(Collector's Edition Six Disk Box Set)
A bitch-slap to the oh-so-safe timidity of contemporary filmmakers obeying the knee-jerk conservatism of the weak minded Status-Quo who snort cocaine while insisting on the dangers of pornography, demanding violent films without violence and sex without titillation, the 'thrill me' generation of the seventies -- that glorious time when a new-found sexual permissiveness opened wide the floodgates (and plenty of legs) for increasingly bolder explorations of eroticism in both life and art - led naturally into deeper, more disturbing excesses in the 80's. The first of a series of attractively boxed set compilations from Alpha Blue Archives presenting the extremely sleazy sexual shenanigans and violence of old school New York pornographers, The Avon Dynasty - 1980s presents eighteen filthy features for your deviant delight!
Cinematic expressions of a cultural sexual awakening, the writhing skin and ecstatic moans on the movie and video screens of the 80's mirrored the sexual excess taking place across the free world. Unapologetic expressions of animal lust and skin-slapping passion, hard-core pornography in the era of Regan and Ronald McDonald exchanged the naïve innocence of the seventies 'feel good' sex film for increasingly darker descents into debauchery. While there has always been an admittedly close relationship between pain and pleasure in the human psyche (we are, after all, little more than animals), the artistic depictions of this culturally forbidden phenomena have long been repressed with a sternness bordering savagery (ironic behaviour for conservative politicians and special interest groups who supposedly detest violence). Despite the moral preachings of sexually deviant clergy, orally active presidents, and judges whose hands wield paddles when not pounding gavels, the 'roughie' sex film reared its blistered, bloodied hide to the disgust and arousal of an entire new generation during the 'me' generation - a cultural environment as eager to see skins beaten as fondled.
Indulging the sadomasochistic urgings of our wonderfully depraved human condition, adult film companies were quick to penetrate the taboos of painful pleasure. Times Square's infamous palace of perversion was 42nd Street, a peon to raunchy triple X which focused as much on brutality as bare asses. An outlandish balls-and-blood response to the depressingly tame commercial product of mainstream Hollywood, these roughie flicks also challenged the sterile skin flicks of old, which in their obedience to an outdated code of enforced morality primarily featured sex as only an expression of emotional love or for its pleasurable aspects - pleasure defined as a process of mutual gratification, ignoring the counter-culture of sadomasochism.
Showing the same defiance and willingness to satisfy the darker side of lust appeased at one time by Times Square, the video company Alpha Blue Archives presents for devotes of deviancy and raw sexuality wet and bleeding treasures of the rough, the rowdy, and the downright shocking. Gladly responding to the call of the wild, Alpha Blue is a travelling 42nd street, delivering taboo-bursting pleasures of excess to the privacy of your home. In what may be the most lovingly presented poem to perversity ever offered fans of sadistic sex and sleaze, The Avon Dynasty: 1980's collector's box (six disks) features 19 hours of vintage hard-screwing pornographic pleasure. The kind of set you'd bring home to mother (if she was a pain-loving whore), this stuff is not for the weak of heart - or stomach. Daring you to descend into depravity, several of these features will test your endurance for deviant sexual experience. Alpha Blue has collected for your self-abusing viewing pleasure some of the roughest, sickest ménages of sex and pain to ever splat the screen. Capturing the excess and anything goes attitude of the eighties in all its thrashing, screaming, and anal-penetrating goodness, these movies are smut with attitude.
Appointment With Agony (1976) is a sleazy story of a family kidnapped by a sicko sadist. This graphic, mean-spirited Bastard of a movie is a roughed-up version of the Italian horror vehicle Hitchhike, minus acting skill. Not a bad thing, for the skin is plentiful, and so is the dirty-souled malevolence. On a lighter (goofier) note, Blow Some My Way (1977), starring the titillating talents of Annie Sprinkle and Mark Stevens, is the story of a model who uses her special talents to sell BJ brand smokes. Annie keeps her mouth busy when a group of protestors crash the party. Domination Blue (1977) is a viscous variation of the women-in-prison films of Roger Corman and Jess Franco, indulging in sexual and violent excess that the former directors could only allude to.
Having fun yet? What's that say about you, sicko?!
Disc two really rubs our faces in fetish. Angels in Distress (1982) features the directing talent of Phil Prince, an underground maverick of pain who specialized in mean little movies of pain and perversion. A top artist for Avon, Prince focuses on dirty-looking, dirty feeling kink and crime in his work. Gotta love the guy! Explicit pornography just daring you to try and make an excuse for it, this, the forth film in the series, shows Angel (Joey Carson) being kidnapped and deposited in the grimy anus of NY City behind Times Square. There she is subjected to torments by Mistress Candice and her helpers, George Payne and David Ruby. This is one raw bruise of a movie. Mistress Candice is outrageous yet believable in her role - less a role, I think, than a way of life - and the grim atmosphere lends further authenticity to the scenes of humiliation. Prisoner of Pleasure (1981) is a 'whose who' of smut fandom, the minimal plot featuring a victimized Patrice Trudeau swinging with her hubby only to find herself kidnapped and submitted to bondage while said hubby searches for her amidst piss-stained back alleys and appropriately urban backdrops. Pain Mania (1981) stars Melissa, the granddaughter of Paris Theatre-owner Murray, as a DJ interviewing sex performers. An LA Confidential of porn, this one takes a quasi-documentary approach, putting us behind the . . . ah, scenes.
Funky flagellation, rabid incest, repeat rapes, brutal beatings, and freaky forced anal penetrations: these are the raw and heady stuff that Alpha Blue's rescued raunch-epics are made of. Minimal yet effective parables of pain and grim explosions of amorality and decadence, many of the narratives are cut down to their lean, dark hearts with precision, emphasizing the elemental power and captivatingly harsh beauty of the pain and pleasure acts themselves. And that is precisely the point in many of these films - they are brutal if honest depictions of one of the most primitive and undeniable instincts driving humankind: sexuality. And not sexuality as puritanical society would have us believe, dressing it in masks of love and license. No, the bruised and bloodied skins of the flesh on display in these frightening fantasies are reflective of the secret, unconscious desires of an entire species, allowing its audiences to exorcise demons of degradation, lust, and pain through the aesthetic vehicle of the screen. These images, and the social contexts that make up the primitive stories surrounding them, are anti-art.
Savage Sadists, a rough quickie from - you guessed it --Phil Prince, features Martin Patton as a smut video peddler whose wife (Nicole Bernard) is raped while he's playing gynaecologist with his secretary. When his wife and her attackers rush into his office, the jellyfish hides under his desk. Prince's debut, this half hour of ranch, forced sex, and decidedly unpleasant sex isn't concerned at all by plot. More substantial is Wicked Schoolgirls (1980), wherein Carter Stevens directs Velvet Summers in her sole starring role in an Avon film in all her schoolgirl uniform finery and s few kinks too damn nasty to mention - hey, I have SOME standards, damnit! The Taming of Rebecca (1982) is perhaps one of the more sleazy of the offerings - and that's saying a "mouthful" here (oh, what puns!). George Payne is the headmaster of a school where Rebecca (Sharon Mitchell) finds herself after escaping her sexually abusive father. From bad to worse, she is inducted into a world of rough sexuality. Includes such family-centered joys as nipple piercings, fun with urine (gag), and humiliation.
Featuring the collective talents of such usable boy-toys as Nicole Bernard, Annie Sprinkle, and Mistress Candice with certainly less attractive but undeniably endowed leading stars, these movies also feature such curiosities as Long Jeanne Silver, whose dubious talent must be seen to be believed. A non-repentant sojourn into the freak-show of vice and viscera, sin and semon, these bruises against good taste include rare prints of underground classics long unavailable, featured uncut and in as good a viewing condition as you will ever see.
In these blue-ball shockers incredibly subversive if minimally expressed storylines are mirrored by brazen, honestly presented acts of raw sex and violence, lending them the dangerous appeal and disgust attempted at in such late-comers to the sex and pain game as the Guniea Pig series. Reminiscent of the cheaply produced flogging scenes featured in David Cronenberg's Videodrome, which commented on the depths of depravity both watcher and exhibitionist will go to satisfy internal longings for experience, these movies, when taken in context, are as serious in their admittedly unconscious reflections as they are sensational in their raw presentation of sadism. And for those who don't look for a subtext beneath all the bush, beatings, and bleeding breasts, there is plenty in this set to satisfy.
A far cry from the feel-good softcore of the seventies or the commercially aimed exploits of Deep Throat, these uncut features cut the fat off the meat and shove the bone in your face. From the dubious joys of men watching their women raped (Savage Sadists) and scrotum-tightening cock torture (Mistress Electra) to the gothic imagery and horror sensibilities of possession (Kneel Before Me), this is entertainment at its most subversive. An angry animal pissing in the face of conventionality, this is the stuff of true controversy, forcing the issues of legality and acceptability. Legends of lewdness, these bad boys of forced bondage and back-straddling orgies ask for no friends, take no prisoners, and dare you to like them. Love or hate their style or content, it matters little. They get a response, often a strong one. In this they are successful art, to the dismay of critics the world over.
Angels in Distress, Daughters of Discipline (2), and Doctor Bizarro (directed by Carter Stevens) are particularly revealing, not simply in their proud parade of perversions or S&M but also in their willingness to stare unflinchingly at the facial reactions of actors on both side of the whip. One of the most interesting facets of these movies (aside from the surface thrills of hardcore sex and violence) is the suggestion by both directors Prince and Carter Stevens that there is little difference emotionally between victim and victimizer. While both indulge a separate role physically and mentally for the source of the sexual act, both are in need of the other for their pleasure, even when that pleasure in pain. Before we go too deeply into subtleties of theme, let us admit that if meaning exists in such titles as Prisoner of Pleasure, Wicked Schoolgirls, or House of Sin, than it is the philosophy of de Sade, and as harsh as it is arousing. There is no moralizing here, no attempts at commercial or intellectual art outside the ticket buyers of the time (and DVD watchers in our own) in search of gratification of their own internal needs and fantasies. And that's as it should be. This is dangerous cinema, my friends, and very satisfying at that.
Featuring REAL orgasms and screams, beatings and brutalities, these examples of pornography are exactly what you hoped (and feared) they would be - undeniable bruises against the skin of good taste and morality. The only law is a whip, strangling hands, and a hard penis; the only salvation a surrender to pain and oblivion. These are the real thing, padre. Even if rough sex, forced entry, and horrific themes wrapped around sexual imagery aren't your pleasure, at the very least Alpha Blue and the respective filmmakers who put their kinks on celluloid for all the world to see deserve respect for showing the courage to honestly depict a dimension of sex and the human animal that enjoys the darker pleasures. Bravo!
Review by William P Simmons
|Released by Alpha Blue|
|Region all NTSC|
|Extras : see main review|