Sex Sells

Reaching deep into the well of post-modernism, Sex Sells is a mocumocumentary, which I suppose to be the right word for a film which is a comedy about the making of a mocumentary. Or maybe it just is a mocumentary which occasionally breeches the fourth wall. It doesn't matter much, because at its core it is really a heartfelt soap opera about normal people in an abnormal business, although the drama is filtered through a lens of comedy, and sometimes even absurdity.

We find out that Chuck Steak is the real name of one of the adult film world's most prolific directors. His first name is Charles, and his Slavic last name is pronounced "stee-ak." He's a bright and savvy guy, mid 40ish, knows his Shakespeare, and is pretty much of a father figure to his repertory cast of porn stars. He's at that point in his life where he's ready to abandon porn and move on to other endeavors, so in his final film, "Touché," he hopes to go out with a bang, or rather a record number of bangs, by filming the largest orgy in the history of porn. The creation of Chuck's swan song is being documented or maybe mocumented by a naive young filmmaker named Bernard Hyman.

You can tell from that brief description that Sex Sells was never intended to be a 3000-theater blockbuster, but the summary belies the fact that it is a surprisingly mainstream movie. The characters are decent people. The director is an avuncular and unthreatening person who has a businesslike attitude toward his filmmaking, and could well be Scorsese except that when he's discussing lighting his primary concern is the proper illumination of labia. There is nothing lascivious about his approach, and he takes the same efficient, no-nonsense, matter-of-fact tone on all matters, whether discussing where to get lunch or who will sodomize whom in the big orgy. If you didn't know he ran an porno film studio, you could easily mistake him for a beloved high school football coach, or a friendly manufacturer's rep pitching his line to Wal-Mart. The stars of the porn film are also real people with a realistic variety of attitudes. The story centers around one female member of the cast who is only hanging around to get acquainted with her mother, a jaded porn veteran (Priscilla Barnes of Three's Company fame) who is unaware that her co-star is the daughter she had to give up a quarter of a century earlier.

The weakness of the film is that is takes an inconsistent tone and attitude toward its subject matter.

At times it is a scathing satire of the porn business which incorporates exceptionally accurate details to portray the industry, in the manner of Boogie Nights.

At other times it is over-the-top absurdist comedy. For example, the film's male star (Adrien Zmed of T.J. Hooker fame) has a 42-inch penis which can become erect upon command, and one of the women at the porn film audition recites a Shakespearean soliloquy and expects to get a part without removing her clothing.

At still other times it brings real human interaction to the forefront and concentrates on a budding love story as well as the woman's search for a connection with her long-lost mother. A special nod to Priscilla Barnes. Her character is too old to be in porn, having been born in 1960, but Priscilla herself was actually born in 1955. Not many 50-year-old actresses would have been willing to play this part, and of those willing, perhaps none would have looked as good in the buff.

By moving too frequently back and forth between those three modes, the film fails to be really good at any of them. At times it seems to be saying "Look, we can be incisive and true-to-life," but then pulls back from reality and starts to show the star knocking things over with his personal yard stick. To be honest, those cheap laughs sometimes work quite well, but they reduce the impact of the realism in other scenes, as if to say, "Gotcha. Guess what? You're not supposed to take any of the other stuff seriously either." After seeing the absurd elements, I felt like a sucker for buying into the storyline, because I figured the author also meant the plot twists to be satirical. That is a shame in many ways, because the film presents quite an interesting look at the adult film industry when it sticks close to reality, and some of the actors are quite capable. And the soap opera is reasonably engaging with a few unexpected twists. The writer probably would have been better off passing up the cheap laughs.

Despite all the odd tone shifts, the film kept me involved in the story about half of the time, and in the other half it still managed to kept me watching because there was something funny or raunchy or otherwise interesting going on. Since I never touched the fast-forward button, the film passes my basic hurdle for a qualified recommendation.

Oh, to tell you the truth, I kinda liked it.  If only I knew which parts I was supposed to believe.


A film clip of the audition for the big porn film.

A compilation film clip of Priscilla Barnes's big scene in the film-within-the-film. (She plays an android with a Eastern European accent. It's not really supposed to make sense.)

Some samples of Barnes's nudity:


* Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

* White asterisk: expanded format.

* Blue asterisk: not mine.

No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.








La Ragazzina


Gloria Guida plays a virginal 16-year-old schoolgirl and one of her male classmates is trying to seduce her, when he is not pimping out her female classmates to rich businessmen. She finally decides to surrender her virginity only to find out that he wasn't worth it. Then she is nearly raped by an older man who was supposed to be a friend of hers. It is at this point that she decides her body is a marketable commodity.

La Ragazzina was Gloria Guida's screen debut, made the same year she was crowned Miss Teenage Italy, and she does not disappoint in the nudity department by offering many lingering looks at her lovely breasts. A DVD is now available from in a German version called "Kesse Teens - Die Erste Liebe" (Saucy Teens: First Love). Unfortunately, the disc only offers German audio with no subtitles. Since the film is rather talky, the language represents a barrier to those who do not speak German. It is also a very grainy transfer, but the problems may be overlooked by certain niche buyers. Since this was Gloria's first screen role, and the nudity is delightful, the film can be reasonably recommended to those who are interested in Gloria or the Italian B-movies of the seventies.

Scoop's note:

Mario Imperoli, who wrote and directed both this film and a second Guida film called Blue Jeans (reviewed earlier by Tuna), probably symbolizes the second-tier Italian filmmaking of the seventies as well as anyone. He only made B-movies and he only made them in the seventies, having had that description permanently sealed when he died on Christmas Eve in 1977, aged only 46.



La Ragazzina


Gloria Guida shows breasts and buns.


An unidentified actress playing her mother does full frontal and rear.












The Time Machine stays back in the seventies for yet another horror-thriller directed by Jesus Franco. Like many of his films, it's not a great movie but offers plenty of guilty pleasures in the form of all of the following actresses doing full frontal nudity.


Caroline River gets all tied up as a "Babe in Bondage.


Another "Babe in Bondage" Catherine Lafferiere in a mock black mass ceremony.



More topless full frontal nudity from France Nicolas.


Our old friend Lina Romay also appears for a couple of "Babe in Bondage" scenes.



Lina teams up with Lynn Monteil for some lesbo action.


Lynn Monteil getting humped by her boyfriend.






Notes and collages


Part 2 of 3

Stella Stevens







The Amy Fisher Sex Tape

I'm not really into home sex tapes, although I might be if Jessica Alba made one, but this one is damned good. In fact, somewhat surprisingly, this is one of the best home sex tapes ever made. Miss Fisher is obviously really into sex and is turned on by doing it on camera. She has a great body which is spoiled only by aftermarket breasts. Her partner knows how to use a camera, and manages to play his role on camera correctly. The two of them talk dirty, and do everything you would see in an industrial-strength porn film except anal. They have straight sex in every position, Amy masturbates and poses with everything on display. He comes in various places in and on her body.

To tell you the truth, this is not really a home sex tape at all in the general sense in which you think of that term. It is more accurately described as one couple's effort to make their own professional-grade porn movie at home. And they're pretty damned good at it. If she were a major celebrity, this would be the mother of all sex tapes.

Here is the tape. (Warning: massive download 400 meg!)

Here are some samples:

Caps 'n stills

Collages of Jaime Murray on "Dexter"
Heidi Klum's ass crack makes a public appearance.


More clips

Pamela Anderson's boob falls out as she does a Virgin Air promo with Richard Branson. (Sample right)
Farmigamania is back!!!

Vera Farmiga in Never Forever (Samples right.)

Edwige Fenech in Nude per l'assassino


Helen Fitzgerald and Tatiana Strauss in Nuns On The Run, a silly English comedy starring Eric Idle of Monty Python fame.