From Showtime and Kino Lorber comes what is basically a fun primer of adult cinema for folks that might want to either re-visit the genre, or perhaps learn where to start their collection. “X-Rated” is a very R rated look at some of the greatest Adult movies of all time, and manages to interview many of the surviving cast members of films like “The Opening of Misty Beethoven,” “Deep Throat,” and the once very controversial “Taboo.” Its surprising to see how much involvement many of the cast members had in making these classic porn movies, and how affectionately a lot of modern adult stars discuss these movies with a lot of insight and enthusiasm.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are two men who can be funny when they want to, and whenever they come up with a premise for something out of the box they almost offer up something great. For some reason they can never seem to completely unfold their unusual premises whole hog, and hinder their own efforts to be absurd time and time again. “This is the End” had moments of pure hilarity but fell apart by the second half, and “Sausage Party” is a movie where I get what they’re doing. Yes, I understand what they’re doing here. “Sausage Party” is an off the wall and absurd twist on “Toy Story” where anthropomorphic sentient inanimate objects are treated as such to the point where they feel everything humans can. They can be scared, they have their own communities, and yes, they even have their own sexualities and religions. I get it.
Despite the truly awful 2015 adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” audiences are being handed the sequel to the erotic stinker next month with “Fifty Shades Darker.” Sure to attract its hardcore following and some surefire curious audiences, rather than pumping more money in this pseudo-erotic wannabe arthouse junk, I thought I’d suggest five titles you can watch instead. These are five very erotic and entertaining films that explore the ideas of BDSM and sado-masochism, I suggest experimenting with over the watered down dreck hitting theaters in February.
“Rock & Rule” is a wonky, surreal, and entertaining animated musical that feels like Ralph Bakshi, Don Bluth, and “Heavy Metal” magazine were combined in to such a frantic cult gem. The 1983 movie has gone through years of being an underground classic, and has finally been embraced for such an ahead of its time science fiction tale. The animation for “Rock & Rule” is completely out of the box, resembling rotoscoping in many aspects, and opting for character models you don’t often find anywhere else. “Rock & Rule” is a science fiction, punk rock, steam punk tale set many years in the future after world war III wiped man off the face of the Earth. The only surviving species are cats, dogs, and rats. They have evolved in to anthropomorphic mutants, all capable of thought and speech.
For consumers and collectors interested in erotica that’s both artistic and evocative, Cult Epics releases Nico B’s “Sin.” From the director of films like “Bettie Page: Dark Angel,” his short film “Sin” is a very unique and sophisticated anthology about sex, obsession and the idea of sin. Nico B’s artistic direction is quite fascinating even if “Sin” isn’t one hundred percent as engrossing as it should be. Nico B. explores these ideas through three stories set in various parts of time. There’s “Lady of the East” which involves an Egyptian Dancer who seduces an American traveler. This leads to a rather violent result when he brings the dancer across the world and reveals the bigger more heinous sum of the power of money.
Unofficially based on The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and Mr. Natural underground comics, “Up in Flames” is an adult film stinker that looks like someone took a bunch of stoners and tried to create their own X Rated comedy for the local grindhouses. At only an hour in length, we meet a trio of slacker stoners that are given one more day to come up with rent for their apartment, or else they’re going to be kicked out.
Odds are you probably saw “Bikini Academy” in the heyday of late night cable television. It was once a proud institution. Otherwise known as “Babe Watch: Forbidden Parody,” the adult comedy likens itself as a “Baywatch” spoof. In reality there isn’t anything that spoofs or satirizes “Baywatch” save for the fact that most of the movie is set in the beach. In fact almost every shot is filmed during the middle of a sunny day smack dab in the middle of a beach. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.
Lucki and her friend Ty-Dy work day to day in a bikini shop and aspire to compete for a job as their local beach’s lifeguards. Training with an uptight drill instructor and hunky trained lifeguard Brock, the two pursue the opportunity in hopes that it can open up their aspirations for modeling and acting. Meanwhile rival Bodacia seeks the job in hopes of improving her modeling career, and will do whatever she can to win, including rigging the contest. That doesn’t sit well with Lucki who has a genuine affection for him, despite his indifference toward her.
And there are boobs. Lots of boobs.
I can think of worse things than watching Kelli Hoffman or Tane McClure for ninety minutes. With small budgets and some pretty crummy actors, Rick Sloane has been able to pull of a pretty great film career with some entertaining schlock. Everything from the silly “Vice Academy” series to the craptastic “Hobgoblins” has managed to achieve some bit of cult fame down the road; especially the latter. Seriously, go watch the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” episode of “Hobgoblins.” It’s one of the funniest two hours of television ever made. That said, “Bikini Academy” is not a spoof or satire, it’s just a really silly C grade sex comedy set on a beach.
I think Rick Sloane probably assumed this kind of beach sex romp would fare well in 1996, which is too bad since movies of this ilk became painfully out of style by 1990. I think in 1986, this might have been just a slight cult classic, rather than simply a cheap sex comedy that you wouldn’t miss, either way. Mind you, “Bikini Academy” is a rare movie from Rick Sloane that is softcore schlock and embraces that fact, but it’s not an experience you have to have. There’s no real up and comer like Johnny Depp in “Private Resort.” It’s just a very raunchy comedy that pulls off some occasional giggles and splashes almost every scene with curvy women in small bikinis.
It doesn’t really try to be anything else but a cheapy schlock, putting gorgeous women in the film front and center, while they compete with one another for a position as a local lifeguard. Sloane’s movie is so thin in concept that he apparently runs out of story after the first forty five minutes and begins staging softcore sex scenes set to library music. You know the kind of scenes I talk about if you ever watched Cinemax After Dark. Yes, it was probably good fodder for late night cable syndication, but it becomes obvious writer-director Sloane is padding the run time as much as he can to fit a ninety minute running time.
“Bikini Academy” revels in its low budget to deliver some of the goofiest comedy and action ever put to film. The characters have to go through a series of “Revenge of the Nerds” like trials and performances that will make them eligible for a big position as a lifeguard and a highly coveted job that will grant them some opportunities. This is especially fortunate for villainous Bodacia, who is hell bent on winning the contest to improve her modeling career. She takes every measure to win, including bedding a judge or two. Along the way the potential lifeguards also have to help the occasional swimmer, including one woman who very nearly gets dragged in to the water by what is obviously a rubber giant squid.
And in case you doubt director Sloane, you can make out the fake wobbling squid under the water as our stunt actress tries to desperately break free from its tentacles. It’s such an inexplicable scene tacked on for absolutely no rationale that you’ll giggle for a bit and then scratch your head baffled. The laughs don’t stop there. As villain Bodacia looks for a cause to bring to the competition to compete for the job of lifeguard, she conveniently finds a single marlin on the beach covered in oil, and decides to use it as an issue to fight for. Forget how nothing else on the beach is covered in oil, but the fish is so obviously a prop that it’s stiff as a board.
Who knew fish get rigor mortis? Or maybe Tane McClure is just that hot. Rick Sloane must know what everyone watching this movie does, because Kelli Hoffman is not only the hottest woman in the movie, but she manages to steal every single scene she’s shares with the cast. Despite only having a small supporting role, and popping up every now and then, every time she does, it’s a treat for the eyes. The real attraction though is Steven Todd Lange as love interest Brock. His performance here is so stilted and rigged, it feels like director Sloane pulled him out of his office during lunch to read some lines and pretend to be invested in his role.
Rick Sloane relies on a steady formula of repeating the same beats again and again: there’s some kind of cat fight between Tane McClure and heroine Raelynn Saalman, someone makes a few sex jokes and double entendres, there’s a few peeks of women in tight bikinis and Kelli Hoffman looks for any excuse to stroll by on screen. In the end, it all feels like Rick Sloane was still stuck in the mid-eighties, and what comes up is a fairly solid diversion that drips gratuitous schlock at every turn. There’s big breasts, big squids, and a running gag centered on corn, for some reason. It’s a classic Rick Sloane oddity.
It sure is a hard life or Larry Barnes. He’s had a rough time living with an insanely sexy wife Erica, who so happens to be a witch who practices black magic. After failing to curse one of Larry’s business rivals, Larry and Erica clash causing Erica to fall to her death. After casting out his other very sexy female lover and Erica’s sister Maria, she threatens to make his life miserable for causing the death of Erica. After moving on, Amelia, the wife of Larry’s rival is still very bitter and angry about her husband being confined to a wheelchair. Intent on causing hell for Larry, she gives Larry’s new very sexy girlfriend Carol a medallion that Amelia uses as a means of taking control of Carol.