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Wow! It actually took me less than nine months to write a chapter this time! Need I warn you about it being LOOOOONG? :-) You are again advised to read in small portions at a time.
This is my way of celebrating RAME's first birthday. People have repeatedly voiced their support for the moderators (and Frans) for pushing for and maintaining this group. Though we certainly deserve all this praise (nobody will ever accuse ME of modesty :-)), I have to grudgingly :-) share some of the kudos with you, the readership. You have been responsible for posting nearly 1000 messages a month, creating an independent discussion forum of unprecedented quality. Thank you.
It's time to go to new heights. The Ultimate Porn Shop List is now nearer to reality than ever. Soon, a whole new, free, web resource will be available for you to consult before you undertake your trek to your local House of Smut. But we can never make it as great as it deserves to be without your input. We need your help. Stay tuned for details.
Like last time, I would like to begin today's rant with a brief (okay, not so brief :-)) departure from hardcore. Not softcore this time, but erotic Japanese animation, or Anime, or Manga as it is frequently known. Now, I will not pretend to be any sort of expert on Japanese animation; apparently even the term "Manga" is mistakenly used by laymen such as myself, as it should only be used for comic books rather than animation. Or something (this debate is known to throw anime fans into fits). I have seen a few movies of this type however, and can certainly form an opinion.
Since I don't like to beat around the bush (unless I'm writing USENET posts of course :-)), when it came to checking up on pornocartoons I went straight for the jugular. "Gimme 'Overfiend'", I instructed my procuror, "and mind there are no cuts", and then proceeded to disregrard all his protestations that it is "sick" and a "waste of perfectly good blank tape" and wouldn't I like some good porn instead? Even the perrenially mellow Peter Van Aarle has privately commented on the subject with an explosive (by his standards) reference to "that Manga shit".
If St. Peter :-) can say such a thing, then you must imagine the sentiments that old Urotsukidoji stirs in the hearts of diehard anime hounds. This is the movie they love to diss. I have yet to find a reference, either in their newsgroup or in their sites, that doesn't consign it to the pits of bad taste and depravity along with a fiery recommendation against it. I have seen at least three different 'Top 10/Worst 10 anime' lists where our good friend Uro (as I will hereafter abbreviate) is propping up the table.
In some respects they do have a point. The Overfiend saga (3 cycles: "Legend of the Overfiend" in 3 parts, "Legend of the Demon Womb" in 2 parts and "The Return of the Overfiend" in 4 parts, ongoing) is not the best drawn cartoon in history. It's no Saturday morning kids monstrosity by any means, but it does pale in comparison to "Ghost in the Shell", or even other, less technically masterful, Japanese anime. And the quality of the artwork does deteriorate in the sequels, particularly in the last couple of "Return of the Overfiend" installments. There are certainly worse drawn cartoons, but that's no excuse.
And it is certainly sick. It can't be anything but, not with high school teachers morphing into pit fiends and raping teenagers from all available orifices with multiple tentacles; or with *internal* (as in "from inside the orifice") shots of blowjobs or pentetrations by three-pronged demonic phalli; or with a, central to the plot, "Nazi Rape Machine" (sic - and very, VERY sick as well).
But our USENET brethren in rec.arts.anime.* should learn to lighten up. The sickness of "Overfiend" does not induce vomiting; it induces loud, uncontrollable guffaws. For this reason it makes ideal stag party fare: it's unreal, it's tasteless, it's so delightfully gross. I know WOMEN who have laughed their asses off after watching it (granted, the particular lady is not your average Dworkinite, but the point is she enjoyed it immensely). It takes a superior sense of humour to be so gross, so effectively. You can only get a similar quality of humour with the better (as in 'grosser') heavy metal bands.
And that's exactly why I believe anime fans get so pissed off with poor old Uro. Like most heavy metalloids, they do not appreciate having their private religion used in a similar manner to such masterpieces of the Gross like "I Dismember Mama" or "The Mad Butcher" (He Craves Meat, you know. You get no guesses as to what type). They should learn to take things less seriously and realize that not all crap can be used for such highbrow fun. Star Trek, for example, is just insufferable dreck - no charm whatsoever; I would never imagine ruining my stag night with such shit.
If I have a problem with "Overfiend" it's with its plot premise. According to this the world consists of three Kingdoms, that of Men (which we are all familiar with, I hope), that of the Jyunkai, or Man-Beasts (basically flying people with weirdly-coloured hair and the odd cat whisker or cute tail), and that of the Makai (your average, tentacle-brandishing, raping, demon-in-the-street). No problem with that - I can certainly suspend my disbelief that much. Where I do start to get pissed off is when the Legend itself is introduced, which states that every 3000 years the Chojin, or Overfiend, comes about to purify this misguided, sinning world -by blasting it to bits, OF COURSE- and unite the three kingdoms in some happy Utopia. Now, such messianic dreck normally gets my goat pretty effectively. I will grant however that as the storyline proceeds one realizes that all the Chojin really does is just fuck up everything pretty thoroughly. We are still awaiting for the Utopia as I speak. This is a pretty accurate representation of religion: plenty of misery, no Utopias as yet.
But I'm running ahead. First things first: a couple of head honchos of the Jyunkai, Amano and his blue-haired sister Megumi (all together now: "Raaaape Foddeeer!!!") hang around some Japanese school where they suspect that the Chojin is laying low disguised as a student. Amano in particular should seriously consider getting a life, as he acts like some Chojin-groupie saddo. At least his sister gets laid now and then, though frequently involuntarily it must be admitted. Anyway, the local school tosser, Magumo, appears to be the Chojin without knowing it. He finds out soon enough, slaughters and rapes everybody in sight and, after some plot development that is admittedly quite intricate and far from boring, eventually impregnates (Hi, Partick! Your favourite argument :-)) his classmate, Akemi. Akemi was certainly not a virgin, not even an anal one, as she was raped at the start of the show by a passing demon. The experience seems to have caused her little real psychological anguish since she still behaves like your average, bubbly, 16-old high school Japanese student, white socks and all (Japanese Man's greatest sexual ideal), when she doesn't hang from tentacles. It turns out in the end of the first cycle that old Magumo is NOT the Overfiend after all, but merely the agent through which the world is to be broken. He manages quite effectively. The real Chojin is the boy inside Akemi's womb (the 'Demon' Womb, geddit?); the maturation of the embryo must take all of 100 years, plenty of time for a bunch of sequels.
Not that the sequel starts straight away. "Legend of the Demon Womb" is in fact a prequel to the climax of "Legend of the Overfiend". Its primary function, apart from some annoying melodrama, is to introduce some new villains for the future, in particular the diabolical Munchausen (yes, it IS a ripoff), a Nazi (!) demon who, with the help of the aforementioned wonder of modern technology, the Nazi Rape Machine (TM), paves the way for the arrival of yet another Uberdemon. This is supposed to battle the Chojin and sports the very catchy name of Kyo-Oh. It should not to be confused with the late Ma-Oh, a lovely little Godzilloid that sadly passed away in the end of "Legend of the Overfiend".
The sequel finally gets under way in the "Return Of The Overfiend". 80 years before the Chojin is to be finally born and forge the long promised Utopia (we're still waiting), the devastated world is ruled by some dude named Caesar (duh) whose right hand is the aforementioned Munchausen, now under the unimaginative alias of Faust. In the wake of all the post-apocalypse rapes, a new race of half-breeds has inevitably evolved, the Demon-Beasts or Makemono. They sport some of the longest dicks ever conceived (we're talking YARDS here) and seem to spend most of their time gang-banging girls and slaughtering people. Who grows the food when pillage and arson are the order of the day, and where the inexhaustible supply of girls-to-be-raped comes from remains unexplained. Some sort of a Disturbance In The Force (TM) forces the Chojin to come out his mother's womb half-baked, and then the plot takes off and becomes really far out. I will not spoil it, but I will repeat that we're still waiting for the bloody Utopia.
Despite the impression I may be giving, the Urotsukidoji saga is watchable. Even if you don't share my delight for the gross, there is much to be enjoyed here. The plot may have corny premises, but is very intricate and quite good fun to follow. It also confirms quite a few things about the Japanese psyche that we've always suspected but were afraid to ask: the trauma of two nuclear attacks still runs deep and, despite all the protestations to the contrary, the US is still resented by many both for the bombing and for shoving its values down Japan's throat after the war. The characters are two-dimensional of course, and frequently annoyingly melodramatic, but there is always some surprise hidden inside them - they are far from cliche. The artwork certainly deteriorates in the sequels but it was decent to begin with and never really reaches the atrocious levels of US TV animation. Finally, the action sequences are quite good, particularly in the original.
I will not comment on sexual heat, naturally, and will not award a rating. Nobody in his right mind will get turned on by this. It's like getting turned on by watching "Plan 9" :-).
For those interested in procuring the series: you must bear in mind the myriad different versions available in the market. Of the 9 total episodes I have:
-3 are of the so called'Hong Kong' version (Totally uncut and in Japanese, subtitled)
-4 are the Japanese release (uncut but with female genitalia fuzzed out, in Japanese, subtitled)
-1 is an 'American' version (identical to the Japanese version, but dubbed in English)
-1 is the UK, BBFC "18"-rated version (dubbed in English, all sex scenes cut)
Make sure you get the right version. I don't know which is the one stocked by Excalibur.
After this (entertaining, I hope) diversion, let's get back to the grindstone. Classics. No, no groans please. You gotta sit through your History lesson first, and if you're good boys and girls I'll put a couple of "Private" reviews at the end.
To my horror I've realized that in the last couple of review parts I've posted, the ratings have tended to bunch up around 3.50 and upwards. Whatever happened to the famed Imperial integrity? Have I started to sound as fawning as AVN? OK, so I've never used the term "love rod" or "bunghole" yet, so not all hope is lost; but still, no reviewer worth his salt fails to administer a couple of good ol' ass-kickings now and then.
Unfortunately, the situation will not be remedied today. With my porn consumption forced to a minimum and with the succor and advice of the whole Peter Van Aarle juggernaut, it is a bit difficult to end up watching total crap. However, I realise that not everybody may enjoy vintage porn as much as me and my cronies, so take those ratings with several truckloads of salt.
-Strange as it may sound, I had never watched Robert McCallum's famous "Amanda By Night". I just never got around to it. When I finally got off my lazy ass and procured the tape, Peter almost ruined my expectations of it by telling me (and I quote):
"It's a good MOVIE. Like with "Sex World", you may find the sex less than stellar".
Boy, how misguiding those saintly warnings can be! :-) If I had heeded the Master I would have missed out on a very, very hot movie indeed. In fact I must say straight away that, as a movie, the tale of a high price prostitute teaming up with an eccentric cop to get the killer who did a couple of her girls in, did little to excite me. There is nothing wrong with the acting of course; Veronica Hart and (particularly) R. Bolla are perhaps the finest actors we've seen in porn. In fact, pretty much everybody's acting is tiptop in here; and good actors like Jamie Gillis and Ron Jeremy don't just play their caricature roles of the villain and the clown respectively. Lisa DeLeeuw and Samantha Fox never had much acting ability IMHO, but McCallum gets the best out of everybody with his brisk and robust direction.
It's just that I don't like thrillers much as a genre. The fact that "Amanda" is on par, if not better, than many of the mainstream thrillers out there is remarkable for a porno, but it won't glue me on my seat. Plus, some of the drama has been done to death before. I mean, how many times have we heard the "Hookers are also people, you know" sermon? Still, I will repeat that I can count a zillion mainstream movies that are sillier, more pretentious and worse acted. "Amanda" manages what it set out to do, so I can chop off no marks for not liking the genre.
The strong suit of the film is, I'll repeat, the sex. Oh, if you're looking for heat of "Private" type you'll be disappointed. But if you're looking for generally good looking people having generally hot, though not kinky, sex in nice setups, then you're all set. OK, so I don't like Samantha Fox as a woman either, but I can't fault Veronica at the slightest, and Brooke West and Arcadia Lake have always been favourites of mine, particularly the former. And that must be perhaps the trimmest Lisa DeLeeuw on record.
It's also well known that outdoor scenes, particularly on boats, are a sure way to win my heart and mind :-). And McCallum, as always, utlilizes available resources to the maximum and refrains from overdoing the closeup.
I could nitpick, if I wanted, and thus find ways to deny "Amanda By Night" the perfect rating. The threesome between Arcadia, Brooke and Eric Edwards is too brief for example. Of course that may be due to the fact that Eric Edwards ALWAYS seems to cum too soon.
But why nitpick? Just to give an appearance of integrity? Naaah...
-Another fine example of McCallum's uncanny ability to avoid the dreaded Waste Of Resources when shooting sex is the fine 80s fluffer "Summer Camp Girls". I have said before that I'm a total sucker for fluffers, particularly when they're full of hot 80s lasses like Shauna Grant, Kimberly Carson, Danielle and (most of all) the lovely, lovely Joanna Storm. To pre-empt the inevitable Riley snide remarks :-), I'll admit that Joanna's bleach job looks particularly stupid in this one, but Joanna has always held such a dear place in my heart that I will disregard everything.
But. You must have some sort of fun plot, Mr. McCallum, to make a good fluffer. Your own "Hot Raquets", for example, was silly to the extreme, but it was cute, cute, cute. "Summer Camp Girls" wastes a great opportunity to be cute, and ends up just silly. Oh, it's nothing to really weep about in absolute terms, but if you think of what might have been had the premise of a bunch of rich heiresses of nubile age going wild during their summer vacation been used properly, then... well, it's a shame. What defeats the whole exercise is mostly the ending which is hurried and unfunny.
But the sex is brilliant, and this, we should not forget, is a sex film. Again, there is nothing kinky to attract the raincoater among us, but I can't imagine anyone, whatever his tastes, failing to get excited at the sight of such pretty girls having sex in such a lighthearted manner. As in most McCallum works, the technical quality is faultless: the picture is crystal clear, the lighting excellent, and there is no need to look for that "zoom OUT" button in your remote when watching this one :-).
Rating: 3.35. I chopped 0.05 on account of Kim Carson's stupid wig :-).
Another rather botched attempt to make a lighthearted romp is Jeffrey Fairbanks' period piece "American Pie". This time it's the acting, and might I also suggest, the direction that let everybody down. The plot is in fact quite cute: Arcadia Lake and Lysa Thatcher are sisters, and such pains in the ass for rich daddy Aaron Stuart that when Eric Edwards and Randy West kidnap them he dismisses the ransom demand as a prank. This setup, along with the brave and not entirely unsuccessful attempt to reconstruct the 50s atmosphere, should normally go a long way towards success . Unfortunately, Randy West was never much of an actor and Eric Edwards (whom I've never really liked but who can usually hold his own) doesn't appear very inspired either. Lysa Thatcher makes a brave effort to play the spoilt daughter but Arcadia is totally wooden. The direction is too slow and halting, but I'll excuse Fairbanks since he didn't have too much to work with in terms of talent. I wasn't too impressed by the sets, lighting or sound either.
Still, the girls look great. I've always been a huge Lysa Thatcher fan and she doesn't fail me here either. But with "American Pie" I've sort of rediscovered Arcadia Lake, who looks very nice indeed. In the final scene of the movie where Jon Martin screws Lysa while Arcadia sleeps naked on the bed next to them, I found myself ignoring Lysa as I was completely taken in by the gorgeous sight of Arcadia's slender body (and lovely flat chest as well - I'm a known weirdo :-)).
Despite that, I can't really rate this one very highly. It's OK, but the sex scenes are sparse as well and rather ruined by the closeup, so it's only recommended as a rental or a purchase foir dedicated Classics afficionados.
For a romp that works perfectly, try "Delicious", a sort of a porn "Mary Poppins" with Veronica Hart helping uptight aristocrat Candida Royalle loosen up. The usual suspects are here as well: Bolla, Jeremy, Stuart, Desiree Cousteau, along with Jerry Butler (almost acceptable in this one). There are also a couple of girls I'm not sure I've seen before, at least under these names (Nicole Scent and Jane Kelton), but they look good and that's a good enough start.
I've said before how much I like Candida Royalle in her porn actress phase (to Patrick's disgust as I remember :-)). It's therefore very frustrating for me that she was always a bit player in porn, with seldom performing more than a single scene per movie, if that (e.g in "Taxi Girls" and "Sexcapades" she's only in non-sex roles: WASTE OF RESOURCES). In Delicious, she's fortunately in two scenes, one of them a very nice g-g with Veronica Hart. Veronica is the real star of the show, with four scenes, including a mmmf with anal and a couple of good oral cumshots (I don't like facials but I like orals). There are a few problems with the bloody extreme closeup in almost every scene, but the film is not ruined.
Heartily recommended. Collectors should stock without hesitation.
OK you Classic-haters, you can look again. Time to check up on good old Private and the anal capacities of Euro girls.
A two-parter; watch out because there are some ripoff editions in Europe that split "Gigolo 1" into a fake "Gigolo 1 and 2", when in fact it is 1a and 1b, if you get my drift. I believe this was the last installment of the old Private Film series before they moved on to Private Gold or whatever they call it now.
This is a typical example of what makes Private so good and so frustrating at the same time. Gorgeous, natural girls in great quantity (Tanya Rusoff and a host of others with no surnames, so do me a favour and look it up on the database and stop bugging me for IDs :-)), nice locations, abundant money spent on sets (one might even say too much money, since they've reached the limits of good taste on occassions), pristine picture quality and sound, tons of full bodied shots, buckets of raunch, some outdoor scenes. But also boring, formulaic sex scenes, idiotic plot, "nouveau riche" mentality (=let's show off our sports cars and helicopters) and worst of all, yells of "Salope!" echoing around the picture. Now, call me a bleeding heart liberal (please do, it would make me proud :-)) but calling women whores tends to annoy me quite a bit. Director Pierre Woodman seems to always do that in his films; it seems to be part of his style along with his trademark rough and fast anal action.
Speaking of which, there are some scenes in here that have made *me* reach out for the Preparation-H. We are talking *hard* and *fast*, gentlemen (I'm not expecting many ladies suffering through that). The human body's capacity to endure never ceases to amaze me.
Now, how the hell am I going to rate this? Raincoaters will love it, with good reason, others will despise it. Call it an even 3.00, but with a spread of at least 0.50 either way.
Now compare that with one of the first films of the series, Steve Perry's "Private Film: Anal Clinic". This is a more solid outing. The good ingredients are still there: the girls are particularly suitable for my tastes in this one, and I fail to see anybody not getting excited over the two goregeous Brits, Stephanie Hart-Rogers (SH-R) and the lesser known (she's performed in this movie only, according to Peter), but IMHO even prettier Bridgitte Ashley-Lauren (BA-L). Production values remain as high as ever and raunch levels almost so: there are no dilation shots or anything as gross as that, but there's abundant anal and two DPs (SH-R does one and Julia Channel another one).
In general, Steve Perry manages to avoid going the Pierre Woodman route. Not only is his sex more edifying, but also less formulaic and therefore more exciting. And the plot (SH-R is head of a clinic whose sole prescription is a course of anal sex) may be stupid, but at least it's fun and almost good-natured. The whole movie seems to have been hurried but it still works as a fluffer. Recommended.
Hope you enjoyed the 500-liner. Hopefully, there'll be more to come in a month or so. Feedback appreciated.