Friday, October 18, 2013

of flesh and blood

This is a reprint of a piece from IMDB-or was it Live Journal?- for a film I'm betting that almost none of you has seen. Its a small low (no) budget film that I got from  the now closed Shocking Video. There is no picture because I couldn't track one down. I'm putting it out there because this one is truly Unseen.

This has to be one of the first films that looked at the life and times of porn star John Holmes. Here he's named John Wade, a twist of Holmes John Wadd character. This film takes us from the moment John decides to do porn on through his slide into drugs, crime and HIV. Its supposedly the inspiration for Boogie Nights and covers (more clearly) the murderous events depicted in Wonderland.

Made on the cheap, its two or three steps above a home movie, though this is actually an okay look at Holmes and his world. In its way the cheapness adds to the sleaziness of it all and at times makes you feel like you're watching real people behaving like idiots. I'm not sure if its suppose to be wholly serious or not because I'm not sure if some of the humor is intentional or unintentional. Part of the problem is that the film is populated by non-actors, some of which really really can't act, so scenes sometimes have odd "bends" to them. It makes the film a scary cautionary tale about how dumb some people can be and how drugs can make people dumber. In an odd way it gives the film a reality the big budget Hollywood versions didn't have. Making things weirder, especially if you know the Holmes story, is the fact that no one looks like their real life counterparts -the Holmes character is played by a thin lanky balding high school janitor. Over all its not bad, but it could have been better with a budget of any sort.

(Oh, did I mention there is no nudity and only fleeting sex?)

This is an odd film. If you're curious about truly independent films and don't mind seeing another take on the life of John Holmes give it a shot. Though be ready for a really cheap viewing experience.

(I read somewhere that the director was so fed up with the problems of making this and then trying to get it seen he gave up and went off to repair air conditioners. I have no idea if its true but its an interesting side note to this story)

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