Pornography meets Pygmalion. Misty, the hooker, meets the sexologist who thinks he can transform her from "the nadir of passion" into someone who inspires passion. While Misty is trained ... See full summary »
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This is without doubt the scariest porn thriller ever made, even more so because of its moral and psychological implications which only rise to the surface upon successive viewings. No one associated with this film, apart from the small but uniformly excellent star cast, appears to have any additional credits to his name, re-enforcing the credence that it was concocted by mainstream Hollywood talent "slumming it" in the adult industry. Plot and production are way too well-wrought - with special kudos for photography and editing, along with a subtle, disquieting score by "The Avengers" - to be the work of inexperienced first-timers. All these elements that traditionally contribute to the effectiveness of film-making are superbly employed to twist the screws of tension to the brink of tolerability.
Story kicks off innocuously enough with the troubled marriage of housewife Anna Carson (cult goddess Constance Money) who no longer receives satisfaction from the lovemaking supplied by hard-working husband David, sympathetically portrayed by a startlingly handsome John Leslie. He claims it's not his fault and his performance with secretary Susan McBain (star of Chuck Vincent's underrated VISIONS) seems to support this assertion. Waiting for the train ride home, Anna meets and befriends photographer Maggie Bronson (the spellbinding Annette Haven) who gives her the attention she craves. Following a number of not so coincidental encounters, the women become lovers with Anna pleading for Maggie's assistance in wooing back her husband. Meanwhile, there is a murderous rapist piling on the victims in the proximity, as frequently ignored radio bulletins keep informing us. How this unsavory narrative device ties in with the plot I will leave up to potential audiences to learn for themselves. It is just one more element that separates this strange, shocking yet undeniably erotic film from most of the porn produced at the time, or indeed since.
Each of the film's relationships has at least one participant pretending to be something he or she is blatantly not, leaving the viewer to cut through all the smoke 'n' mirrors to get to the truth. Hints are dropped and clues are given yet some of them prove red herrings. Sex emanates naturally enough from the story but just when you think you know where it's all going, the makers pull out the rug from under you. Money and Leslie have terrific chemistry, as also evidenced by their work in Bernard Morris' comparably odd MARY ! MARY !, and this is the only movie to pair the actress who portrayed Radley Metzger's unforgettable MISTY BEETHOVEN with the awesome Annette Haven, perhaps the single greatest porno star of all time. Their shared footage actually elicited applause from some noted staunch feminists at a much-publicized screening at the Institute of Advanced Human Sexual Research. Some sources - including the late Bob Rimmer - still seem to doubt the presence of Jamie Gillis in this movie. Well, he's the guy with Susan in her stupendously shot fantasy sequence. A brief but extremely realistic and therefore hard to stomach rape sequence has apparently been edited out of currently available versions, rendering much of the subsequent plot twists ludicrous if not incomprehensible.
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