Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Intimate Illusions (1978)
INTIMATE ILLUSIONS (aka BOILING POINT). 1978(?). Directed by "Paul Levis".
INTIMATE ILLUSIONS is a well-made but often misunderstood adult film shrouded in some degree of mystery. It displays a level of professionalism and ingenuity that belies the one-shot nature of its supposed director. It seems likely this is the work of a mainstream Hollywood professional working incognito who had at least some ties to the stunt field. The car chase is as impressive as the one in MARY! MARY! and might even be better. But who is the director? Gary Graver has been suggested, but I don't think it's him. There definitely seems to be a connection to MARY! MARY! at any rate, especially considering this one also has some of those wild tone shifts like it does.
The mistake many viewers (including me) have made about this film is to regard it as a narrative which eventually slides into la-la land. As it turns out, the movie is a bit more sophisticated than we have often credited it. There's actually no story at all, not really - this is a vehicle for imaginative sex scenes driven by a rotating cast of characters who drift into and out of each other's individual lives. The first character we meet, Angel (Phaedra Grant), looks for all the world like she will be at least one of the main characters, and she is indeed - but we never see her again after the first 25 minutes.
And so it goes. John Leslie is one of the top-billed stars, but disappears after his car is stolen. The other main star in the credits is "Sylvia Rodgers" who is actually the obscure performer Lisa Sue Corey. Lisa Sue is winning though, and it was seeing her scene with Jon Martin as the "Westside Rapist" (who doesn't actually rape anyone but is seduced instead) in clipped form on a tape from American Exxxtasy that led me to track this movie down. I was not disappointed.
The one part where the movie fudges its premise is that it's only a voiceover which carries one character into the finale, and I don't think she's really there. You won't mind though, because it's perhaps the greatest disco porno sequence ever filmed. No joke! There is a live band named The Filthy Four performing (while lovely ladies service them no less) and the music is great. It really captures the disco debauchery aesthetic better than I've ever seen, right down to the ridiculous camp of a dialogue scene involving a mannequin.
INTIMATE ILLUSIONS is a pretty awesome example of late 70s Golden Age of Adult Film moviemaking. It has a great poster and a catchy theme song (I assume it's named "City Girl"). I hope it is a movie which will be available in restored form in the future. It is a bona fide classic in my mind with a high rewatchability factor.
Oh, and NOTE to Desiree Cousteau fans who might get excited seeing her name on the poster so high in the cast list - Desiree is in the movie but only as an anonymous participant of the disco orgy. She doesn't have a character or dialogue. She doesn't even get any significant screen time. But she had become a "name" by the time this was released so they decided to capitalize on it.