Macho Grande (1977)

 |  Adult  |  1977 (USA)
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Cast overview:
Brad Baker ...
Terry Vicks
Phillip ...
(as Phillp)


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1977 (USA)  »

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Someone Saved My Life Tonight
by Elton John (uncredited)
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Depressing all-sex, all-male porn
24 January 2011 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

Its title now suggests a Jack Black comedy romp, but MACHO GRANDE is desultory porn that once played at gay theaters. There's nothing gay about its contents.

I had seen director JJ English's "The Portrait of Dorian Gay" back in the day, an okay piece of romantic porn, but this latter effort harks further back to the Warhol school, minus any Morrissey humor.

Non-story merely depicts a short, young hitchhiker Brad Baker en route to Frisco, having casual sex with a series of guys, who in turn have sex with other guys. If a structure had been imposed it would have been LA RONDE, but English doesn't bother.

Cast seems to have been drawn from the ranks of male prostitutes or drug addicts. If in fact any actors are in the bunch, they come from the Christian Bale Method/fasting school of anorexic cinema.

Direct sound recording captures some background noise, camera motor whirring, but little dialog as these mechanical couplings are almost emotionless and hence unerotic. Terry Vicks departs from this norm by doing plenty of smooching and fondling, apparently straying from English's minimalism to little effect.

Other than sex, there is nothing else going on here -no work, dining, entertainment, nothing in the way of diversion except a pool in Vicks' backyard where some cast members meet -merely a pickup device. Reality does not enter the picture except when Brad is sitting idly near the sidewalk and the next guy warns him not to for fear of being hassled by the cops; this comes off merely as another pickup line rather than representing impending drama or danger.

Sex is mainly fellatio here, with a couple of brief anal sex scenes hampered by the inability of the cast, including Brad, to achieve erections. Like John Holmes, who not too surprisingly English later directed in a gay feature, ejaculations are effected from limp dicks.

Early in the film Elton John's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" is pirated on the soundtrack, but there's generally no music. Sloppiness is signaled in the opening credits including (sic): "Produce by F C Shaw"; presumably he was the producer, not the craft services guy.

Reissued as the final (Vol. 22) of Something Weird's Glory Hole series, film comes with the usual misleading and gushy notes of a shill clearly catering to the pederast wing of the porn audience. Lead performer Brad looks underage, and perhaps the closest this junker comes to mainstream cinema would be the work of Larry Clark, but the chasm between is unbridgeable.

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