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Lisa De Leeuw,
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Two men enter a fast food place. The owner asks them about a mysterious matter. After some considerations, one of the two guys accepts to tell the story. Here starts a long flashback: the two men are in a terrace, next to a lake, and one is telling the other a story. A woman sits at a table nearby. Later the same woman is kidnapped. When the blindfold is removed, a woman welcomes her. After a relaxing massage, she is accompanied by 6 women, into a stage, in front of masked men, and women of all kinds. A speaker explains that the woman will be pleased, by all means. The 6 women first, and later some men make love to her, while the audience progressively move into a orgy. This is the end of the flashback. The owner of the fast food place asks what happened after that time, but the men refuse to tell... Written by
Andrea Pasqua <email@example.com>
Surreal pornography is occasionally dreary pornography
Artie and Jim Mitchell's Behind the Green Door, like most early films of the porno chic movement, has some interesting attributes. For one, it's believed to house the first interracial sex scene between a black male and a white female in American pornography, in addition to taking a known commercial model (Marilyn Chambers, who initially worked as the recognizable lady in the Ivory Soap commercials and on the product's packaging) and having her headline in a pornographic film. Finally, the story for this film came from an idea that was passed around through various carbon copies. On these bases alone, Behind the Green Door has a heavy nostalgia factor and just the name likely inspires subtle smirks from males of the baby boomer generation, who fondly remember sneaking out late at night to a seedy adult theater on Harlem Avenue to witness the kind of low-grade smut in motion that their magazines just couldn't cover.
Unlike its companions such as Debbie Does Dallas and Deep Throat, Behind the Green Door really can't hold up in the modern age. Its entire premise is a drudgery of unerotic imagery and long-winded events that don't involve any kind of characters. Something that made this time period in porn so special was the fact that screenwriters decided to include characters and story lines when they really didn't need to. They could've stuck to just showing a montage of sex scenes with little to no connective tissue, but were brave enough to try and give life to a genre that needed to be taken seriously.
Unfortunately, Behind the Green Door cops out at simply settling for a lengthy sex scene rather than anything along the lines of wit. We focus on Marilyn Chambers' Gloria, who is abducted by two men and forced into a live stage show where she'll be forced to allow her body to go into a state of complete tranquility in order to perform a barrage of sexual favors before a horny audience. This includes cunnilingus, interracial sex, and an orgy, all for the pleasure of a - mostly masturbating - wide audience.
Chambers embodies the idea of a sex object here, for she has not a single line of dialog, unless you consider the frequent moans of ecstasy a line worthy to pen on a screenplay. The Mitchell brothers settle for a mediocre array of camera angles that fail to capture any arousing shots, as well as making one long sex scene that loses power and gusto after about fifteen minutes.
What infrequent charm there is in Behind the Green Door comes from the absurdity of all the situations in this film. Before Gloria is brought on stage, several miming clowns perform their act before the eager audience in a way that can only be described as fascinatingly disturbing, especially in a pornographic film. On top of that, there is a very kinky fellatio by Chambers towards the end of the film and a series of slow-motion money-shots that, on their own, could serve as one of the most artful shots in any pornographic film I've ever seen.
With that, Behind the Green Door doesn't lack any conceivable charm, but given the fact that Chambers nor the male performers like Johnnie Keyes don't have any characters or any creative dialog to work off of makes this film a depressingly narrow exercise of redundant depravity without the vaguest element of wit. There's occasional art, sure, but it's like getting on a heavily hyped roller-coaster just to get a middling ride and comment on how you could see the next town over from the coaster's average-sized peak.
Starring: Marilyn Chambers and Johnnie Keyes. Directed by: Artie and Jim Mitchell.
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