Sunday, December 16, 2018

Lilith Likes to Watch - The Passions of Carol


Title: The Passions of Carol
Year: 1975
Starring: Mary Stuart, Kim Pope, Jamie Gillis
Director: Shaun Costello
Synopsis: X-rated adaptation of A Christmas Carol
Why it is Notable: The very first hard core XXX adult film to open in a straight theater.

"I know your purpose is to do me good."

T'is the season, and it's harder than you'd think to find Christmas themed porno. So, since we're not spoiled for choice I decided to go with The Passions of Carol, a porno adaptation of  A Christmas Carol.

At first I thought this film understood me. It opened with Carol of the Bells, which is, without question, my favourite Christmas song. It came with a good concept: Carol Scrooge is the owner of a lady's porno magazine and she's too, well, bitchy, for Christmas. Or something. It's not immediately obvious and the conceit of this movie is rather unclear.

A man auditions to be in Carol's magazine and Carol and her secretary fuck him for 15 minutes in a terrible scene that's lit so poorly that the shadows cast on everyone's genitals look like censor bars. It's scored by the theme to the Exorcist, one blowjob is filmed with this awkward from-below angle so the scene actually looks like it's upside down, then it smash-cuts to another scene entirely.

Then it comes back to the audition/threesome. The music goes from Exorcist to something with child-like whimsy, then back to Exorcist.

The worst part? 15 minutes into this 75 minute movie and not one spirit!

The acting in the first part of the film is terrible, but things pick up once the spirits finally start arriving.

Lance Marley pays Carol a visit and warns her that three spirits will come to visit her. Then they fuck while an instrumental rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town plays.

The Ghost of Christmas Past comes and the poor man seemed to have thought he was in an actual version of A Christmas Carol. He brought all his gravitas and acting chops to the role. Luckily he elevated the scene.

In the past, Carol witnesses a moment where she manipulated two of her young friends to get naked and touch each other. Bizarrely, this is where Mary Stuart's own acting gets better. Apparently she was born to play a petulant, black mailing adolescent.

The three "kids" fuck, with the aid of a doll's arm, then Carol learns that her two friends grew up, fell in love and are now happily married. All thanks to her?

The Ghost of Christmas Present, fabulous drag performer, takes Carol to the "Hatchet" home where she watches her employee Bob Hatchet and his wife fuck. Mrs. Hatchet has really nice thighs. Carol learns that they're happy despite having little time and money. I think?

As an aside, their child is Tiny Kim and we never see her on screen but I like that idea and think it's cute. In the past, three "kids" who were obviously meant to be under 10 years old fucked. If you're gonna go there, movie, go there! You've already crossed that line. Have Tiny Kim receive a nice finger bang or muff dive or something to make her feel good. Maybe since her legs are lame, she can give Bob Hatchet a foot-job as 'exercise'.

Wasted opportunity.

Finally, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come appears and I'm sad to say that Carol does not fuck him. Yet to Come is my favorite spirit. It's my aesthetic. He at least deserved a blowjob. But no, he gets nothing. In fact, the only spirit she fucks is Marley, who has to beg for it.

So many wasted opportunities.

Despite that, Yet to Come takes Carol to the future where she's an anorexic, wig-wearing, 20 bucks a fuck hooker in garish makeup and armed with too-big condoms.

During this scene there's no music. All you hear is the loudest, sloppiest, rudest slurping sounds and I wonder if that was done on purpose to heighten the discomfort and possible disgust for the scene.

Anyway, Carol wakes up and decides that from now on she'll be nice to everybody and I don't understand! What did Carol learn? She didn't start out the movie a prude or anything. This movie basically starts with a casting couch threesome which Carol took part in! I don't understand how working hard and shrewdly now makes her a hooker in the future. What does this have to do with Christmas? What? Why? How?!

There is some mildly interesting stuff here, and plenty of potential. If anything, this movie would be a good candidate for a remake.

LILITH'S SCORE: 2/5

NEXT TIME: We watch people on display in Cafe Flesh.



Sunday, December 9, 2018

Lilith Likes to Watch - The Autobiography of a Flea

Title: The Autobiography of a Flea
Year: 1976
Starring: Jean Jennings, John Holmes, Paul Thomas, Annette Haven, Joanna Hilden, Kinta (As Belle's dog)
Director: Sharon McNight
Synopsis: In 1810, a flea narrates the story of its host, an innocent girl abused and corrupted by an evil lusty priest in league with her vile old uncle and several other wicked men. - Via IMDB
Why it is Notable: It's the first erotic film directed by a woman.

"Spunk!"

Welcome to the first ever Lilith Likes to Watch Deep Dive! Where in we not only watch the porno, but also consume material adjacent to it, be they novels, biographies, interviews or other reviews. This week we review The Autobiography of a Flea.

I discovered this film because, basically I just read over Jean Jennings' IMDB page and saw the title. It was an unusual title so I investigated further. Not only did it have a strange title but it was based on a novel that's over 100 years old and it was the first porno to be directed by a woman. Clearly it deserved more attention than a typical Lilith Likes to Watch review..

So, I watched the movie, then I read the book.

For the age it is, the movie is fairly pretty, with attention to costuming and sets and locations. There is some inventive shot composition and in one or two scenes, some good use of lighting. But, the film itself is so battered it's hard to appreciate. This would do well with a remastering, if only to give some respect to the costumes. I wonder if that's due to the fact that this film was made through a woman's eye.

The acting is fine, though the narration by the flea is very distracting. His voice doesn't suit a flea at all. Not that I was expecting something squeaky and tiny but something a little less, I don't know, mature, maybe?

Jean Jennings is pretty good as Belle, the curious object of lust for so many boys and men. She has a physicality that plays on youthfulness. When she's drinking whine she's all giggles and sway, and as she becomes more familiar in the ways of sex, she has subtle ways to get her seductions across. There's a fun instance where, while trying to seduce her best friend's father, she runs her fingers along the length of her closed ivory fan, a subtle gesture that was much appreciated.

Then again, often during the actual sex she becomes a bobble-head that gulps her mouth like a fish.

The sex was good. It was actual penetrative sex for the most part, with some small instances of cunnilingus and fingering. No one was afraid of, or turned away by a pussy. I had wished for some lesbian scenes but was left denied. They weren't in the book, either.

The book by the way, was garbage. It was a mashed up repetitive word salad that I had to force myself to finish. Everyone fucks Bella (Belle in the movie, Bella in the book,) and it's an ongoing cycle of "Oh what's that? Oh it's a dick! Oh it's huge! Oh it hurts! Oh it feels good! Oh what is that warmth in me? Oh it's spunk! Oh such spunk!" Over and over and over.

Each new man Bella encounters, his dick is bigger, there's more "spunk", yes really, spunk, and she's filled to overflowing but never has to bathe. She's stretched out to accommodate every man that enters her but each and every time she complains about how much pain she is in, until it dissolves into pleasure.

He comes in a torrent, she comes like she's pissing everywhere, the word "emissions" is used, then they drink wine.

About the time I reached chapter 7 I attempted to reignite my interest in the story by looking at it as a tale about a girl who is groomed by predators, enjoyed, discarded, and used to lure other girls into the clutches of the priests who violated her, but Bella was just too evil a co-conspirator for that reading to work.

Then, in the last chapter, the author uses the word "Clitoris" 6 times. It was as if after chapter 11, the author learned the word and, like an excited child, used it as much as he could.

That's my first theory about this book. My second theory is that the author, Edward Avery, was in a very boring, very god-fearing marriage where he and his wife only fuck missionary and she never had an orgasm, therefore he did not know that typically, girls don't piss when they climax.

Finally, the book gave me the most disgusting sentence I've read in a long time. I'm going to share it with you now.
"Pain at the distension had now given way to pleasure, and young and elastic flesh opened to receive the column of gristle"
- The Autobiography of a Flea, Chapter IX
That is not sexy. That is the least sexy thing I've ever read. I almost gave up at that point but I had obligations to you, the reader of this blog.

The fact that Sharon McNight was able to take this dull, redundant, crude garbage mostly verbatim and make something relativity pretty out of it is an accomplishment in and of itself.


LILITH'S SCORE: 3/5 - It's fine. Book score: 1/5. It was a terrible book.

NEXT TIME: T'is the season! Our next film is the Christmas themed The Passions of Carol.



Sunday, December 2, 2018

Lilith Likes to Watch - SexWorld

Title: SexWorld
Year: 1978
Starring:  Lesllie Bovee, Kent Hall, Kay Parker, Desiree West, Annette Haven, John Leslie.
Director: Anthony Spinelli
Synopsis: A bus tour takes its passengers to a place called SexWorld where they can live out their most secret desires during a weekend. - Via IMDB
Why it is Notable: Porn debut of Kay Parker. Has a theme song which helped it win Best Musical Score at the '79 AFAA.

"SexWorld! Do what you will. SexWorld! Come have your fill..."

Ah, fantasies. We all have them, whether or not we indulge them. SexWorld is an interesting experience because while watching it, you can't help but ask yourself, "What would my SexWorld be?" Such a rare thing, a porno that makes the viewer think.

SexWorld is an obvious riff on the original 1973 film Westworld. Several vacationers, with their own reasons, hop aboard a bus to the titular SexWorld, where every fantasy is catered to. Hidden away from the guests is a control room where a cadre of scientists assess, organize, and make those fantasies a reality. From consensual non-consent, to threesomes, to re-enacting scenes from more famous films, SexWorld aims to scratch any itch.

All of the scenes are set nicely, or made purposefully tacky and audacious. The SexWorld employees and guests pay lip-service to the more taboo fantasies people hold, like incest, while not exactly exploring them on screen.

We follow several guests through their SexWorld experience. A couple with intimacy issues, a painter who's married but pines for the woman in her paintings, a racist who secretly wants to get with a black woman, a woman who wants it rough, and a few others.

It's a surprisingly frank movie, with no-frills depictions of phone sex and mutual masturbation, and it pokes at power dynamics between a racist and a seductive black woman who manages to take his poorly chosen words in stride while seducing him, while somehow not debasing herself. Even in scenes I didn't care for, or the personal psychodramas that were playing out onscreen, the sex scenes were quite exceptional and honest. There were some particularly enjoyable lesbian scenes and a fun, hot threesome.

Though it's a land of fantasy, SexWorld does have its rules. Guests are not supposed to talk about their fantasy sessions with their spouses or significant others, and guests are to go to their sessions alone.

Two of the guests are a couple who have fallen out of passion for each other. Her fantasy is to be raped. She's taken to a room and is smacked around and forcefully fucked by a man. However, her husband goes looking for her and sees her through a two-way mirror and watches her session, completely breaking the rules. Even the employees of SexWorld point out that he's not supposed to be there.

Here's the thing: I like me some good voyeurism. I do like to watch, after all. That's more than just a title for a blog. But the wife was sure her husband wasn't there and that he would never know what she wanted. She felt safe and secure exploring her fetishes. He wasn't supposed to be there and he wasn't supposed to see that. I don't care if it's "what he needed". She didn't consent to sharing this with him. It was a breach of boundaries and a literal breaking of the rules. It set a bad taste in my mouth and I didn't like it.

Speaking of liking to watch, before Lilith Likes to Watch was even a concept, I did watch porno, and I did like it. Most of it.

One I absolutely did not like was Behind the Green Door which is widely considered a classic porno. I hated it. It was too up it's own ass, too repetitive, and just boring. So when one of the guests of SexWorld, Lisa, wanted to re-enacted a scene from Behind the Green Door I groaned and looked at the screen askance. First the spying husband, now this?

To my surprise, the scene was really well done. A man walks in, dressed like the African Stud from Green Door (turns out it's the actual actor, Johnnie Keyes reprising the role), and they fuck. It doesn't overstay its welcome, it doesn't resort to cheesy psychedelia, nothing. And Lisa has some impressive skills and grace with her tongue. It was a better version of Behind the Green Door than Behind the Green Door!

In the end, it's time for everyone to go home, having learned something about themselves or received something they deeply desired or required. Once the guests board the bus to return to reality, everyone in the control booth freezes except for one scientist. Was this her own personal fantasy? To rule over SexWorld as a God? Or was it just another day on the job?

In closing, I'd like to ask again: What would your personal SexWorld be? Would yours even be possible? Mine would probably involve certain creatures of myth and maybe also gas masks. And plague doctor masks. Plague doctor masks everywhere. And fancy hats.

Because that's my aesthetic.


LILITH'S SCORE: 3.5/5 - A bit better than fine.

NEXT TIME: We jump over to The Autobiography of a Flea.