In the Flesh: Porn Noir: Film Noir Meets '70s Smut at Anthology Film Archives

<I>In the Flesh: Porn Noir</I>: Film Noir Meets '70s Smut at Anthology Film Archives

If you've ever wished more pornographers idolized Mickey Spillane, then get to Anthology Film Archives for Porn Noir, the latest in their In the Flesh adult film surveys. Smutty, hard-boiled curios like Expose Me, Lovely and The Double Exposure of Holly are emblematic of the "porno chic" era (1972–1975) of high-concept porn.

Unfortunately, Expose Me, Lovely, the better half of that 1976 double-header, is a mostly dopey Raymond Chandler homage. It's a Big Sleep–style neo-noir with dialogue like "You wouldn't exactly call me a dead end, would you?" "Baby, you're more like a six-lane expressway." The Opening of Misty Beethoven star Ras Kean plays a private detective searching for a missing boho socialite. Director Armand Weston is clearly a noir buff, and knows the tics of the genre. But while it is exciting to catch references to both Lady of the Lake and The Big Heat in a hardcore film, it's also frustrating to watch porn stars laboriously set up sex scenes: "You're an exceptionally attractive man. Have you ever done any modeling?"

That goes without saying, right? In fact, most of the film's stars are attractive, with the noted exception of the balding stud that takes the completely bald Iminu from behind. Admittedly, Weston's ambition means that many coitus-centric set pieces feel distractingly overcooked, like the one where a genital-obsessed sculptress (Jody Maxwell) fucks, then sucks, then fucks again, and is licked over by Kean. And you can't fully appreciate cinematographer João Fernandes's moody work since Maxwell's curves seem to have been shot through a Schlitz beer bottle lens. But when Weston lets his stars do what they do best, Expose Me, Lovely is appreciably tawdry.

Courtesy Anthology Film Archives

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Anthology Film Archives

32 Second Ave.
New York, NY 10003

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: East Village

Details

In the Flesh: Porn Noir
March 27-30, Anthology Film Archives



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Corruption (1983) is also a fitfully exciting pornographic mystery, although its cryptic scenario and dialogue are often maddening. Williams (Jamie Gillis), a businessman in some unspecified field, makes a deal with some creepy strangers and then disappears inside a Lynchian brothel full of peepholes, dry ice, and dominatrices. In the process of looking for Williams, Larry (Bobby Astyr), his brother, stumbles upon a sleepy go-go dancer, a heel-licking submissive, and a well-endowed necrophiliac. All this is tacky but sexy in a for-straight-dudes way, especially when a raven-haired woman, just out of the shower, vigorously fondles a blonde who inexplicably wanders into her bathroom. You may get a kick out of Corruption's heavy-handed freakiness and bombastic, sub-Mamet banter: "A man has to give up certain things to get certain things." "And what am I getting?" "What you want most: power."

If you're really feeling kinky, try Sex Wish (1976), a Death Wish–meets–Frenzy rape-revenge thriller. Ken (Deep Throat star Harry Reems), a distraught man with a Gene Shalit mustache, searches for the cane sword/pantyhose/vibrator-and-whip-wielding rapist (Zebedy Colt) who killed his fiancée. Writer-director Victor Milt infrequently tries to laugh off all the ickiness with tone-deaf comedy, like when a woman sincerely asks Ken why he's going to a gay bar. But like a compulsive flasher, Milt can't stop showing off how kinky he can be. If the film's 10-minute rape doesn't do much for you, wait until you hear a teary-eyed Colt, looking like Cruising-era Al Pacino's coked-up doppelganger, rant about "touching his peepee" while making a black couple screw at gunpoint. Sex Wish's grubby go-for-broke zeal makes it real deviant art.

 
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