for those browsing the main page.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Audrey Holiday

I don't tend to talk much about the contemporary adult scene because the vast majority of it doesn't interest me. That's not a judgment of its merits; it's just my personal preferences coming into play. But there are aspects of it that I feel like discussing, and one of those is performer Audrey Holiday.

Audrey Holiday came to my attention one night in a clip on one of those tubesites. Before you judge me too harshly, please know that I later purchased a DVD with this scene. So my conscience is (relatively) clear! (Pay for your porn. It's the right thing to do.)

Audrey initially caught my eye due to her natural beauty and her being my "type" if you will. It usually doesn't go much further, but Audrey is different. I enjoy her easygoing approach to playing characters, which feels natural (that word again) and authentic. She also is very enthusiastic yet professional in her performances. She definitely gives her all and doesn't slack off or break the moment. I like her laid-back camera presence and find her to be one of the more genuinely interesting women to watch in modern day adult entertainment.

You can follow Audrey Holiday on Twitter and buy videos from her at Clips4Sale and ManyVids.

IMDB profile

IAFD profile

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sexual Customs in Scandinavia (1972)

When it comes to white coaters, SEXUAL CUSTOMS IN SCANDINAVIA is definitely one of them. Sorry I can't be more effusive. It's not bad as these things go, but it looks like plans were changed in production of this movie.

We open with the standard travelogue footage and a narrator using a Yumpin' Yiminy fake accent lecturing us on the new direction in sexual freedom with our Scandinavian brothers and sisters. Then we switch to another narrator (uh oh), a very uncomfortable woman chain smoking her way through the proceedings as she pretends to be a therapist. The case studies she presents don't really enlighten us on the so-called "sexual customs in Scandinavia" but rather are your standard variety sex manual "issues" so commonplace in these sex-ed movies.

My skepticism about this film being originally conceived as another installment in the usually faked Danish/Swede/etc. sub-genre is that the bulk of it doesn't match the promise of the title. There is a SECOND (male) doctor seen throughout the segments. Our host therapist never interacts with any of her "patients"; she merely relates their stories and how she referred them to the other doctor. So while the stories of those segments basically play out the same as they would have before, they are usually presented sans dialogue with the principals given surnames like "Stenvig" and "Thorens."

It's too bad these are related almost entirely through narration, because I would have liked to hear what was being said in these vignettes. Jason and Tina Russell are on-hand, in a segment that uses sex puppets (not as much fun as it sounds). Shaun Costello, Jamie Gillis and Dolly Sharp also get in on this early production. Jamie in particular looks impossibly young. And then there's the one-shot(?) girl who plays Uma/Uta/Ulma/whatever her name is. Credited as Angelica Bender in the film, she is worth the price of admission all by herself.

I can't call this boring, but it's not as interesting as some of the better white coaters. It mostly serves as an early glimpse at some legendary performers and as a time capsule of the hardcore film genre as it was enduring its growing pains. For some of us, that's enough.

For reference:

IMDB page

IAFD page

Monday, November 19, 2018

One of a Kind (1976)

I don't know quite how to say this, so I'll just come out and say it - I think ONE OF A KIND is Carlos Tobalina's masterpiece. I'm not saying it's an ACTUAL masterpiece, mind you. But this is a Tobalina film I enjoyed on its own merits rather than my interest in its performers or based on how quirky and weird it was. That's definitely something.

The premise is that the magical accordion turns people on and makes them jump on anyone near them when they hear it. It's a Tobalina concept through and through, but executed with some subtlety for once. The music is good and there's a slow burn in every scene with it. I was stunned that Carlos actually attempted to build some erotic tension. Will wonders never cease?

If you recall the B&W scene with Joey Silvera and Leslie Bovee in FANTASTIC ORGY, I believe that is an outtake from this film. There are three flashback sequences that are seemingly shot in black & white and then tinted sepia (which looks pinkish in the transfer I watched, hence my uncertainty). These are a valid attempt at evoking a period piece, with older clothes and a vintage car. Yes, Carlos actually spent a fair amount of money here!

The cast is strong, with even several of the orgy participants getting a chance to speak and establish characters. A friend of mine opined that this is one of the best Tobalina orgies and I have to agree. It's well-staged and generally well-shot. But everybody in general comes across well. I particularly liked Turk Lyon and Laura Bourbon's chemistry, and it's quite jarring after seeing them together in THE LOVE SLAVES.

There's enough weirdness to ensure you know this is Carlos. Freeze-frames and high speed scenes are in abundance, with the latter finally finding context as silent movie tributes. There's at least one scene (and character) that makes no real narrative sense. It's just not quite as over-the-top as usual. Oh, and for no good reason at all, three different characters (Leslie Bovee, Laura Bourbon, and Annette Haven) are named Donna. They try to walk this back by making Annette's "Belladonna" but too late!

Given the latter-day Carlos Tobalina renaissance thanks to Vinegar Syndrome and other parties, it's kind of ironic that the one adult film which might change the perception of Carlos Tobalina is elusive and missing from his archives. The copy I watched was soft with faded colors and sound sync issues and supposedly taken from a Betamax tape. I'd love to get an upgrade someday, but I accept that this is probably impossible.

For reference:

IMDB page

IAFD page

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Seduction of Cindy - Tara Tara Tara Tara

My first exposure to Leonard Kirtman's work (and coincidentally, my first glimpse of Veronica Hart in action) came from a clip of the Hart/Jerome Carter scene from the film THE SEDUCTION OF CINDY in VCA's essential though now-dated 1999 release THE TOP 25 ADULT STARS OF ALL TIME. The late and much-missed Jim Holliday described THE SEDUCTION OF CINDY as "a Leon Gucci grinder." It's a description that stuck with me and pretty aptly sums up this double feature of Leon Gucci (aka Leonard Kirtman) films.

Your story for THE SEDUCTION OF CINDY is how an uptight film editor (Seka) is "brought around" through a conspiracy by her husband (Carter) and her horndog nonpareil best friend (Hart). Running time is padded out by clips of the XXX films Seka is tricked into watching (one is CHERI I believe, and the other is Shaun Costello's SHE'S NO ANGEL). Jamie Gillis is on hand but basically sleeps though his role, much to my disappointment. It looks like he had a good time regardless.

Somewhat oddly, despite Seka's Cindy being the title character, this is more of a vehicle for Veronica Hart. Everything from the opening to the "twist" ending drives this home. Hart's not yet in vintage form, especially since she's working with freaking Leonard Kirtman, but it's pretty fun. Also, this is the movie where I started to suspect Kirtman had a thing for her feet by the number of times they are the most prominent thing in frame.

(These two movies are also the only times I've really noticed Veronica Hart's scars. I'd actually applaud Kirtman for not shying away from them if I thought it was deliberate and not just another example of lack of care.)

If you're into the nuts and bolts of how adult films come together like I am, you may be interested to know that apparently somebody complained for once about pulling a bait and switch by promoting John Holmes as appearing in a movie and then it only being in clips from a different production. During THE SEDUCTION OF CINDY, there is an audio dropout when Bobby Astyr says "John Holmes" to Serena and it's not a problem with the transfer and it's not an accident. Heck, Bobby's movie doesn't even have John Holmes in it despite the dialogue indicating otherwise!

Now, on to TARA TARA TARA TARA. This is the "heartwarming" tale of a model (Seka), a photographer (Jamie Gillis), the model's father (Zebedy Colt), and Dad's much-younger fiancee (Veronica Hart). I found this one funnier, both intentionally (Bobby Astyr stealing a scene despite also sleeping through it and yeah, there's a pattern here) and unintentionally (Hello, boom mic!). Regardless, it's eminently watchable. And I don't want to spoil it, but there's a moment in the middle of the movie that manages to out-Carlos Carlos Tobalina. You will know it when you see it. I was howling.

Credit for making these movies work goes to the performers much more than anything Kirtman does. A dynamic cast distracted me from his typical peccadilloes that usually drive me up the wall like the dubbed-in moanin' and groanin'. Seka and Veronica Hart carry these movies, even above the other name female performers on hand like Samantha Fox and Serena. Though given precious little to do in SEDUCTION, Jamie Gillis shines in TARA in the way that only Jamie can. Oh, and though he's not in either of them much, Bobby Astyr always makes a film better.

There is a bit of a curiosity about TARA TARA TARA TARA. The actress who plays the photographer's assistant is credited as Merle Michaels, but she's not the woman best-known under that name. The two Merles look totally different, with the Real Merle Michaels being blond and the Fake Merle Michaels being a brunette just for starters. Merle Michaels is also credited as "party participant" in TARA TARA TARA TARA, but if this is the Real Merle alongside the Fake Merle as the IAFD has it, I missed the Real Merle despite looking for her. The real Merle Michaels is definitely on hand in SEDUCTION OF CINDY, and she is the victim of some dude's butt hitting her in the back of the head (she very gamely hangs in there, though). I'm not sure what exactly happened here. It does make me sad that we'll probably never have another name for the Fake Merle Michaels, because I really liked her even if this was strictly a one-shot performance.

TARA TARA TARA TARA ends with a prediction for the 1980s from Zebedy Colt's character. I must say, never has a prediction been more wrong. Prophecy was clearly not the strong suit of anyone involved in this enterprise.

Like Jim Holliday said all those years ago, these are Leon Gucci grinders. If you like the performers who are featured prominently or want a different flavor of classic XXX badness, these are worth a glance. They won't dazzle you with their greatness, but they are more than adequate for this type of entertainment if you're not expecting too much.



Buy this release directly from Vinegar Syndrome!

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Hidden Subplot In SEX WORLD (1977)

SEX WORLD is not just one of my favorite adult films, but one of my favorite films regardless of category. So imagine my delight when I discovered something new about it last year. What made this discovery even more exciting was that I have not found anyone else who has discussed it or even knows about it. I'm not saying it hasn't been discussed in the past, but I can't find any evidence of it. Tonight, I am going to share it with you.

Here is how Vinegar Syndrome describes SEX WORLD:
Sex World is a luxury resort, advertised as the ultimate sex-themed getaway, where people travel to try and overcome their sexual problems. As the resort’s guests slowly become aware of their inhibitions, fears, and repressed urges, with the help of robotic surrogate lovers, director Anthony Spinelli’s camera paints a haunting picture of human insecurities set against a science fiction backdrop.
The Sex World guests who are the focus of the narrative are some major stars of adult films. But this post is not about them. Rather, it is about two background characters who have an interesting story if you just notice them.

(The following screencaps are from an older VCX DVD edition of the film. I will link you to Vinegar Syndrome's pages for their DVD and Blu-Ray releases at the end of this entry. Both will have screencaps that you can compare to these to see the high quality restoration VS has done for SEX WORLD.)

We first see the man and woman sitting by one another on the Sex World shuttle bus. There's nothing about them that stands out, and they're not particularly recognizable faces. The man is played by a performer best known as Carl Regal, though he is billed as Carl Asherton here. His character is given the name "Malcolm," though he doesn't seem to be referred to as such. The woman, who is only credited as "Woman in Audience" for reasons which will soon become clear, is played by Pat Parker. Parker seems to only have a handful of credits, though her IMDB page may be at least two different Pat Parkers. Neither Carl Regal or Pat Parker have a sex scene in the movie, nor do they even take their clothes off.

We next see these two in the introductory gathering. They are still sitting side by side, which would seem to imply at this point that they know one another.

During the discussion of what Sex World offers, the woman has a question.

Ex-Excuse me, but how do you manage...incest?

Seemingly reassured by the social director's answer, she takes her seat with a sheepish(?) "Oh!"

Much, much later in the movie, we see the man again...

MAN: Can it be someone like my sister?
COUNSELOR: Of course! Was she your best fuck?
MAN: Yes! And-And I want her to go down on me like she used to, see, at Christmastime. And we can fix it so that my family's outside my door, we can hear them and we're in the bathroom alone. And then she'll say, "Well Mac, does your wife suck it as good as I used to?"

(I'm not 100% confident in that transcript, but that's the essence of the conversation. "Mac" may have been Carl misspeaking or misreading "Mal" or it could have been changed along the way. I don't think I heard that part wrong though.)

So, we're left with the fact that the two characters in SEX WORLD who express an interest in incest appear to have traveled there together. And I don't know about you, but I am left wondering "What is their story?!?" Are they siblings too scared to act on their forbidden lust anymore who long to relive those days at Sex World? Or are they a couple who just happen to share the same kind of fantasies? We'll never know the answer, because they are only background characters moving through the main stories. Still, it's the kind of detail that makes SEX WORLD one of the most rewarding movies I have ever seen.

As mentioned up top, Vinegar Syndrome has done an incredible restoration of SEX WORLD that blows the caps you see out of the water. It can be purchased at several of the fine retailers in our sidebar, or you can order it directly from Vinegar Syndrome itself. Sorry, the limited edition Blu-Ray/DVD/CD combo is sold out. I don't even have a copy myself.

SEX WORLD on Blu-Ray from Vinegar Syndrome

SEX WORLD on DVD from Vinegar Syndrome

For reference:

IMDB page

IAFD page

Monday, March 5, 2018


I created this blog a year ago (!), but am just now getting around to making it presentable. If you happen to stumble across it while it's still a work-in-progress, please excuse the mess. I wouldn't even be doing this entry except that I need a placeholder to make sure some things are working properly.

Yes, even though Blogging Is Dead, I am starting a new blog. The purpose is outlined in the header: "Exploring Disreputable Films." There will be an eclectic mix of movies discussed, but be aware that many will be XXX explicit adult films. There's going to be a content warning gateway when I get around to adding actual content.

Welcome to the world of Super Cine-Vision!