A young Indian girl falls in love with a local white cowboy. The racist element in town doesn't approve of that, so they kidnap the girl and gang-rape her. The girl's brother hears about it... See full summary »
By the early '80s, both the mondo and sex hygiene film had largely ridden off into the sunset, with 1978's FACES OF DEATH beginning the transformation of the classic mondo movie into the videostore puke-a-thon it would eventually become, and the marriage manual picture having already gone out of style almost a decade earlier. Leave it to the Golden Era's preeminent erotic auteur to bring back a little bit of both in 1982's CONSENTING ADULTS, a fun and lighthearted look at sexual oddities among the '80s porno elite.
ADULTS opens with a good 10 minutes of footage shot at the 1981 Miss (and Mr.) Nude America contest in LaFayette, Indiana. Profiled five years earlier in the captivating (and unfortunately rarely seen) R-rated doc MISS NUDE America, it's fascinating to view how far things have degenerated in just a few years, with the proceedings feeling more like a tawdry sex bazaar than the moderately wholesome offshoot of '60s sunbathing culture depicted in the earlier film. That said, it's hard not to appreciate the allure of well- formed bodies in the sun, and the treat is further sweetened by footage of the ever-charming Annie Sprinkle kibitzing (in the nude) with fans and admirers.
Following this surprisingly lengthy sex-free introduction, the film moves to hosts Sprinkle and Veronica Anton, who welcome the viewer in direct address and promise myriad unique erotic displays to come. The film then progresses through a grab bag of sequences, each showcasing something more or less unusual. The first scene, featuring a late-career performance from a gaunt- looking (and blond!) Marc Stevens, finds Mr. 10 1/2 as a masturbating voyeur who eventually joins in on another couple, while future sequences feature light BDSM and transvestism, transsexuals, Ron Jeremy giving Sharon Mitchell blow job tips, and, finally, a couple sex show performers ushering their audience into some group action onstage. Tossed in between are several more soft core vignettes, including a striptease from Annette Heinz (supposedly making her film debut) and a cringe-inducing clitoral piercing, shown in graphic close-up (yikes!).
Despite its decidedly hodgepodge nature, Damiano keeps the film buoyant with a positive and affirming attitude. True to its title, ADULTS is a showcase for the activities consenting parties get up to in their private (and not-so-private) erotic lives, and as such, its air of positivity is strangely infectious (the catchy theme song doesn't hurt, either). While far from a milestone of celluloid erotica, the film is nevertheless breezy and unique enough to stand out, and flies by at 76 minutes where so much of its competition would drag on interminably. For that alone it deserves recommendation, and it marks a solid late-career turn for Damiano of which he should certainly have been proud.
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