Saturday, May 26, 2018
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.
THE SEDUCTION OF CINDY - IMDB / IAFD
TARA TARA TARA TARA - IMDB / IAFD
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