Terrific porn suspense feature from the great John Leslie
John Leslie is my choice for the greatest actor/director in Adult Cinema history, and "Bad Habits" is evidence of his prowess. Style in both narrative and sex scenes, plus a real feel for grabbing and holding an audience are here in spades for this porn equivalent of a top-notch '40s/'50s mainstream B movie.
Deidre Holland is an excellent choice as leading lady, not the conventional Adult star at all, but rather a glamorous actress who suggests high-fashion model turned thespian (the Suzy Parker/Lauren Hutton school).
She's seeing therapist Randy Spears (an excellent, subtly malevolent turn that's perfect casting), but rejects his screwy "experimental" treatment, including a Regression hypnotherapy technique right out of those '50s classics about Bridey Murphy and other supernatural subjects. He turns to a patient he's successfully blackmailing, played by a young and handsome Mark Davis (almost unrecognizably young), threatening to spill the beans to the authorities (even though the info is privileged doctor/patient material) and get Davis sent back to prison unless he does as he's told.
Davis convincingly plays the grifter, bamboozling love-smitten (or is it lust-smitten?) Deidre out of lots of cash, car and other valuables until her lawyer (a brief guest shot by Jon Dough for exposition and one humping scene) sets Deidre straight. Resolution of the story is extremely satisfying as written by scripter Rodger Jacobs using a pseudonym "Martin Brimmer", and has twists and touches that put a smile on my face.
Adding considerably to the atmosphere and mood is an original jazz score by Leslie's right-hand man Bill Heid, with the musicians all listed in the credits, that fits different types of small combo jazz appropriately to individual scenes. Standout sequence comes in the first reel, when Deidre goes to a sex club and Leslie stages a tour-de-force abstract/silhouetted gang-bang/striptease in an alley-like hallway starring silent Dyanna Lauren, unbelievably sexy. It's a classic vignette contained within a wonderful film (shot on video).
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