February 11th, 2012

SKINAMAX-A-PALOOZA: MAINLINE RELEASING TRIPLE FEATURE

Mainline Releasing is a company that specializes in low budget Skinamax fare that play more like skin-filled soap operas and/or mystery movies than actual softcore porn. The quality of their output is erratic at best, but their output (erratic as it may be), is fairly prolific. Here’s a small sampling of their work:

VOYEUR’S WEB (2011) ** ½

The wonderfully named Cinnamon Baker (porn star Ruby Knox) is a horny writer who checks out a voyeur website ran by the sexy Olivia (porn star Kiara Diane). Cinnamon initially wants to do a story on Olivia, but she eventually begins to toy with the idea of becoming a webcam girl herself; much to the dismay of her hot-tempered boyfriend. When Olivia is murdered, he naturally becomes the prime suspect.

Voyeur’s Web is at its best when Cinnamon is exploring her sexuality. Once the murder mystery shit kicks in, the flick becomes kinda dull. In fact, calling it a “mystery” is giving it way too much credit since it’s pretty obvious who the killer is.

Usually these Mainline Releasing Skinamax movies are pretty lame, but Voyeur’s Web has enough dry humping and hip gyrating to please most late night cable horndogs. It’s light on plot, easy on the eyes, and it delivers on what it promises for the most part. There are eight sex scenes in all; seven Guy on Girl scenes and one Solo Girl. Since the flick clocks in at 86 minutes, that means we get a sex scene almost every 11 minutes. Despite the somewhat sparse rate, the sex scenes are pretty good overall; although they do have a tendency to run on a bit long (much like the movie itself).

SEXUAL QUEST (2011) **

Charmane Star and her fiancée create a sexual “bucket list” of dirty stuff they want to do before they settle down and get married. With a little help from some of their friends, the couple sets out to get their freak on. Once they finally let their fantasies play out, they’re content to live happily ever after.

Sexual Quest is notable for having an Asian female lead AND an Asian male lead, which is something you don’t normally see in a Skinamax flick. That’s about all it is notable for though. Even though the film has a pretty good gimmick, none of the sex scenes are really all that spicy. On top of that, the girls act like they’re really not all that into it (which is weird since they’re all porn actresses). The sex scenes also suffer from having some pretty unoriginal pairings as the majority of them are just Charmane and her fiancée getting it on. Seriously, when you’re watching a Skinamax movie, monogamy isn’t necessary the sort of thing you want to see. Other than that, it’s watchable.

Overall, we get nine Guy on Girl scenes and one Striptease Scene. That’s ten sex scenes in an 83 minute time frame, which means we get a sex scene about every 8 minutes. It’s nowhere near the ratio it should’ve been, but it’s a lot better than a lot of the Skinamax movies we’ve covered this month. Still, that doesn’t mean you should run out and see it or anything.

SEX, SECRETS, AND LIES 2 (2002) **

Scarlet Johansing stars as a private eye named Sam Sharp who’s kinda like a female Sam Spade. She gets hired by a porn producer to find his father’s young promiscuous girlfriend. Sam eventually uncovers a murder plot as well as some sex, secrets, and lies too.

I never saw the first Sex, Secrets, and Lies, but I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with this flick. If it’s anything like Part 2, I’m not sure I even want to check it out as it’s nothing but a bunch of way-too-short sex scenes interrupting a boring detective story. The film pretty much boils down to Johansing going around questioning people just before, or just after they’ve had sex.

Speaking of which, we get ten sex scenes in this one. There are six Guy on Girl scenes, one Girl on Girl scene, one Solo Girl scene, one Striptease, and one Two Girls on One Guy scene. With a running time of 70 minutes, that means we get a sex scene every seven minutes. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the sex scenes are all that great. In fact, many of them are so brief that they shouldn’t even count (and some are just extended shots of slow motion cuddling).

Thankfully, the cast of lovely ladies are hot. Johansing is particularly sexy, although she delivers her faux hard-boiled narration awkwardly. We also have illustrious porn stars T.J. Hart and Angelica Sin in small roles too. None of them have anything memorable to do that can make or break the film though.

AKA: Wicked Temptations.

HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN (1988) ***

Rowdy Roddy Piper once again shows why he’s the best actor to come out of professional wrestling in the cult classic Hell Comes to Frogtown. It’s no They Live, but hey what could be? Still, if I could only bring three Piper flicks with me on a desert island, this would be right up there with They Live and No Contest.

Piper plays Sam Hell, one of the last fertile men in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. The government finds out about his potency and scientist Sandahl Bergman fits him with a high tech chastity belt to protect his junk. When they receive word that some virgins have been captured by mutant frog-men in Frogtown, they hop into their pink car and set out to rescue (and impregnate) them.

I first saw this movie on USA’s Up All Night and it was a special experience. (I’m going to resist the temptation to reminisce about Up All Night because then I may never get this review back on track.) Ever since, I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for this movie. It’s flawed and never quite lives up to its title, but I love it warts (no pun intended) and all. Besides, I’m naturally inclined to like any movie in which a guy has to bang a bunch of hot chicks in order to insure the survival of the human race. Add in the fact that it stars Rowdy Roddy and it takes place after the apocalypse and I’m all over it.

The first half hour of this movie is flawless. It feels almost like a post-apocalyptic version of a 30’s screwball comedy or something. Piper and Bergman make a great team and their constant bickering is pretty hilarious. However, once the action switches over to Frogtown, the flick loses a bit of its comic momentum. It’s still fun and goofy; it’s just that it’s nowhere near as inspired and funny as the first half.

The supporting cast is terrific all around. In addition to Sandhal Bergman we have the one and only Cec Verrell as a sexy soldier. If her name is unfamiliar, all I have to say is that Cec played the title character in Cirio H. Santiago’s Silk. Remember her now? Thought so. Wowsers is she ever hot. We also get William Smith as the villain, essaying villainy as only William Smith can. Motel Hell’s Rory Calhoun also shows up as Piper’s buddy.

And what can you say about Rowdy Roddy Piper? He’s simply the man in this movie. I had the opportunity to meet him at a convention and he was gracious and kind and seemed genuinely touched by my appreciation of his talents. They don’t come any classier than that.

Special Note: Image put this out on DVD as a double feature with Defcon-4, but I’d say it would make a better double feature with Ice Pirates (or maybe A Boy and His Dog) instead.

Bergman and Smith also appeared in Conan the Barbarian.

AKA: The Hunter. AKA: Transmutations.

DEFCON-4 (1985) **

Three workers inside of a NORAD satellite watch in horror as the world plunges into nuclear war below them. After the dust settles, they decide to go back down to Earth and check things out. They barely manage to survive the crash landing before the dickhead of the group gets torn apart by cannibals. When the wimpy guy ventures out into the wasteland, he promptly gets captured by crazy old Maury Chaykin in his badass armored bulldozer. Before long, they get recaptured by some survivalist nutjobs led by… are you ready for this… a prep school reject with severe popularity issues.

Man, I’ve seen movies shit the bed before, but Defcon-4 shits the bed faster and harder than just about any movie I’ve ever seen. It’s actually a bit depressing when you think about it. The opening is surprisingly strong and includes some rather decent spaceship special effects. These early scenes even manage to be dramatically sound too. When the wimpy dude flips out after he discovers his baby is dead and his wife is slowly dying of radiation poisoning, it’s actually… dare I say, moving.

Once the crew goes back down to Earth though, the movie takes a nosedive in quality in just about every way imaginable. The big reason for this is that the villain is so fucking lame that it’s almost unbearable. Dear Lord, there aren’t words in the dictionary to describe how weak this jackass is. Imagine any random extra from City Limits and promote him to lead villain and that should give you some idea the level of patheticness we’re talking about.

Defcon-4 perks up a bit near the end once Chaykin’s bulldozer starts wrecking shit. By that time, there was no earthly way for the movie to make a comeback. I’m not saying this flick is completely worthless (again, the first half hour is well done), but in the event of all-out nuclear war, this is definitely one movie not worth having in the fallout shelter.

AKA: Ground Zero. AKA: Defense Condition 4.

WINNIE THE POOH (2011) **

My daughter recently discovered the joys of Winnie the Pooh thanks to the VHS tape “A Day for Eeyore” I picked up at the Thrift Store. Since she loved the “WEEN DA POO!” short, I figured she’d be ready for this new flick. After about twenty minutes though, she completely lost interest and starting playing with her building blocks. I can’t say I blame her though because that’s about where I lost my patience with it.

The plot has to do with Winnie and the Hundred Acre Wood gang trying to find Eeyore’s lost tail. Along the way, they mistakenly think their friend Christopher Robin has been kidnapped by a monster so they go looking for him. They wind up getting trapped in a big hole and eventually Christopher Robin shows up to bail them out of trouble.

Winnie the Pooh isn’t necessarily bad; it’s just bland and curiously joyless. It lumbers from one misadventure to the other without any real momentum. The flick also feels pretty disjointed too, which makes sense since it took EIGHT writers to come up with such fluff. Luckily, the film only runs 63 minutes (53 if you don’t bother with the credits), although it feels a long longer than that.

To be fair, there’s some OK stuff here. I liked the scene where Pooh tells Piglet to “knot the rope” and Piglet responds, “NOT that rope?” It’s a scene Abbott and Costello could’ve appreciated. And I dug the storybook sequences where Pooh would veer off the page and stumble into the printed words. And no matter how much I try to nitpick this thing; I have to say that any movie that’s narrated by John Cleese can’t be all bad.