GRINDHOUSE DIRECTOR SERIES: EDUARDO CEMANO

GRINDHOUSE DIRECTOR SERIES: EDUARDO CEMANO

A lovingly packaged 3-disc assault celebrating one of the key figures in early 1970s American porn.

On disc 1 we get Cemano's first venture into filth, MILLIE'S HOMECOMING.

Following a lengthy introduction from a very earnest psychiatrist (Cemano) explaining - by way of extremely long-winded dialogue - that the film has been made to help people understand the troublesome subject of incest ("Shocked? I thought so"), we move into scribbled credits intercut with hardcore images - promises of what's to cum.

Then the film starts proper with the lovely Tina Russell in maid outfit, spread-eagled on a settee. She's on the phone to a friend bitching about her bosses, Lord and Lady Zazu. The conversation ends when lady Zazu (Dolly Sharp) returns home in a flap, wanting to get things ready for her absent daughter Millie's imminent return. The maid calms her down with cunnilingus and a vibrator.

No sooner has that tryst reached it's pinnacle, the pair realise the dishwasher has broken and Lady Zazu is in a panic again. The maid rings a plumber and within seconds two have arrived. Naturally, they see to both women accordingly. I think they may even fix the dishwasher at some point too.

Meanwhile we get to meet Millie (Angel Spirit), frolicking through the woods in her hippy-chick orange polka-dot dress. She fiddles with herself and dances about while her narration tells of how she's become a woman while being away from home. "I'm in love with the trees", she purrs, "I want to fuck the world. This bit goes on for yonks.

When Millie finally dances her way home, she discovers one of the plumbers having a cigarette on her bed. Of course, he begins to give her a welcome rogering. But in the meantime, Lord Zazu (Fred Lincoln) turns up, and mistakes Millie's naked rear for his wife's

Cheap and cheery, you can almost smell the sweat and nicotine in this warts-and-all mini-soap opera that successfully melds minor comedy with a semblance of loose plot and frequent graphic sex.

Performances are likeable throughout, with the women being given the most screen time by far. It's clear to see that Cemano is more interested in them, both as characters and when it comes to observing their pleasure during the various sex acts. And these girls do enjoy themselves.

Some interesting angles, classical music and hand-held camerawork help add to the quirky atmosphere. It's an odd film but it's certainly more accomplished than most one-day-wonders. The dubious talking point is Lincoln spurting an 8-inch string of splurge onto Millie's back then, incredibly, laughing when he realises who he's just soiled. Insanely wrong!

Disc 2 presents Cemano's THE WEIRDOS AND THE ODDBALLS.

This time Lincoln and Sharp play Sasha and Zora, a couple who advertise as sex therapists in the Village Voice.

After another stern introduction (this time the psychiatrist sits on a car bonnet in a New York street, and tells us that the following film is to "warn others against seeking out unauthorised aid") we meet the pair masturbating together in bed. They're so excited because two couples have responded to their ad.

Then it's time for them to get dressed, just in time for the first couple to come knocking at their door. Enter the voluptuous Florence (Jutta David), who needs help for her boyfriend David (Harry Reems) - he "cums too fast". No worries, Zora starts the therapy by going down first on Zora and then David (he unloads in her mouth). Then it's off to the bedroom where Zora and Sasha get excited watching their patients shag.

Following which a second knock at the door introduces another young couple looking for help. After some noisy bickering, the inevitable orgy wraps things up sweatily.

This one has the same bohemian vibe as HOMECOMING. It's all up-close camera zooms, smelly-looking cast members, and people pulling ridiculous faces - the whole event seems to have been pulled off just for kicks.

Lincoln is more animated here, while Sharp shows off her versatility with a croaky voice and grey hair in an effort to make her appear more mature. It still doesn't disguise the fact that she's far sexier in these two films than she was as Linda Lovelace's best mate in DEEP THROAT.

Both films benefit from candid camera-style voyeurism that at times achieves levels of minor delirium. The acting equals this, ranging from the comical to the manic. While never contrived, there's no mistaking that all of this is very stylised. Cemano had a distinctive vision, pushing for something more than run-of-the-mill.

The sex scenes are not too well shot in terms of explicit detail, but they do evoke humour and warmth - two things you won't find in your typical Vivid production. This is human sex - all the sucking and fucking is enjoyed by real people (not plastic), totally into each other (not themselves), while Cemano's camera simply observes the intricacies with clumsy verve.

Disc 3 presents a bonus feature, 1970's BOB CAROL TED ALICE PETE JOYCE! A video introduction to this from a white-haired Cemano explains how, although he didn't direct this film, it was the film that inspired him to try his hand at porn. Basically, he saw it and thought he could do better.

It's a plotless scenario in which a group of men and women sit around on a couch drinking and smoking pot. One blonde strips and this instigates each couple slinking off to separate rooms for sex. It's short at 39 minutes in length. Cemano's right: he could - and did - do better.

Each disc has animated main menus. There are no scene selection pages but each film has remote access: HOMECOMING has 16 chapters; WEIRDOS has 14; BOB has 11.

Each film is presented in scratchy but relatively clean and colourful 1.78:1 anamorphic transfers, with clear English mono audio throughout.

Extras on disc 1 include a 9-minute interview with purple-haired Angel Spirit, gushing about Cemano - who she once had an affair with. She's aged well.

There's also an interview with bloated Cemano discussing HOMECOMING in detail over the course of 15 minutes. He hasn't aged so well, but is blessed with a good memory and keen vocal chords.

Next are 3 bonus loops: "Angel Spirit" (Spirit gets it on with Reems and Jamie Gillis for 7 minute. Gillis seems preoccupied with Spirit's backside while only Reems cums), "Nurse Tina" (Russell gets it doggie-style from Marc Stevens) and "Girls Nite In" (Russell with Vanessa Del Rio). No shortage of porn royalty on this DVD!

Disc 2 offers a further 13-minute interview with Cemano, plus a nice 14-minute chat with the affable Lincoln. Having grown his hair long, he looks healthier here than he did in those LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT featurettes several years ago. He still needs to visit a dentist though.

We also get 3 more loops ("Sex Porno" - which I think was also on the FORCED ENTRY disc; "Hello Dolly" which reunites Reems with Sharp; "Porno Star", teaming Reems and Russell with an unidentified redhead. Check out Reems' handlebar moustache in the latter!).

Disc 2 rounds off with trailers for BUSTY SUPERSTARS OF THE 1970S, PLAYGIRLS OF MUNICH, SEX SLAVES OF THE SS, WEIRDOS AND ODDBALLS COLLECTION and WEST GERMANY GRINDHOUSE COLLECTION.

Disc 3's extras include an excellent 21-minute segment of the "Midnight Blue" show from 1985, used with permission from Blue Underground. Many softcore clips are interspersed in-between an insightful interview with Cemano conducted by an old bloke puffing on a ciggie. Top stuff.

Then we get two more loops. "Ballin' Fun" is 9 minutes of Reems and Laura Cannon doing what they do best. "Bitch in Heat" is Reems again, this time as a pipe worker who gets lucky with a young-looking unknown.

A nice 12-page booklet with notes from Michael J Bowen completes this generous set.

A must for fans of Eduardo Cemano and one of After Hours Cinema's best releases yet.

Review by Stuart Willis


 
Released by After Hours Cinema
Region 1 - NTSC
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review
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