I accidentally watched 3 Toni English/Kelly Holland porn features in a row, not on purpose, as the femme auteur worked for my favorite labels Adam & Eve, Wicked and Vivid back in the day. This one was the clunker in the bunch, largely thanks to the no-talent Cash Markman who handed in such a terrible (and uncredited) script.
Early on it had the makings of a porn "Key Largo", and from me that is meant as high praise. But Cash, better known to IMDb sycophants now as Marc Cushman, merely teases us with plot and character potential as if he were aspiring to be a new Harold Pinter slaving away in a discredited genre known as Adult Entertainment. In sum, his condescending approach ruins another project among the nearly thousand clunkers of his career.
First scene has drifter Tony Tedeschi, attempting a Russian style heavy accent, humping lovely diner waitress Nikole Lace, in a vignette that reminded me of a botched porn noir Cash made a decade later for Penthouse, with Alan Stafford in the lead. Besides sex and a slice of cherry pie, Tony gets referred to the title B&B where he can work as cook (he's an accomplished chef down on his luck) in return for room & board.
Giving perhaps the film's best performance as the B&B owner, Anthony Crane is largely absent, the action taken place while he's away leaving Tony and wife (Crane's) Melissa Hill in charge. Gangster Jon Dough, overplaying as usual, has taken over the place, and that's why "Key Largo" popped into my mind, as the off-season, small town remoteness sent my mind wandering, in search of the elusive quality director English was not pumping out.
Various unconvincing and unbelievable sexual combinations ensue in the hothouse environmental, notably involving Hill (who Markman posits as a clichéd "housewife in a rut" to explain her hankering for rutting) as well as a bombshell Jordan Lee portraying (sort of) Dough's bodyguard. Best example of wasting talent is casting Rocco Siffredi as Dough's hothead assistant -why throw away this iconic superstar in such a junk role remains a mystery. This was a period when the Euro mega-talent was breaking into Chatsworth society, notably in Anthony Spinelli's weird "County Line".
Scene after scene shows promise but they all end up as throw-aways, leading to one of the most "who cares?" endings I've seen in a long while. Markman worked during an Adult era when screenplays were still thought to be necessary (before gonzo took over completely) but crap like this one only shows us in hindsight why the title of screenwriter needed to be phased out: far better no script at all than a Cash M. one.
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