Deep in the Valley


Two twenty-something guys are transported to a magical alternate universe which is populated by the denizens of a famous line of porn films created by DJ, aka "Diamond Jim." One of the two young guys is a big fan of the DJ porn films, and is thus able to help his friend navigate through the pitfalls of life in this this dimension.

The character of DJ is played by Christopher McDonald, who used to have a career in A-list films, but must be desperate to have taken a role like this. The film also features cameo appearances from such Oscar candidates as Kim Kardashian, Scott Caan, and Denise Richards.

I'm not exactly sure how to describe this film. It is, more or less, a porno comedy, albeit without any significant sex or nudity. In other words, it is the film to see if you really enjoy the acting, writing and production values of porn films but do not relish having to watch any of the actual sex and nudity. In fact, there is no nudity at all from the central female characters, although a few obscure women do provide some very brief breast exposure, while playing characters superfluous to the film's main story, such as it is.


Magic Man


A young woman receives an anonymous letter which tells her that she needs to go to Las Vegas in order to obtain information about the death of her mother years earlier. Mother was a magician's assistant. The recipient of the letter heads off to Sin City with two of her college chums. This proves to be a poor choice of vacations for the two friends, who are soon killed in ways which suggest theatrical illusions performed by famous magicians. One of them, for example, is sawed in half.

The chief suspects in all the deaths past and present are two magicians, one of whom is currently the toast of the Strip, and the other of whom is his jealous rival, whose own career sank into obscurity years earlier.

The cast includes Billy Zane (the slick magician), Wishmaster (the failed rival), Armand Assante (a police lieutenant), Richard Tyson (an inept cop), and Robert Davi (a competent cop). That cast makes the film sound moderately competent, but it is not. The other performers, including the two central characters, are incapable of delivering a natural English line. Russian Alexander Nevsky, as the compassionate young Vegas cop heading the investigation, reminds us of a young Schwarzenegger, with less acting talent (yes, it is possible) and without Arnold's saving grace, his sense of humor. Bai Ling offers her usual strange line readings as Zane's assistant. The star, Estelle Raskin, delivers her lines in tones that remind me of childhood times when the slow learners would have to read aloud in second grade.

And the quality of the acting is superior to the quality of the writing. The plot of the film makes little sense in retrospect - and don't even consider hanging on to the end so that you can see "whodunit." The ending is maddeningly inconclusive. I still don't know who killed whom. Maybe that one chick sawed herself in half.



  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


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See No Evil, Hear No Evil


Joan Severance film clips. Raw screen grabs below.



Scoop's notes:

Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor did four films together, and the quality just kept deteriorating.

  1. Silver Streak (1976)
  2. Stir Crazy (1980)
  3. See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
  4. Another You (1991)

The real difference between the first two and the last two was the physical deterioration of Pryor in the intervening decade. Pryor was soon to be debilitated completely from a deadly combination of Multiple Sclerosis and substance abuse. Pryor was already getting feeble in See No Evil, and had lost a lot of his brilliant comic energy. Within two years of making this film Wilder/Pryor flop. After that film, Pryor disappeared completely from the public eye for five years.

And Kevin Spacey really should have been better as the baddie. After all, he may be the best bad guy in history. He played Lex Luthor. He was the serial killer John Doe in Se7en, the mysterious Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects, and the insane genius Mel Profitt in "Wiseguy." Great roles all. He brought none of that sinister edge to this movie. He spoke with a lame British accent and wasn't even very creepy. His partner in crime in this film was Joan Severance and it was sort of a big deal at the time that Spacey and Severance were teamed together here, because they were just coming off their groundbreaking performances as the evil, incestuous brother and sister crime bosses on "Wiseguy."  Spacey and Severance had exhibited an offbeat chemistry together in that series, but they really had nothing going in this film at all. If Spacey failed to muster much menace, he seemed like Doctor Doom next to Severance, who seemed almost nice.

See No Evil is not an utter failure like Another You, but is not very good at all. The film is filled with "schtick" rather than comedy. The comic timing is poor, every joke is telegraphed, and the scenes keep going on and on, repeating the same joke again and again. Gene Wilder was still pretty much his old self in See No Evil, but he was already old by then, so don't expect to see him doing any Willy Wonka somersaults. Already old? Yes, I know the film was made twenty years ago, but for a lot of reasons, Gene Wilder is probably ten years older than you think.

Don't believe me? Quick, how old is he?

He's nearly 80! (76)

See what I mean?

His five greatest comic roles occurred more than 35 years ago, and he was already in his forties when he played The Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles, even though he seemed ten years younger.

  1. Young Frankenstein (1974)
  2. Blazing Saddles (1974)
  3. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972)
  4. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  5. The Producers (1968)

On the plus side, Severance looked about as beautiful in this film as any woman has ever looked. Her face was at its peak, her pale blue eyes were electrifying, her body was just plain spectacular, and she removed her clothing. That part was easy to watch.







Monica Broeke in Premier Desirs


Pamela Anderson working as a (mostly) naked runway model

Emilie Duquenne in La Fille Du RER

Catherine McCormick in Braveheart



The women of Tomboy

The women of The Dress

The women of The Thirst

The women of Die Unerzogenen (samples beneath each)

The women of The Hills Run Red (with samples beneath each)


The women of 3 Tagen Bist Du Tot (with samples beneath each)

Barbara Sukowa in Die Entdeckung der Currywurst (samples below)

Anna Maria Muhe in Novemberkind (samples below)

Alexandra Paul in 8 Million Ways to Die (1080p - sample below)