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My nominee for Carlos Tobalina's worst film (a highly competitive race to be sure) is MAI LIN VS. SERENA, which I suffered through inside a Times Square adult theater back in the '80s and felt was the worst movie I'd seen up until that time. But for sheer laziness and sloppiness, FANTASTIC ORGY has to qualify for consideration in CT's race to the bottom.
It is essentially an hour-plus of recycled footage, not highlights but random junk from CT's vaults. It is structured (if I can abuse that word) as a tribute to Carlos's affirmative action recipient Iris Medina, an unattractive and untalented performer we see as extra (sitting around at orgies) or active XXX participant (get the hook!).
There is a modicum of new footage, as hostess "Martha Sharp" introduces us to Iris, and manages to call her Irene a few seconds later -no retakes, flub left in finished 35mm film. Medina speaks haltingly a few words in heavily accented English, then takes over as voice- over narrator spoken by someone else without a trace of accent, but forced to recite endless gibberish undoubtedly penned by Tobalina.
The narrator's comments about "herself" ring about as true as what the old men's magazines of the '50s and '60s used to call "semi-fiction": the blurbs about models (their bio, likes & dislikes) appearing in photo spreads, or perhaps the soap opera arcs of Vince McMahon's WWF became WWE rassling organization.
But the fake loquacious voice-over Iris likes to praise others, naturally her producer Tobalina (the only guy who ever hired her for a movie), and her favorite stars Annette Haven, John Holmes and Sharon Thorpe. She rambles on about Haven over and over but only later in the compilation do we get to actually see a very young Annette in a cutting-room-floor worthy three-way segment.
Man of her dreams Holmes shows up to end the film in what may or may not be newly shot footage - routinely humping Iris and "THE END" mercifully superimposed on screen arbitrarily after he unloads his wadd on her belly. The main discussion of Thorpe accompanies a scene focusing on a different actress altogether.
The endless clips are mainly orgies, for which the narrator reveals Tobalina's philosophy and in my mind his undoing, as she asserts "Orgies are always a turn-on for audiences". CT is fond of making claims with no research backing them up, and movie orgy sequences, especially his, are generally show-stoppers in the worst sense of that term: they cause the film to grind to a halt and are never as stimulating as a torrid pairing or three-way.
Her narration is often beyond stupid, as in lines like: "They love to perpetrate their love and passion", referring to (another idiotic claim) adult film talent appearing on screen in an altruistic sense of wanting to please people, not for the money. This, like the usual tell-tale defensiveness of "porn actors are not prostitutes" (she even claims they are as good a set of actors as mainstream thespians) is tiresome b.s. propaganda similar to the still-in-circulation on video intros that cloak pornography under the "free-speech activists" umbrella. I'm waiting to hear what future president Rand Paul has to say on the subject, given his extreme libertarian views on most everything else.
Among the random XXX scenes, culled from films like HER LAST FLING and THE ULTIMATE PLEASURE, is even a black-and-white 3-way loop featuring Joey Silvera and Leslie Bovee. One lengthy orgy sequence is defective, but Tobalina includes it anyway, having the narrator apologize a couple of times for the "flare and glare", even giving the blame to Iris who supposedly worked as camera operator (we see dumb shots of her standing behind a huge (Mitchell?) stationary camera with Fernando Fortes as focus puller), and when she is actually on screen victimized by said f&g, carefully explaining that Tobalina on camera is not to fault because he had inherited the faulty camera settings from her. Hey CT, why not scour your vaults and replace the faulty footage with something else buddy?
Which of course raises the question of our dear video distributors, in the last throes of reissuing vintage porn on DVD (let's ignore streaming for the moment) to a gullible but rapidly dwindling modern audience (myself especially included, since I am a prime customer). What are the criteria for rejecting some crappy old film (or defective one whose decent elements have been lost and only an inadequate print or VHS copy remains)?.
Vinegar Syndrome which is inflicting the Tobalina oeuvre on both shills (see many of the IMDb reviews, excluding mine) and curiosity seekers is only the latest purveyor to pretty much ignore content quality, although they have been relatively scrupulous in terms of utilizing decent materials for video transfer - I'm talking here about issuing well-preserved versions of worthless junk. Like older outfits such as Something Weird, Gourmet Video Corp. and Alternative CInema, the bar is usually set so low even a gnat could not limbo dance beneath it.
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