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Performance (1981)

X | | Adult | 1981 (USA)


Credited cast:
Dean Barey
Kurt Jacobs
J.W. King ...
(as Jim King)
Chris Kopay
Jean-Robert LeCocq
Val Martin
Bob Moore
Al Parker
Nick Rodgers
Steve Scott
Derrick Stanton
Steve Taylor
Shawn Victors ...
(as Shaun Victors)
Tony Vose


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sex | homosexual | hardcore | See All (3) »








Release Date:

1981 (USA)  »

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Shake That Booty ! Nah, Don't Bother !
8 February 2008 | by (Brugge, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Though produced by gay porn legend Jack Deveau's esteemed company Hand in Hand Films, this aimless Steve Scott movie might be his all time worst. For fans and completists of the director's work however, it remains worth watching as at least part of it testifies to his ingenuity as an otherwise accomplished erotic filmmaker. A strong start and finish bookends a muddled mid-section. Premise may be basic but surely offered more possibilities than are ultimately realized on the screen. A soon to open gay night spot is recruiting dancers for its very "hands on" floor show and the feature is broken up into three interlocking chapters labeled "Performers", "Rehearsals" and "Performance". Blond Shawn Victors, a reliable second stringer in Bill Higgins' REAR DELIVERIES and Tom De Simone's DIRTY PICTURE SHOW, is the first to be contacted, interrupting his strangely repetitive dirty phone conversation with his masturbatory actions mirrored by a faceless voyeur across the street. This set-up is vintage Scott, an imaginative and slightly surreal situation that allows him to compose intricate imagery through reflection and juxtaposition. He seems to have lost interest after this. Older and bolder Nick Rodgers, he of the receding hairline who memorably portrayed the coach in De Simone's signature film THE IDOL, has a hot tub encounter with the always scorching Melchor, best remembered for Fred Halsted's NIGHTHAWK IN LEATHER and Scott Hansen's best-selling DYNASTUD, which turns out to be the movie's last certifiable highlight. On paper, the next pairing of budding superstars Derrick Stanton and huge Steve York ("introduced" though he appeared with the Noll "brothers" a year before in Sid Roth's CUMING OF AGE) should have been dynamite but the heat rarely rises above a simmer, largely due to insufficient lighting and the distracting cutting back and forth between the action and an old French movie playing on TV, a rare instance of Scott's celebrated free associative style actually faltering.

Following a too brief solo by mega-star Jim "J.W." King, audiences are "treated" to the less than sterling dancers preparing their routines. This segment severely tests audience endurance, its sole relief provided by York's spectacularly inept stage act to Irene Cara's Fame. This is as good a moment as any to comment on the soundtrack, indeed the film's primary source of enjoyment for gay men of my generation. It contains lots of legit chart toppers of the period, including Donna Summer's On The Radio and The Three Degrees warbling When Will I See You Again ?, beggaring the question of possible copyright infringement. Of course, as was his trademark, Scott has all of these playing "incidentally" on the radio (how appropriate) or over the club's sound system which he then just "happens" to register as would a third person documentarist, so maybe there's a legal loophole involved. On to opening night then, as the hunks hit the stage, liberally engaging the eager audience (watch for legendary performer/filmmaker Al Parker's blink 'n' miss cameo) in all sorts of fleeting carnal contact. Rodgers' show-stopping act, elaborately made up to look like Gene Simmons of Kiss and syncing his little heart out to the band's I Was Made For Loving You, is rightfully reserved for last as it at least packs a punch visually, being better lit and edited than the preceding performances. Unfortunately, any splendor this scene has to offer is just too little too late. Scott even throws in a fairly animated backstage encounter between a trio of alarmingly unhealthy-looking performers in a last minute attempt to alleviate the boredom resulting from predominantly solo posturing, an unsightly blot on an otherwise distinguished dirty movie career.

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