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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Gonzo Film Reviews: Forced Entry

“What d'you think you are, some kinda gook from 'Nam?”

Not to be confused with the thriller of the same title (and starring Tanya Roberts), this is one o' those movies that the average, ordinary moviegoer has never heard of – and probably would never want to. It's one that even those suffering a mild dose of sick fuck-itis are unlikely to have even stumbled across in the early stages of their condition. This is a movie so grim, so grimy, and so genuinely appalling that it can only be reached by, like Dante, plumbing the depths of cinematic hell through the grungy and filthy realms of exploitation, sexploitation, softcore, hardcore and Satan knows what else before you finally find it, clenched in the perspiring claw of a demented perverted demon with seven pierced penises and a vile grin a mile wide. And then you must decide: do I want to to go any further – and actually choose to view this? And if so, why? It's one of those films for viewers who 'expected more' from Cannibal Holocaust, for whom Sinful Dwarf wasn't really grubby enough, who enjoyed I Spit on Your Grave for all the wrong reasons but wanted a bit more sex. Like, lots more. And rougher, too.

Harry gettin' tooled up

Due to its subject matter and relative obscurity, this is one of those movies that you only learn about gradually, either via initiation or by following lots of links on grindhouse movie review sites. It's one we've been chasing down for close on 8 years and we finally got to view it last month. Was it worth the wait? Well, uh...hell...yeah. For the simple reason that you'll never see anything like it ever again. This ain't one that even Rob Zombie will be rebootin' any time soon, sorry to say.

Gratuitous boobage

What's it about?

Porn legend Harry 'Deep Throat' Reems plays a psych-damaged Vietnam vet who decides to work out his post traumatic stress disorder issues by stalking, sexually assaulting and killing young women – stabbing them first with his cock and then with his knife. That's pretty much the entire story. So what's the big deal? The sex is full-on graphic hardcore, mostly unconsented, and pretty disturbing in that hairy early '70s kinda way. The fact this movie is marketed as 'vintage porn' is kind of alarming in itself – but indicative of an era in underground and adult movie making when it was a case of 'anything goes'. The money shots and close-up penetration scenes are industry standard, but it's the overall theme and mean-spirited brutality which sets this one apart.

What's it like?

Director Shaun Costello scores serious points by, according to the DVD liner notes, presenting the first motion picture ever to use the theme of post-Vietnam stress. In some ways this is the precursor to Taxi Driver and Deer Hunter. He further impresses by cutting actual (monochrome) war footage into the movie to serve as flashbacks. And whether by design, or accident, his use of Harry's looped and out-of-sync dialogue samples foster a growing sense of alienation, monomania, and general mental decay for the central character. There are lengthy, almost tedious sequences where little happens. The music is minimalist, the locations real and scruffy, the acting from the supporting cast often awkward and at times looks downright ad-libbed, especially with the two kooky bombed-out lesbian chicks in the final act, who probably really were on drugs at the time; at some moments they almost are antithetical to the story, filling a similar role to the two idiot cops in Last House on the Left (i.e unwelcome comic relief). They are pretty hot though, and do spend a lot of time getting to know each other intimately while Uncle Harry spies upon them from on high.

Overall Thoughts

From the opening shot of a blasted, bloody brain, you know this isn't going to be an easy ride (heh, pun intended) or even much like a standard porn flick of any sort. If you like your adult material to be nice and glossy and easy on the eye, with shaved crotches and pert tits all round, then look the feck away NOW as you may just upchuck. To be perfectly honest, we didn't find it very sexy either but it was undeniably fascinating and just plain wrong on so many counts, and that's why it held our morbidly curious attention. It's so un-PC it's delicious; so dirty and horrible it's beautiful; so cruel and amoral it does actually make you think; so of its time, that it ought to be treasured as a lost relic of the hideous depths to which adult cinema sank during the golden grindhouse era. You'll need a shower, big hugs from fluffy kittens in cotton sox, and a box of chocolates after watching this one to get it out of your system. You'll feel wrong and guilty for even having watched it to the end. And, seriously folks, there aren't many movies made today that you can say that about. This is legendary underground grindhouse grime of the lowest, basest, most uncompromising order, and for that we loved it. A definite 5.

Tech Specs
The sound is pretty muffled, what little there is. The film stock quality is dire with visible damage in almost every sequence, but according to the notes this 'director cut' was edited from multiple sources so maybe it's a miracle it looks as good as it does (not helped by the 4:3 frame format, to be honest).


We named a chapter of our own grindhouse/splatter parody novel Last Gas Pump on theLeft after this movie in tribute – and we hadn't even watched it at that time.

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