Unimpressive in all respects, the San Francisco-lensed UP AT JJ'S PLACE is merely gonzo all- sex porn, but in a vintage package. Presence of Sharon Thorpe in the cast proves irrelevant.
Film is something of a forerunner, in that tall & loquacious Pharoah Amos, who had a brief run in the '70s in such films as the superior FOR LOVE OF MONEY, holds down the title role in an egotistical manner not revived until the hit or miss porn experiments 20 years later of Jake Steed and Jack Napier.
J.J. has invited his friends and ho's over to his lavish pad with terrace for an orgy, celebrating his success gambling or whatever. There's no plot whatsoever, no drama, no tension, no nothing in this hour-long quickie (quick in terms of production but tedious in terms of watching it). J.J. merely talks & talks, his rap just silly; the guests snort coke, drink, and mainly group hump.
The three white girls are all busy porn actresses, and lead among them Sharon Thorpe signifies her non-involvement in this gutter level paycheck-assignment by keeping her shades on throughout. Little did she (or anyone for that matter) expect intrepid pornhounds 40 years later to identify and catalog nearly all the prominent players by sight in these determined-to-be-anonymous films.
Before I conclude this review for the record, I must address the Elephant in the reissue room: the misleading and unfortunate packaging of these less-than-classic movies for a generation not born when they were made & shown theatrically. The fakir called "42nd St. Pete" who has a cottage industry going of saving poor materials from the dumpster and pretending he knows what they contain did a particularly terrible job with this one.
He makes a big point in his verbal spiel introducing the movie as well as his liner notes included with the DVD of the urban myth that Black men didn't go down on women, citing JJ's as an example. Too bad there is a cunnilingus scene of a Black friend of J.J. in the movie -he must have fell asleep during that one. The film is packaged as a quadruple feature of movies shown at the Harem theater (misspelled "Harum" by Pete) and he gives a blow-by-blow of the activities for the evening as if he were in the audience. This is entirely b.s.: he was too young to have been there (might have gone years later, long after the 4 films in question had ceased to be in theatrical circulation), and the entire exercise is insulting. He even refers to the mixed-combo content of JJ's as having been big with the "8th Avenue aboriginals", which goes beyond merely insulting.
Even Pete' sign-off on the DVD: "Stay Sick!" ruined my day - a direct rip-off of my childhood hero Ghoulardi who signed off on his Cleveland TV shows with "Stay SIck, Turn Blue!" circa 1963.
It is idiotic revisionism and downright unearned superiority complexes like those of Pete and his modern video distribution brethren that have poisoned the well for anyone seriously interested in pornography and its history. If Pete knew how embarrassing his act is to anyone who actually knows the scene he's co-opted perhaps he'd find another (equally pointless) profession.
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