With so much in the way of adult cinema available today most people are not going back and watching the films from the 70’s and 80’s. Everyone is simply looking for the clip of what excites them and then moving on. It's all about an act or a body type. It’s sad in away because there are a couple generations of people who don’t realize that for a brief moment the world of adult cinema was literally changing movies. That’s not hyperbole but the truth. For a brief instant, before home video changed how people consumed porn, the films that were playing in theaters were actually changing what was being made elsewhere and by some accounts had Hollywood trying to figure out how to get a piece of the lucrative market. Of course, outside Caligula or the fleeting art film the two worlds never ended up meshing. But the possibility was there.
The reason that there was a possibility was that films like THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES and DEEP THROAT were dealing with adult matters in an adult manner. It wasn’t just the sex it was that the films were doing things that we weren’t seeing in Hollywood movies. Chief among them was the notion that women that could enjoy sex. Hollywood never dealt with fulfillment with anyone, especially women so to see it in say DEEP THROAT which had it in an unconventional way, people responded. They also responded to DEVIL IN MISS JONES which had Miss Jones going to hell after committing suicide, experiencing all the pleasures she never did in life and the finding out that her hell was no going to be never to experience the joy again no matter how hard she tried. That’s heady stuff…and unexpected In any sort of film.
It also helped that filmmakers like Gerard Damiano, Henry Paris, The Dark Brothers, Bill Osco and Stephen Sayadian, were genuine filmmakers. They had artistic aspirations and wanted to make as good a film as possible. They made interesting plots and not just a collection of scenes.
People responded and the films made millions- much of it never reported.
Of course VCRs came and while many of the films were earlier sellers people stopped caring about plot and simply scanned to the sex. The movies stopped being films and were just vignettes. Sure the films looked better but it was just glorified moments.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t good films being made today, there really are (PIRATES anyone?), but it’s still a matter of the releases being scenes and clips.
Which brings me back to THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES which has just been lovingly restored and which is going around the festival circuit with the director’s children in attendance. They are bringing the spotlight back to a film that was in it’s day a game changer.
To be honest the film isn’t bad. Yes the film is still about the action but at the same time it has things going on that are unexpected. Yes it’s dated in some ways but the film still packs a punch. You don’t expect films like this to end on a down beat note. (Ending badly or dealing with rough subjects was not something alien to films from the period.)
Should you see it? Absolutely. There is a reason the film capture the imagination that it is still referenced today despite being shunted to a back alley. You’ll get the chance because after the film plays the festival circuit it looks to be having a release in 2024 with the other game changer DEEP THROAT which was so well known that even as a kid I knew about it (even if I didn’t know what it meant)
The film will screen as part of their “LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS MOVIE” series. The Damiano’s will present the film live, then be joined by special guests for a discussion to be moderated by Mr. Hammill. The Secret Movie Club is located at 1917 Bay St, 2 Floor Los Angeles, CA 90021 For Tickets, visit: https://devilinmissjonessmc.eventbrite.com
The film will then travel to Germany for its European premiere at Porn Film Festival Berlin October 20th – 29th, 2023. “The Devil in Miss Jones” then returns to New York City for its East Coast premiere which will be held on Halloween night at The Cutting Room 44 E 32nd St. New York, NY 10016. It is slated to embark on a World Tour in the Spring of 2024. A possible double bill with "Deep Throat” (as it had shown in some US theaters continuously for years), is also in the works for 2024.