The long running series from Impulse Pictures continues chugging ahead and fans of classic and vintage pornography will enjoy what kind of time capsule these DVD’s bring to the forefront of film appreciation. While the DVD’s can be touted as porno, you can also appreciate these DVD’s as a film lover, film buff, film historian, or historian of pornography. The art of pornography has surely changed since the invention of moving pictures, and this continues the dive in to a great decade.
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.
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.
“Whoa! You’re beach babes from beyond.”
“You bet your ass, man.”
I’m a big fan of David DeCoteau’s early work with Charles Band and Full Moon, but with “Beach Babes from Beyond,” I might have finally found something of his I really dislike. It’s a nineties softcore skin flick (from Band’s softcore label Torchlight Entertainment) that feels like an eighties science fiction comedy. And when I say that it’s softcore, I mean soft. The sex scenes don’t really look like two people have sex so much as they resemble two naked people trying to climb over one another to get in to bed. Not that it matters, since there are only about three sex scenes and they’re not the highlight of the movie, mysteriously.
Adapted from the novel that made bored housewives across the world dream of being tortured by the most boring man in the world, “Fifty Shades of Grey” lives up to its reputation. It’s cheap, misogynist, Z grade exploitation masquerading as the romance of a woman trying to tame the ultimate man, who by all accounts should be alone left to his own demented fantasies. It began its life as fan fiction and reads like the cheap fantasies of a bored sexually repressed woman. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is about boring people doing stupid things to one another, and cardboard characters trying to create some sense of tension and conflict that never amounts to anything interesting. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the film that essentially romanticizes abuse and misogyny as something that’s admirable in a man and can potentially be snuffed out with the right woman by his side.
I’m stunned it took two screenwriters and Eli Roth to write what is a remake that steals bits from “Funny Games.” This time rather than the nemeses being petulant snot nosed young guys, the villains in this instance are two gorgeous young girls. “Knock Knock” is the least incompetently made film from Roth’s ever growing film library, and that’s due to the fact that it borrows a lot from “Funny Games,” despite being an admitted remake of 1977’s “Death Game.” There isn’t the sly self awareness, but Roth and co. do eventually realize how stupid their story is and then completely ride off the rails by the second half.
Vanessa Del Rio is back for the tenth installment of “42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection”; a smattering of reels and loops from the golden age of porn that titillates and arouses in its rare moments. This installment is a hundred minutes of the best shorts from the grindhouse era, starring folks like Del Rio, Jessie St. James and Susan Nero.