Mulholland Sex Drive!

" 'Meta' is a liminal term these days, creeping more and more into everyday conversations," Laura Miller wrote last month in The New York Times Magazine (the piece was headlined "This is a Headline for an Essay About Meta," itself very, um, what's the word?). Miller goes on to catalogue the increasingly prevalent winking self-consciousness in media, but she leaves out one of the most self-referential media (or at least I think she did, I never finished the article)—porno (the word even looks like "pomo"). There are two basic kinds of porn flick: the fictional feature and unscripted gonzo. In gonzo, the sex is actual, but usually somehow acknowledged as catering to an audience. Features, on the other hand, stitch together their scenes of unfettered intercourse with plotlines so ludicrous that they can't help parodying the idea of "story." This week, Johnny reviews the meta-features.

James DiGiorgio's No Exit (VCA)—a "light and loose interpretation of the existentialist masterpiece" by Jean-Paul Sartre—digs itself into a hole from which, indeed, it cannot escape. In the first scene, star Tawny Roberts—with luxuriously long white-blond hair, gleaming white teeth, and a white-hot body squeezed into a ripped rubbery top, ripped, acid-washed jeans, and a wide belt—walks into a porn office for an interview. Fat-ass director Jimmy (DiGiorgio), a bumbling loud-mouth not unlike Larry David in meta-com Curb Your Enthusiasm, asks her "whether or not she's taken acting lessons" ("Uh, no . . . ") and to "pose like a porn star" (she opens her mouth slightly). Meanwhile, a man with a digicam stands nearby, documenting the making of our vid-within-a-vid, and adding to the already screeching conceptual feedback.

Blowing the viewer's mind is not Tawny's job, of course, and she cuts through the din of self-reflexivity by promptly taking a burly intern on Jimmy's desk, the camera repeatedly focusing on their reflection in the polished surface (porn directors love catching the act in mirrors, which speaks clearly to the medium's physical and theoretical vanity). Shortly after shooting his load between her meta-breasts (medium fakies), the intern gets fired by the company's bullying head honcho. At the seemingly endless pre-shoot meeting, Jimmy asks the Amish towel boy (a reference to Orgazmo?) if he bought enough condoms, enemas, and wet wipes, and a gay makeup artist exclaims, by way of comic relief, "I'm prepared for anything that may come through my makeup chair—they'll come out as a star, because I'm fearless!" The head honcho then fires the assistant director, who, after the meeting is over, ass-fucks a small Asian intern (Sabrine Maui), notable for her delightful accent and leopard-print panties, on the conference table.

Finally, what's left of cast and crew head out to an island for filming. The phones are out, and someone forgot to write a script. Here the parallels to No Exit, the story of a man and two women sequestered in a hotel room in Hell to argue and regret their earthly misdeeds for eternity, become slightly more apparent, but it's not worth getting into (think inessential, not existential). The movie, as desperate as its characters, ultimately resorts to a girl-girl dream sequence with a cameo by Ron Jeremy.

Making a porn based on No Exit is a terrible idea; making one based on David Lynch's dreams-and-reality-conflating Mulholland Drive is merely a bad one; naming it Lost Heinie (VCA), after another Lynch movie, Lost Highway, is simply confusing. FBI agent Jizzmond (Ian Daniels) is assigned "18-year-old" Glandy Williams (Julie Meadows) as his partner in the case of a missing novelty elf ear (his confused superior, Gordon Pole, at first shows him an "elephant's ear—otherwise known as funnel cake, or fried dough" and a "nautical map of Lake Erie"). Once in Jizzmond's convertible, Glandy tests his driving ability giving him meta-road-head, draping her also luxuriously long blond locks over his lap. As the blue-screen scenery whips by, Jizz lets go of the wheel and pulls up Glandy's smart gray wool skirt to reveal a black thong, then lets her ride his face. Passing some strip malls, the two shed their clothes. Glandy then lays on the trunk, and Jizz pumps her from the back seat, coating her bush as fireworks explode in the background.

Back in their seats, they crash into a car driven by mysterious, dark-haired Rotorita (Crystal Summers). "I don't remember who I am, but I'm feeling strong lesbian tendencies that may manifest themselves later on," she admits. "You'd better come with us," Jizz sagely counsels. Stopping at a diner after picking up Burnetta (Chris Cannon in whiteface), the foursome play charades with their red-headed waitress (Kellyfire Steele), whose dizzying cleavage and pink uniform defy words. Burnetta winds up roto-rootering Rotorita from behind while eating out Glandy, perched like so much sweet dessert on the counter. The waitress and long-dicked short-order cook (Hamilton Steele) follow suit, the former taking four of the latter's fingers in her heinie.

This is where the movie gets lost. Following their one lead to a movie theater, the motley crew watch the busted-ass (her ass actually gets busted later) Carmen (Keisha) sing in a digression about as long and meaningless as Mulholland Drive's. In the movie's last good scene, Glandy excuses herself to make a phone call and seduces the two men in line, who hit her heinie and coochie at the same time, cum onto her popcorn (she later eats two pieces and shares the rest with Jizzmond), and give her two quarters for her trouble.

Julie Meadows also stars in Cursed (VCA), the original story of an ancient Mayan mask that causes her male lovers to vanish after they orgasm (I usually try to get some sleep before I disappear, but hey, to each his own). This is a fine movie, thanks in part to the supporting role of thick-as-a-McDonald's-milkshake redhead Kylie Ireland (trying to get rid of her dirtbag husband), but it's not meta. And here I am reviewing it—what's the meta with me?


VCA, 9650 De Soto Avenue, Chatsworth, CA 91311, www.vcapictures.com

jmaldoro@villagevoice.com

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