In this sequel to Latex (1995) (V), Malcolm Stevens is still in the asylum. He takes a nurse hostage with his mind and demands to be released. Lillian Mangrove arrives to deal with him and this time, she's ready.
A caption states that it's the near future. In an office, an interrogator (never named) asks DSA (Digital Security Agency, a part of the futuristic Department of Homeland Security) agent ... See full synopsis »
Things begun well for David. Laura, the "Belle de Nuit" who came asking for help, had a superb body. Quite generous with her charms, she expressed her gratitude convincingly. Then she ... See full summary »
Mirone Da Nola,
Julia Dal Fuoco
Alexia is the owner of Alexia & Co., a struggling modeling agency in beautiful Saint-Tropez. When a mysterious count gives her the opportunity to earn some quick money, she jumps at the ... See full summary »
One year ago, as of this writing, the adult actor that exotic breed the mainstream press in its frequent as well as ill-advised fits of moral superiority refers to as "porn performers" who had chosen the easily ridiculed moniker "Jon Dough" ("because part of him is self-raising," as one cheeky British scribe suggested) took his own life at the age of 44. There are no secrets in death and his real name was Chet Anuszek. A strikingly handsome man and one of the most talented thespians whenever he could be bothered, that is the industry has ever witnessed, he proved to be the genre's matinée idol equivalent throughout the '90s Hardcore Renaissance as the fleeting video medium was gradually being usurped by the more durable technology of DVD. Personal problems, including his failed marriage to Dutch actress Diedre Holland and much-publicized bouts of substance abuse leading to spectacular spats with second spouse Monique DeMoan, visibly hardened his shell over time. The increasingly cynical Jon Dough of the new Millennium provided a marked contrast to the smolderingly seductive image he projected in days of yesteryear. Rather than stoop to any dime store analysis however, let us remember the man through his finest work : his once in a lifetime performance as Malcolm Stevens in Michael Ninn's masterpiece LATEX.
Malcolm allegedly has the ability to "see" people's darkest sexual secrets when he touches them. Shades of Stephen King's DEAD ZONE and, quite appropriately, David Cronenberg's underrated cinematic adaptation thereof. This "gift" doesn't sit well with a futuristic society that's trying to ignore its primal urges, instilling guilt and shame into its minions, breaking their spirit by diminishing their self esteem. A "dangerous subject", Stevens is carted off to the Noble Asylum where he's to be analyzed as either a misunderstood Messiah, a crazed charlatan or merely a fraudulent fake. Evidence is supplied to support all three theories. He pieces together his past from old TV shows à la Jim Carrey's CABLE GUY, not to deceive but because he doesn't actually seem to remember anything, in turn suggesting that he might have been "born" as a fully grown adult and therefore more than human. Ninn doesn't hesitate to align Malcolm with Christ, drawing obvious parallels with the Catholic ritual of confession. The people he touches find inner peace once their dark secrets are out in the open, expunged of the guilt that made them easy to "read", prompting the movie's most memorable line : "Without the guilt, I would be blind." Ironically, through the equation of physical interaction with suffering, Malcolm has become a mental impotent, unable to project himself into his own fantasies, symbolically wrapped up in latex.
From this premise concocted by the wildly imaginative Antonio Passolini, who would evolve into the most excitingly idiosyncratic directorial talent as the previous millennium drew to a close, Ninn has crafted an explosion of unforgettable imagery (always his forte), borrowing ideas from sources as diverse as 1984, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, 12 MONKEYS and John Carpenter's mesmerizingly misguided THEY LIVE, to name but a few. Shot on video for technical reasons because of its extensive use of CGI backgrounds, LATEX looks absolutely smashing thanks to Barry Harley's fluid camera work, D3's razor-sharp editing and Michael Lancaster's then revolutionary digital FX. Formerly "Double Vision", Dino and Earl Ninn (who adopted their new moniker out of awe for the director) contributed a flawless soundtrack mixing techno beats with Gregorian chants, reminiscent of German pop band Enigma of "Sadeness" notoriety.
Yet ultimately, the arbiter of adult cinema is in its sexual content. Each erotic episode has its own style and tone, giving the impression of a series of masterful mini movies making an eye-popping whole. Succulent Sunset Thomas as Stevens' eerily silent partner Kato makes the perfect Donna Reed housewife in the kitchen scene with husband Zack. Tyffany Million, who had all but monopolized Ninn's previous SEX, has a rough 'n' tumble encounter with Brian Surewood in an industrial setting. Her character, Doctor Lillian Mangrove, would take center stage in the sequel SHOCK. Adorable Juli Ashton plays an air-headed talk show hostess to perfection, burning up the screen with Tom Byron and the late Cal Jammer. Jeanna Fine impresses both as an actress playing Malcolm's soul-destroying lost love Gwen and as a sexual athlete beyond compare, taking on both Vince Voyeur and Ritchie Razor during the film's off the scale finale. Sexually side-lined, Dough channels his frustration to great effect, making Malcolm the man of mystery he, perhaps, resembled all too closely in life. A 2 hour assault on the senses, filled with tons of subtleties by its director and screenwriter that would require a thorough analysis to do them justice (for my 2 cents, check out the article I wrote about a decade ago for Brit publication "Flesh and Blood", included in its first compendium available at www.fabpress.com), LATEX remains the defining adult experience of the '90s and a possibly prescient epitaph for its iconic leading man. Rest in peace, Jon
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