Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Tag: soft porn sunday (Page 2 of 3)

Soft Porn Sunday: Jillian Janson & Tyler Borresch

AKA: “Did I Really Waste My Birthday Money On This?”

My apologies, first of all, for taking two years to do this one. That is to say that this flick was released (if you can call it “released”) two years ago and I didn’t know it existed until very recently. I should pay more attention, or something.

Anyway. It’s been more than a decade since Surrender Cinema made anything. The fact that this film exists at all is a marvel – considering that the first Femalien was made in 1996 (and largely considered one of their best) and followed by the poorly-received Femalien 2 (1998) and archive footage re-release Femaliens: Seduction of the Species (2017). This is, in name at least, the fourth in the Femalien series, almost a quarter of the century after the first one came out.

Fuck me, I’m old.

As this excellent review by Jason Coffman says, this is an entry in the Femalien series which doesn’t carry the Surrender Cinema label (or that of its predecessor studio Torchlight, or successor Twilight) – rather it was released under the banner of Full Moon (its parent company), and more specifically as one of Charles Band’s Deadly Ten, a collection of low-budget horror movies which are Full Moon’s usual fare.

It also has nothing to do with Femalien. The plot itself involves a planet named Thanagar (DC are getting a lawyer), on which a research team have landed; they are joined, eventually, by delegates from the high council of Altaria (Pokémon are getting a lawyer). While the researchers’ professor Dara’Tel Quenthosz (Denise Milfort) starts going mad with power, things are thrown into a spin, and it’s up to those who have retained their sanity to sort things out.

I’m aware this sounds like an MST3K movie plot. The question on everyone’s lips, I’m sure (mine, at least), is that most prescient: “where’s da seks @???”)

Appearance: Femalien: Cosmic Crush (2020)
Characters: Marion Ovudo & Jeetz Axelrod

As opposed to the first two films in the series – and, yes, it feels odd to write that – there genuinely isn’t a lot of sex in Cosmic Crush. There’s plenty of nudity (some of the characters may as well not have any costumes in the wardrobe), but very little actual sex. It’s a part of the plot (insofar as the Thanagarian Pleasure Pod, yes that’s a thing don’t question me, is a part of the plot), but the majority of the sex is implied – light petting and a little foreplay and then a quick fade out. For a while, I was wondering if I had bought a cut version of the DVD!

One of the actual sex scenes happens fairly early on in the film, however. Our main character, Marion (who’s on the mission because of her father or something, I dunno), begins the film in a relationship with Jeetz (who’s on the mission because he is). The opening scene, which is ostensibly about the team making a bumpy landing on Thanagar, cuts to Marion and Jeetz every now and again. They can’t help with the landing because they’re…

…busy.

Brunette with long hair has sex with a man on his back. Her arse is obscured by silver bedding.
Doesn’t look like the most comfortable place to have sex, really.

Our first inkling of what they are up to comes just after an entreaty to “hold onto something!”, so I suppose they are doing so (in fact, I suspect that line wasn’t entirely serendipitous, but you never know with this sort of thing). It’s a very quick shot, of course, but it leaves no doubt as to what they are doing.

A few cuts between crew later and we are treated to a slightly longer, slightly more explicit snatch of sex scene. Marion (Janson) is riding Jeetz (Borresch) in a little sleeping cubby that seems to be designed particularly for people to have sex in the astride position. I fail to see how anyone could actually sleep in one, but then again, I’ve had sex in a cubby two metres tall by one and a half wide and then fallen asleep in it, so maybe it’s not impossible.

Sex in a little cubby. This alt text is sort of redundant, really.
Baby, I can see your halo.
You know you’re my saving grace…

To the film’s (and the actors’) credit, the sex here is pretty good. It’s certainly energetic, with lots of bounce. Borresch might have this sort of semi-inane, semi-manic grin on his face throughout, but Janson is giving a good performance, even throwing out some piercing softcore moans (a departure from the norm, since Surrender hardly ever used anything except music for their sex scenes) at points. Throughout one shot, she even appears to be artistically lit, which probably isn’t intentional but I’m going to pretend it is.

The scene could end when Marion bumps her head on the roof, but it doesn’t. She shakes it off, smiles and then just carries on shagging. Good for you, honey.

The entire thing is underscored (as is the whole scene, including the bits in the cockpit with the crew) with some electronic thrash metal, which I suppose is meant to indicate the hazardous landing, but it works quite well for the sex too. It’s not exactly in time with it, but then it doesn’t really need to be. Since the sex lasts about fifteen seconds, anything else would be jarring.

But then that’s the other thing: fifteen seconds. If that.

I wonder how long these alt text boxes are. They may well last forever. At some point I intend to find out.
Marion has just hit her head and is recovering from something she really should have foreseen.

On paper, this all sounds good. The “busy workers oblivious to people having sex nearby” trope is certainly one of my favourites, and it helps that this whole setup establishes some of the characters and basic scene. Janson herself is incredibly pretty, and she’s certainly thrown herself into this rôle (I could give or take Borresch, but Jeetz is one of only two male characters in this, so I’ll allow it).

What it doesn’t excuse is how brief this is. It’s even the longest sex scene in the film, given its propensity for more inoffensive nudity and sex implication as the machine trundles along.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa hey, this really does go on forever aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Do you ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?

I’ll point this out here and now, though. I’m being unfair. I bought this DVD on the assumption that it would be a full-on softcore flick on account of the fact that it’s called Femalien and it’s by the same company. There’s no indication that it would have been one otherwise. It really shouldn’t be called that – Cosmic Crush on its own would have done. But it doesn’t advertise itself as softcore, being as it is one of the Deadly Ten.

I’m not owed, in my hubris, any sex scene that I just assumed would be there. And I suppose, essentially, that I’ve learned a lesson here.

I’m just not sure what it is, that’s all.

Soft Porn Sunday: Angelica “Venus” Costello & Burke Morgan

When Channel 5 launched in 1997, it quickly gained a reputation as “the porn channel”, even though it didn’t really show anything that could be broadly categorised as porn. It did show, on Friday evenings, the occasional erotic thriller (which teenage ILB translated as “plot with sex”) or erotic drama (“less plot, more sex”), usually carrying nothing more than a two-star rating.

A lovely vista of a city with two naked people blocking the view.
Is this what counts as censorship in 2004?

It stopped doing so after five years. Had it not, it would have shown this, hands down.

Appearance: Passionate Encounters (2004)
Characters: Cassandra & Doctor Jenkins

So, here’s the tea. Passionate Encounters is billed as a drama, but we all know what it really is. The female character Cassandra is played by hardcore porn star Venus; Jenkins by softcore stalwart Burke Morgan (although in this case he isn’t playing the ‘slightly older non-sexual thingy’ that Surrender had him booked for in the early ’00s). There is, in fact, a plot: two psychologists start an experiment… which is meant to explore various people’s behaviour towards each other.

It soon turns to… okay, I don’t need to finish this sentence, do I?

The first thing that I need to talk about here is Burke Morgan. I’m aware of his work in Virgins of Sherwood Forest (in which he plays the viceroy) and Dungeon of Desire (in which he plays the wizard Marcus). I’m also aware that he’s in Friend of the Family and Scandal! On the Other Side (and LA 7 with S Club), but as things stand, up until this point I can’t really recall seeing him have sex.

Here, he presents as being in possession of a short, stubbly goatee (black with grey streaks)… and a mullet.

The scene takes place he has a mullet in an apartment he has a mullet with a city-scape outside he has a mullet at night he has a mullet with beautiful, younger girl he has a mullet Cassandra he has a mullet (played by he has a mullet Venus). He does appear to be markedly older than her, but maybe that is the point – Dr Jenkins is a clever professor, after all – and it doesn’t make a lot of difference to the proceedings, either.

Half-naked girl with cityscape behind her, plus mulleted grey idiot.
Did the camera operator faint? This is at a weird angle.

We start with classic softcore disrobing, although to the scene’s credit most of Cassandra’s clothes come of after Jenkins has started licking her out. There’s actually quite a lot of soft porn cunnilingus here, actually, accounting for a quarter of the scene, and it’s not badly done, either: Venus is making all sorts of noises, and it has a sort of “I must lick, now, right now” urgency (I feel you, doc) that I like. Waste no time, start with the pleasure. Impressive.

At 01:16 we mix to a different shot, and this is initially of Cassandra just bouncing up and down (making the same noises she was making in the previous shot!). This is sex, clearly – and yes, we cut to a wider shot of sex – bouncy sitting position sort of sex – on a sofa with the city twinkling behind them.

Half-naked girl in front of a brown curtain atop a grey idiot.
That’s either a brown curtain behind them or abstract photography. Either’s fine, really.

A note on the city, then: this is the backdrop for the entire scene. It’s remarkably simple – lights of an urban area at night – but it works, insofar as highlighting the grandeur of the place in which their warm room is a tine part and offsetting their cosy arrangement with a bustling metropolis that never sleeps. It’s a remarkable piece of mise-en-scène that I’m fairly sure I’m the only one to have noticed. Nice to see these things.

Anyway, is there sex still happening? Ah, there it is.

There is a fair amount of energy in the scene, as well – even if there isn’t a lot of variation in the sex position. There’s quite a lot of bounce – standard bump’n’grind – but Venus’ facial expressions and constant soundtrack underline how much fun Cassandra is having. Jenkins he has a mullet isn’t seen much, but when he is, he appears a little overwhelmed, maybe by the sex itself, or the beauty of the lady he’s having it with, or how his hairpiece went out of style two decades earlier. It’s good acting, anyway, and done with adequate amounts of enthusiasm.

Massive head, grey beard, mullet.
Welcome, watchers. Pause a while, for here’s adventure, dungeon style…

At 04:43 there is an interesting up-close bum shot. It’s a transition between sex positions, but it’s very close and very apparent for about a second. Thought I’d mention that.

Cassandra spends the rest of the scene riding Jenkins in the more classic front-on “cowgirl” astride position. As with before, there are plenty of noises, a fair amount of bouncy energy, and of course plenty of skin (by now she has fully disrobed, so we get boobs as well).

And then they kiss, which is kind of gross, before a pan to the city through the window once more… and fade out.

So, the big question: do I like this scene? Well, sort of. I like the set-up well enough, and the aforementioned urgency leading to the fun energetic sex make for a good scene. Both characters are clearly enjoying themselves here, and the fact that they’re not doing anything other than enjoying themselves also helps. Sex is presented here as just a break from doing anything else… AS IT SHOULD BE!

Beautiful woman in profile.
Venus is hella pretty, so here she is, in all her glory.

A special note goes to the soundtrack. As I’ve mentioned before, Venus moans a lot, and you can even hear their bodies slapping together (making the dull thud, you know the one). There’s a piece of music undercutting the whole scene, which is reminiscent of both other softcore scenes from the period and video game boss fights, but it’s at no point intrusive or distracting.

In fact, the only thing (other than Burke Morgan, who has a mullet) this scene does for which it can’t be reasonably excused is go on for too long. The whole thing is more than seven minutes and comprises of oral sex, riding in one position and then riding in another position. In real life this wouldn’t be wildly unrealistic; in soft porn, however, it genuinely seems like too little variation in too much time. It’s odd, and although genuinely hot, it does kind of drag after the first five minutes.

This is good; can you do something different, please?

ILB’s Brain at 05:13

Having said that, there’s nothing too wrong with this. Morgan, who does seem very old here, is okay, and Venus is gorgeous, so it’s easy on the eye… and, as I’ve mentioned, the contrast between the warm room and the dark city outside adds a bit more depth and dimension that there otherwise would be.

There could just be a little more done in a little less time, really, and due to the fact that I’m a big fan of longer scenes, that genuinely is saying something!

With thanks to friendly reader SA, who recommended the scene to me.

Soft Porn Sunday: Pristine Edge & Ryan McLane

One does have to wonder, at points, how creative types get their ideas. Consider, for example, the lead actress in this scene, and why the words “Pristine Edge” were her chosen moniker. The title certainly works, but as for how she came up with it, I’m not sure.

The same can be said for the production company behind Vixens from Venus (Retromedia Entertainment), who clearly thought they had a winner with this plot.

Stand back! I'm going to attempt science!
Look at all those gadgets! Do you see? SCIENCE!

Venusians Zonondor, Zorax and Zimbabwe (couldn’t they have chosen a name which wasn’t already the name of something else?) beam down to Earth and temporarily take the bodies of sexy young women Felicity, Piper and Violet respectively. They are greeted by three of “Earth’s top scientists” – Doctors Edwards, Grayson and Kline (plus their assistant Charlie) – whose intention is to study them.

The Venusians’ aim is to escape any information about them getting out, in an attempt to preserve their utopian society. Quite how they know it’s a utopia I’m not entirely sure, since I’m fairly certain Utopia did not have a print run on Venus, but then there are more pressing matters, such as why they speak English.

Or why they came down in the first place.

Or why they feel they need to have sex to rob the scientists’ memories.

Or where Zimbabwe went. She’s by far the most attractive character in this and she’s hardly in it.

But let’s not worry about that.

Appearance: Vixens from Venus (2016)
Characters: Dr. Kline & Dr. Grayson

Grayson and Kline appear to be romantically involved.

Felicity / Zonondor

Zonondor has a delicate way of putting things, it seems, since she’s just walked in on Grayson and Kline having sex on a table.

As it turns out, the Venusians need to sleep with all three scientists in order to complete their mission. Doctors Grayson and Kline are engaged (although neither of them is wearing a ring – tisk, tisk), and after their colleague Edwards has been incapacitated (after foolishly sleeping with Zonondor), they decide that the best way to let off steam is to fuck on top of the sanitised table in their study room. This they do.

Twice.

Before the plot moves on, really. This is, of course, a Retromedia Entertainment trope – overlong sex scenes with very attractive people with a plot set around them – the problem being that by this point I was invested in said plot, so there wasn’t a reason not to spool through them! Aaaaargh!

Ahem. As I was saying.

Nudity! Sexytimes! SCIENCE!
The thingy on the right is a teleportation device, complete with… bowling pins?

So. This scene takes place in a lab, by which I mean a set which has illuminated screens which show very little, gadgets that don’t do anything but beep and blink, and what look like 1950s-era sound reel-to-reel tape players. At the very least it doesn’t take long for the doctors to disrobe… because it all happens in a mix cut. There’s a brief kiss and then an immediate mix to Grayson giving Kline oral sex. No time wasted there. Very efficient scientists, clearly.

I’ve mentioned how lengthy the scenes are, and this is a bit of a problem. As attractive as Pristine Edge might be (and she is, she’s absolutely stunning), watching her get eaten out for over a minute and a half seems to slow time down a little. There isn’t really any variation in the position it happens, nor in her reaction, nor in McLane’s “half-a-face” expression. It’s just naked Kline on a table for a length of time which could be a whole scene on its own.

Smile while your brain is breaking...
One of Edge’s facial expressions… oh, and a chair, for whatever reason.

There is an interesting cut to the Venusians discussing their plan in the middle of the scene, which provides a refreshing break (and a glimpse of Dillion Harper as Violet/Zimbabwe, which definitely kept me interested), and when we cut back, Grayson and Kline are now having penetrative sex. It’s quite a clever way to show a shift (in location as well as activity; they’re now on the opposite side of the table, yes I do notice these details shut up). It’s fairly energetic and regularly bouncy, and although this also lasts for a long time, the regular cuts between different angles, quick pace of the sex and Edge’s range of naughty facial expressions (she does a good open-mouthed smile thing which I recognise from actual sex) helps keep the momentum up.

There are even some moments which your average sex scene wouldn’t consider. They look into each other’s eyes and at one point attempt a messy kiss. It’s not a romantic scene, but if you really try, you can almost imagine they’re a real couple.

Almost.

After a while, Zonondor walks in, watches for a bit, and then smiles and exits. Fantastic – voyeurism. Let’s add that to the list of social issues this film has.

This is what Zonondor sees. His washboard stomach is putting me off, somewhat.

What you can’t see (or hear) is that, throughout this entire scene, there is a strange pop track playing… with vocals. The lyrics aren’t very inspired (choice cuts include “I need your love” and “I want your love), but the track also includes various orgasm noises at points. They aren’t at all related to what’s going on on screen, which throws off the rhythm somewhat. Plus, if I’m listening to the lyrics, how am I meant to be enjoying the sex? There’s only one of me!

The main thing, however, is that throughout this scene, and the successive one and the one after that (and one later in the movie), all of which feature Pristine Edge, she is genuinely the one carrying the weight. Throughout the film, she neither looks nor acts like a scientist, but she gives every performance her absolute all – her facial expressions (whether lustful, cunning, or pleasantly vacant once she has been incapacitated), the way she moves her body, her cute little nose piercing and famous “four hearts” tattoo. She is fantastic at what she does, and despite the fact that the script does nothing for her character except gets her naked, she really brings the performance to life.

The best thing about this flick.
This isn’t Pristine Edge, but I think Dillion Harper is beautiful, so I’m putting this here.

I have an issue with Vixens from Venus, insofar as the message it gets across. It has some very questionable ethics behind it in terms of gender rôle, social class, race division and a wholly unnecessary method employed by the aliens (and one scene which could be considered sex without consent), and – essentially – a plot which, look good as it may on paper, is sort of forgotten about in the second half.

So I do have to say, essentially… yeah, the sex is good, but just… just… don’t.

Soft Porn Sunday: Cassidey & Daniel D. Anderson

If you look at the list of softcore features from the ’90s (go on, do it), you’re more than likely to come across many – if not most – of them billed as “thrillers”. In fact, the erotic thriller genre really peaked in the nineties; there were multiple variations in how believable the thriller aspect was (there is a throat-slitting scene in Mirror Images II with the least realistic fake blood I’ve ever seen), and also massive variations in the number of sex scenes.

In the early noughties, less and less erotic thrillers were being made as studios started to become more interested in erotic sci-fi, but the genre persisted, and that’s why there are still things like

Appearance: Naked Secrets (2006)
Characters: Belinda & Chase

Naked Secrets is an odd beast. On the surface, it looks like a fairly standard “missing woman” thriller – Matt (Frank Mercuri) is looking for his missing wife Laurie (Lacie Heart), aided by his coworker Chase (Anderson). Dig a little deeper, though, and there’s a darker aspect – Laurie has been vising an exclusive spa, catering for female clients and fulfilling their sexual fantasies. Matt and Chase can’t get in, so there’s… that…

Into this mix comes Belinda (Cassidey – who is also the porn star Paizley Adams), who ends up having sex with Chase because of course she does, she’s played by Cassidey, she doesn’t need to have any clothes on to make an impact.

I mean.

Anyway, this scene starts with the soft porn candle, although it has clearly also been to the health spa as it has changed shape – it is also not alight, so why is it so prominently in shot at all? Did we have to have something to pan over before getting to the sex part?

Candle, clothes and cushions. Hey, magic three!
Necessary cameo. The candle is the Stan Lee of soft porn.

The sex itself takes place on the sofa, and the first noticeable thing – candle notwithstanding – is that there is an age difference between Belinda and Chase (and presumably also Cassidey and Anderson). Before you start coming for me, I’m just going to point out that I noticed it. There’s no further commentary on that.

I’m lying. Here it is: softcore will have multiple actors of varying age. Some (Shannon Tweed) kept making it until their 40s; some (Amber Newman) made a lot and then moved on to other things; some (Jason Schnuit) are timeless. One of the jobs of the casting director (in this case, Robert Lombard… in 4,027,204 other cases, also Robert Lombard) is to make the pairings believable. When it comes to apparent age, although there are some gaps, most of the scenes I’ve seen appear to have participants of roughly similar ages.

In this scene there is a very apparent, noticeable and deliberate age gap: Chase is an older man; Belinda is young and hot. I know it’s there for a reason, but I had to stop and think for a second. Couldn’t quite get into the scene without adjusting myself a little.

The scene doesn’t have this problem, because it starts with very enthusiastic fellatio! Wasting no time there, fellas!

In fact, most of this scene is enthusiastic. The soft porn blowjob lasts for 45 seconds, and it mostly consists of head bobs (which is what a real blowjob looks like; soft porn blowjobs usually look more like a very slow kiss, so this is different) before moving to sex in the astride position. This isn’t actually a mix or a cut – we see her mount him, which is also pleasant.

I'm bringing sexy back. I mean, she's got a sexy back. Is what I'm trying to say.
She performs fellatio; he performs “the grasp”.

Belinda rides Chase for a while, which is also done with a fair amount of gusto – fast and bouncy, but believable – and, at this point, we get to see Cassidey’s face (she’s beautiful!) and famous butterfly tattoo (which is her trademark). Anderson is reacting fairly well, both facially and with positioning of his hands, so clearly Chase is enjoying himself just as much as Belinda is.

There’s a break in the action for a little breast-kissing during which Belinda makes a curious “ooh” noise (yes, seriously). Chase gets in on the noise-making himself when she starts to ride him again, although the noise he makes is more like “ow!” than anything else – painful much? – and the sex, as energetic as before, is now accompanied by some moans from Cassidey, which adds something.

You can see the butterfly tattoo if you tear your eyes away from her face and hair!
Hair holding. See, I do notice things.

Throughout the entire preceding scene she has been holding her hair back with one hand. Maybe she’s into that? In any case, it’s one of those details which have just been added in for ILB to notice, so of course I’m mentioning this.

At 01:48 we get a mix to the position that I was expecting – doggie style – which both allows Belinda the chance to get bumped and ground (grinded? Ground sounds wrong. Never mind.) and highlights the amount of body hair that Chase has (he brings gorillas to mind). At 02:04, she shoots him a sultry, lustful look: it’s brief, but it’s hot. A series of quick cuts shows us his face (he looks like he’s concentrating a lot), hers (she looks fine), and both bodies – with, again, the noticeable age difference.

At one point, there’s even a bit of dialogue, which is

Belinda: Yes! Come on, baby!
Chase: Uuuuuuurrrrhhh…

Scintillating, I know.

There isn’t much more to say about the rest of the scene. It’s more of the same; sex in a variety of positions performed with a lot of energy and enthusiasm from both actors. Belinda moans and is sexy; Chase grunts and is there; the sofa gets fucked on; the soft porn candle gets its paycheque for the cameo appearance, and the scene ends when Matt knocks on the door. The whole scene is almost four and a half minutes, which is a healthy length for a sex scene in this genre.

Cheese and tomato. (This has nothing to do with the screenshot. I'm just hungry.)
“Oi’th got thome hair in mah mouff!”

Hot as this scene is (and it is; it makes me hard, at least…), one wonders exactly what it would have been had the music been different. Throughout, it is a soft, synthy thing with occasional percussive beats, whereas I’m more used to energetic sex like this being accompanied by electric guitar slams and drum lines! Maybe it wouldn’t suit the overall tone of the film – after all, it’s a thriller and not Passion Cove – but what we’re given is not the soundtrack I’d be expecting.

Minor quibble. It just might have been hotter, that’s all.

Overall, though, I really like this! It’s lengthy, dirty, sprightly and vibrant, and a worthy addition to my library… so thank you, kind reader SA, for suggesting I do this one!

Soft Porn Sunday: Shannon Tweed & James Brolin

Take a step back, and breathe.

Okay, now come closer. You can’t hear me from all the way back there.

Am I clearer now? Good.

I felt like I needed to give you the time to parse the title you have just read. If, like me, you grew up in Britain during the ’90s, you’ll know exactly who Shannon Tweed is, most likely due to the existence of Channel 5. Her extensive back catalogue steadily made its way onto UK TV, and as it did, Tweed completists were religiously setting their VCRs to record every Friday night.

That is to say, I certainly was.

You may also know James Brolin… that is to say, Golden Globe-winning, Emmy-winning, has-a-star-on-the-Hollywood-walk-of-fame, married-to-Barbra-Streisand James Brolin. Yes, this is actually him. His Wikipedia entry seems to omit the fact that he did soft porn. I wonder why.

Appearance: Indecent Behavior II (1994)
Characters: Dr Rebecca Mathis & Liam O’Donnell

Now it’s my turn to take a step back and breathe to get over the fact that I had to use the American spelling of “behaviour”. I’m never, ever doing that again.

At the very least, I am aware of this series, and to my knowledge there are four Indecent Behavio(u)r films (although the fourth one was later retitled Human Desires), and from what I’ve seen – or at least what my memory tells me I’ve seen – they are all very similar. Tweed is the star, but this one also contains Nikki Fritz and Rochelle Swanson, so at least there are a few bonus names there.

Boooooooooooobs.
This is Soft Porn Sunday, so I’ve got to put some boobs in somewhere.

Like the rest, IB2 is an erotic thriller, with the erotic parts serving to fluff out the thriller parts. In fact, in essence, IB2 is more of a whodunnit; reporter Shoshona (Elizabeth Sandifer) investigating people before getting hecka murdered. The suspects, such as they are, include Tweed’s character, sex therapist Rebecca Mathis, and that’s where she comes in.

The trope of “sex therapist not having a lot of sex” is one that has seen its fair share of days in the sun, and it very much shows here, with Rebecca’s sexual awakening amounting to two shower scenes plus one sex scene with Brolin. To keep the punters happy, or something.

The scene itself

Popular though she may be, I’ve never really gotten on with Shannon Tweed’s sex scenes. There may well be nudity, but there’s very little movement. Lots of close-ups, dimly lit sets and often just the merest hint of implied sex rather than the bump’n’grind of more recent stuff.

Light. Lots and lots of light.
Rebecca, Liam and the Time Vortex making a cameo appearance.

This scene is a good example, actually. The first half-minute shows us nothing more than Rebecca and Liam (Brolin’s character) in a fairly extensive kiss in front of a curiously bright light, and at thirty seconds we cut to a shot of Liam’s chest, with Rebecca’s hand… sort of caressing and then deciding not to?

By this point, the scene seems to have been set up already. Holy light notwithstanding, everything’s quite dim; the focus is deliberately soft, and we also have the classic ’90s erotic thriller music underscoring the whole thing: slow, held synthy chords; slide guitar every now and again; occasional wind chimes and a clave hit thrown in every now and then for good measure. It’s slow and sultry and would suit the scene were I at all interested. By 00:34, I can tell where this is going.

00:35 is the start of what I assume to be sex, although with all the camera changes it’s difficult to tell. Undoubtedly Tweed is making the noises, although that’s also questionable, as they are relatively sparse. Some bits definitely are – there are a few shots of Rebecca in the astride position and something which may be a stab at doggie – but nothing lasts very long.

Sex. Just not much of it.
I took a screenshot to make this last longer. It’s two seconds otherwise.

Deliberately, I assume. Every two seconds or so there is a mix shot to a different angle, occasionally featuring extreme close-up; for a while, this is more like a montage than an actual sex scene. It’s very odd.

At around 01:05 – which is more than halfway through this this scene clocks in at two minutes exactly – we do at last get a shot of what I recognise at being a sex scene. Liam is on top of Rebecca and they are undoubtedly having sex at this point – but, again, this fades out. This carries on for the rest of the scene, too, as they film various brief shots of sex in various positions but them mix out to more chest kissing or somesuch!

Sex and shadows.
Some interesting shadow patterns on the wall behind them there.

In fact, the chest kissing is what they keep coming back to – quite literally, because it’s the same shot of Rebecca kissing Liam’s chest recycled several times in the same scene! Nice one, movie!

So what is it?

This must, must, must be a deliberate attempt to film a sex scene without showing a lot of sex. There’s no other excuse for it. You’ve got two talented actors here, and an adequate set (well… a bed), but there are so many overly-short shots and insta-mixes that the message kind of gets lost somewhere. What is happening here? Is Rebecca attracted to Liam or not? Is he some sort of beautiful lady magnet or is that just his chest? Are either of them enjoying this? Tweed smiles at some point, but that’s the only indication we get, really!

Would anyone like to sign a petition to have this film retitled Indecent Directing?

Soft Porn Scramble: Blonde, Busty, & Keane (1999)

Ding, ding!

That’s the sound of the little bell ringing in the back of your head. Maybe it’s dulled by the accumulation of years surrounding it. Perhaps it rings with a muffled clapper – you recognise the words, but can’t really wring the context out of your brain. You may have even seen this mentioned somewhere – although mentions of the same are very difficult to find – perhaps while trying to find Threesome or Kira Reed’s Easy Guide to Fulfilling Your Fantasies.

But I challenge you, gentle reader, to find anyone who has watched a single episode.

I have, of course. I’ve seen about two or three, but bearing in mind that I was 14 when this was aired, and add to that the fact that one series was made – and one that was never repeated, sold on, or renewed (and no clips are on the Internet – I’ve looked!) – and you may have to forgive me for my memories being a little hazy.

I’ll do my best.

So what is it?

L!VE TV‘s Blonde, Busty, & Keane (which is the correct spelling, complete with Oxford comma and ampersand) does, indeed, exist; although it isn’t mentioned in the official L!VE TV prospectus, an IMDb listing exists, as does a brief mention on GitHub!

James Bond after taking a huge dose of LSD.
I believe this may be the title sequence. I can’t recall any other L!VE TV programme that used this.

It is, effectively, a spy caper series starring Jane Blonde (porn star Katie Ann Day) and Tracey Keane (actress Madeleine Curtis), two attractive young ladies employed as secret agents by spymaster Busty Farquar (Annabel Rivkin – I’m assuming not the same Annabel Rivkin who writes for ES Magazine et al, but you never know, she might be!). Written and shot by L!VE themselves in and around their Canary Wharf headquarters, and directed by John Wolskel (who went on to write horror movies), Blonde, Busty, & Keane lasted for one series.

Eight episodes, aired between September and October 1999.

What’s different about it?

The gimmick here – if one can call it a gimmick – is that it bills itself as an erotic series. It isn’t – there isn’t any actual sex in it, and the sex there is is always done quickly and with clothes on – but, at the very least, it was shown during the L!VE Late 10pm slot and contained what can best be termed “a moderate amount of nudity”.

I’m really selling this to you, I can tell.

One prominent example I can think of is a scene in which Blonde and Keane get stuck in a skip – it’s not meant to be, but it’s genuinely a skip – full of… something meant to trap them, I guess. Blonde manages to activate a hitherto-unmentioned explosive device in Keane’s bra, which manages to effect their escape as well as render Keane topless for the next few minutes.

There is, even, a continuing plot with a recurring villain – Baron Schwanzer (Alan Blyton) – and, if my memory serves me correctly, several side characters including a stereotypical Frenchman complete with beret, stripy hat and garlic necklace. Busty, while busty, is never particularly involved in the action and never once removes her business suit.

I also can’t really say much for the storylines, but as far as I can remember, they are a mess.

So what was the point?

It’s difficult to tell.

From a young ILB’s memory, Blonde, Busty, & Keane seemed to have had a lower budget than other homegrown series like Threesome. Sets were small (I suspect mostly built in the office in One Canada Square), plots were threadbare, characters had no character, and in addition to having nothing that could reasonably be termed a ‘sex scene’, what nudity there was was both brief and non-sexy.

14-year-old ILB wasn’t difficult to turn on. Practically everything else did, but I remember being both bored and confused by this. I genuinely don’t remember ever being once titillated, amused or intrigued by any part of this programme, which probably explains why I only remember watching it twice.

Exotica Erotica was on afterwards, so that’s probably why.

Is there anything positive to say about it?

I’ll skip past the ‘strong women doing heroic stuff’ tag, because this doesn’t really exemplify this. Bikini Avengers is right there, my dudes.

For all its flaws, Blonde, Busty, & Keane is an example of both what not to do with an erotic spy story (ie. no sex; limited nudity; no plot) and what to do with a very limited budget (ie. use what you have for scenery; small cast; inventive use of outdoor props).

A misspelled Katie Ann Day completely out of her depth.
Katie Ann Day on “The Sex Show” promoting it.

It even had a bit of promotion, with Day appearing on L!VE’s The Sex Show talking about it and a trailer made (which sadly I can’t find anywhere; it has an MST3K-like set up with silhouetted men in a cinema), before quietly disappearing into the netherworld.

ILB’s Extra Bit

This post was originally planned to be a deep dive into Blonde, Busty, & Keane with all the resources I could find, but realistically, there are no resources. Vague references aside, there’s very little evidence that this programme ever existed, and while the cynical side of me wants to think that MGN (who owned the channel) buried it somewhere quiet and dark, the realistic side of me rationalises that it was quickly realised they had produced something that proved not to be marketable, and pulled it.

The same slot that aired Blonde, Busty, & Keane was also used for imports of short-form American programmes like Compromising Situations and Love Street; this is what it went back to shortly after the aforementioned show stopped running.

What is confusing, however is why it appears to be completely expunged from televisual history. It was certainly filmed once, and aired once. Cable television proved to be difficult to record from on VHS (I certainly failed to get any of Knightmare from Sci-Fi), but this is the sort of thing that someone would record, surely?

So where is it…?

Soft Porn Sunday: Sarah Hunter & William F. Bryant

“What’s your name?”
“I am Beauty.”
“I can tell that, but what’s your name?”

THREE TIMES. It’s one joke, and not even a particularly good one, and yet they wheel it out three. whole. times in movie that’s a scant one minute and twenty seconds long. My guess? They didn’t think to give the character a name – neither does she have much of a personality, really, but that’s not her fault.

In any case, this is a different spin on Sleeping Beauty, and if they hadn’t already made Maleficent into a thing, I might be more interested in this. As it is…

Appearance: Sleeping Beauties (2017)
Characters: Beauty & Harry

I may cringe a little at the dialogue, but to tell the absolute truth, I quite like this one, even if it’s by no means a cinematic masterpiece. At the very least, the concept is fun – Beauty is found by a pair of construction workers, and most of the plot centres around them – their friendship and later rivalry, and even a sort of fraud storyline, unscrupulous Richard (Andy Long) stealing good guy Harry (Bryant)’s architecture plans.

Beauty, despite being the title character, has very little to do with the plot. She’s just… there. Naked.

At the very least Sarah Hunter plays her well enough. Not that she has much to do, really, but she does it well. Her first exposure to the modern world, after centuries of slumber, is amusing – completely engrossed in hotel television and assuming Harry is a wizard for making it happen – and at least a part of her character is established when it turns out she is fairly shameless about changing clothes in front of a bloke she barely knows.

I never truly thanked you for saving me… but I’d like to try!

beauty

Aaaaaaaaaaaand… cue the sex!

This is the first sex scene in the film, and let’s be honest, the fact that it’s between Beauty and Harry shouldn’t really come as a massive surprise, should it? It’s also a looooooong scene, each of the ‘o’s in that word representing a minute. Seven-minute sex scenes are rarely ever a thing. If they’re hot, that shouldn’t really matter…

but then again…

The reason for having sex with Harry having been established is one thing, but adherence to continuity appears to be a completely different concept here, as Beauty’s dress appears to vanish between shots, and by the time she’s lying on top of Harry giving him a kind of aggressive kiss (apparently two seconds later!), she’s completely naked.

A wizard did it. And then he ran away.

This kissing bit – and there’s quite a lot of kissing, really – goes on for a while, and for a few moments, I did kind of wonder if this was all the scene was going to be. Despite all the nudity, in fact, it’s relatively chaste – there’s plenty of touching, but nothing overly explicit. It’s well over a minute before Harry gets around to kissing Beauty’s breasts, and even that is done in a relatively censored way.

Not that I complain – lest we forget, this is soft porn and there’s only a limit to what they can show – but it really does seem desperately slow. The necessary boob-kissing is followed by a bit where she takes his shirt off, one button at a time, which both takes up a lot of time and she clearly struggles with one of them, which they left in! Nice one, movie!

It sucks.
Look me in the eye and tell me she’s anywhere near his dick.

More kissing (yawn), followed by the least convincing soft porn blowjob I’ve ever seen (yawn), until a few minutes go by and we have a slow mix to something approaching penetrative sex. This is standard doggie style stuff, but at least it’s fun. There’s a lot of energy on Harry’s part and Beauty is doing her fair share of moving. We also get some sound effects here – moans and the like – which we haven’t seen before. It makes a difference and also reminds a horny ILB that this is a sex film, so there’s some good in that.

Harry's been decapitated.
I mean, she keeps her crown on, that’s pretty fashion-conscious.

This goes on for a while – in fact, probably too much of a while; Harry looks bored by the end – so it’s something of a relief that, five minutes in, they switch to the missionary position. This is also fairly energetic – by which I mean they are rocking back and forth and Beauty has her mouth open – and there are some nice touched too, like a point where her hands are placed on his back, as if to hold him in place. This then goes on for two minutes (!!), before it quite simply fades to black.

Missionary impossible.
I think one of those is a statement nail, but it’s kind of hard to tell.

The whole thing is overlaid with a kind of circular instrumental mediæval (or later) music thing, mostly plucked strings (harp/lyre?) with orchestral violins behind it, which is pretty on its own, but doesn’t match the scene. I get the concept – this is a time-displaced princess from a earlier era and it’s an attempt to be in keeping with the fantasy theme – but it neither matches with, nor is it appropriate for, the sex. I can’t see electric guitars working here, really, but it makes me very sleepy, and if I’m going to be watching a film, I don’t want to fall asleep during!

Overall, though, I don’t hate this. The individual components – characters, actors, setting, music, scenario – are all pretty. Individually they work well, but put together it doesn’t quite gel into something cohesive enough. It’s also far too long to be the kind of sexy hit I need (this is a problem I usually have with hardcore; softcore doesn’t usually do this!), which makes me wonder if they just filmed all the footage they could and decided to use it all.

Something I’ve also noticed – and this is positive – is how body-diverse this scene is (if that is a thing). Harry still has body hair, which most men in softcore have shaved (or waxed) off. Beauty, while she is undeniably incredibly beautiful, isn’t skeletally thin, either – which isn’t to say she is a large woman; she does, however, have a slightly fuller figure, which makes her look healthy, as opposed to anaemic and worryingly xylophonic.

It’s mot much, but it’s noticeable.

Come together, women of the world!
It’s IWD, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw in a shot of Beauty’s feminist power tattoo.

I can see what they are going for with this scene – and the film as a whole, really; as I said above, the concept works – but its length and mood both confuse me. If it’s meant to be smoking hot, it doesn’t work (the music is off-putting), and it doesn’t call out as being something one is meant to fap to. Having said that, it is long and Beauty is pretty and even Harry isn’t bad to look at, so if one has time for a long, leisurely wank that neither starts nor ends with this, then it might be something handy (ahem) to have on hand (ahem!) should something come up (AHEM!).

And then there’s the rest of the film too. So don’t worry – you’ll be seeing her magically become naked again.

Soft Porn Sunday: Heidi Schanz & Tom Berenger

If you recognise those names, you’re not alone. This film, despite the “early-’90s soft porn”-style title and limp thriller set-up, is a genuine mainstream thriller with actual actors, albeit rated R (the BBFC might render this as either a 15 or 18 – but that’s up to them) and containing a fair amount of nudity and even some sex.

Tom “was in Inception “was in Inception “was in Inception“”” Berenger is the star here, as attorney Gavin, working hard on defending a Mafia don, when Pandora Circe (Heidi “out of The Truman Show” Schanz) rocks up looking for his help. She’s hot, and has a story to tell about a brutal husband, so of course Gavin is interested.

Anyway, that’s the set-up and it’s all you’re getting.

Appearance: Body Language (1995)
Characters: Pandora “Dora” Circe & Gavin St. Claire

Hmmm, Gavin has a porn star surname.

Kiss the miss.
Are you as worried as I am about the fact that Gavin doesn’t appear to have eyes?

The scene I’m going to be looking at is, for a mainstream flick, genuinely quite explicit for a mainstream film, and of course it happens between Dora and Gavin, so I suppose there’s some amount of “star power” here. Like many mainstream films, there isn’t much build-up to the sex in a sex scene either; whereas genuine softcore might spend time focusing on disrobing and/or foreplay, Body Language makes do with a brief kiss followed by a jump cut to the sex, so at the very least, we don’t have to wait.

There are a few dimly-lit close-ups to begin with, but at 00:13 we get a full-body shot, which unfortunately means that you have to see Berenger’s bum, but leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind of what’s actually going on here. There’s even quite a lot of steam between the two of them – Dora and Gavin are working off a fair amount of passion that’s been building up, so…

I don't know about you, but I think he's a bit of a bum man.
He’s got a better bed, but I’ve got a better arse.

In fact, it’s the closeness that makes this scene. The other shots prove to highlight this – deep, lusty kisses in tight head-and-shoulders shots; rolling over without breaking the connection; grabbing the back of the head; plenty of moans and gasps (from her; he makes a noise like Christopher Walken at the beginning, which…). We switch to Dora riding Gavin at 00:37, by which point it’s more than believable that they are both genuinely into this.

So, the riding. As I’ve said before, this scene is genuinely quite explicit, but for a fair amount of time the camera doesn’t focus on anything except Dora’s head and shoulders (and her pretty hair). As it isn’t porn, that’s clearly a stylistic choice, and not having boobs on show doesn’t really take anything away from the scene – they’re just absent enough to be noticeable.

Yaaaaaaaaaawn...
Yes, I too like to play at “going to the dentist” during sex.

In fact, although we do see her back and bum a few times, the one time her boobs could be on display, they are covered by Gavin’s hands. Nevertheless, they are both naked throughout this scene, and there’s enough bump’n’grind to keep everything ticking along nicely. Even the moans increase in volume, which… helps, I guess?

Having said all that, this isn’t real softcore and the sex isn’t the focus, however much of it we may see. There is, however, a nice postscript to this scene, with a fully naked Dora getting a drink from the ‘fridge afterwards. I’m aware she’s just had sex, so she should be, but it’s nice to normalise both nudity around the house and getting a cold drink after sex.

Oh, and fishkeeping.

Paracheirodon innesi +++
It’s not meant o be the focus, but that’s such a nice fish tank…

The only thing I really don’t like about this scene, really, is the music. But, again, softcore pays a lot more attention to music than other genres do. This scene uses semi-orchestral piano and woodwind stuff, which I suppose does suit the mood. It’s not particularly inspiring, but it doesn’t stick in my head. Mind you, this is one minute of passionate lovemaking, so that’s a minor quibble.

Overall, then, this is A Good Scene (and thanks to the reader who sent it in). It’s quick, it’s hot, it’s filmed well, and yes, it isn’t from actual softcore at all…

…AND YES, I’M VERY ANNOYED ABOUT THAT!

Soft Porn Sunday: Yvette McClendon & Glenn Ratcliffe

This is the long-overdue final instalment in the unofficial series of Soft Porn Sundays featuring Glenn Ratcliffe. Yes, I’m aware you probably weren’t aware of the fact that I was doing that. Friendly reader S.A. requested I do these, and you can find the first two here and here, and there’s a third, here.

But you’re not going to read those. I can tell.

Centerfold – please excuse me washing my hands with bleach after typing that Americanism – is an unusual half-hour of softcore because, although it varies between episode, half-hour series often feature an average of two or three sex scenes – more often than not, one before and one after the mid-point advert break. Some feature more (Passion Cove‘s Practice What You Preach leaps to mind, with no less than five in under thirty minutes!), but most commonly, you get two or three. It happens.

Centerfold, however, features four sex scenes. That’s two in under fifteen minutes. They’re brief, but they are there. They may all feature Ratcliffe as forgettable idiot horny photographer Joe, but at least they are there. So here is one.

Appearance: Compromising Situations, Series 3: “Centerfold” (1996)
Characters: Jennifer & Joe

Alliteration, eh? I like that. Gives me all sort of fluffy feels and energetic English graduate glee. You don’t get that sort of clever continuous collusion with murderous Maths.

Anyway.

This sex scene takes place on a bed with a pretty colour scheme. In fact, the colour scheme is fairly continuous throughout the scene: dark blue duvet, dark blue pillows, and it even takes place at dusk, so the light through the strategically-placed windows is dark blue. I know that I’m not supposed to notice that, but c’mon, I’m ILB – of course I’m going to do so.

Blue his house, with a blue little window...
“Blue room, you saw me standing alone…”

One thing I will point out (the second thing I noticed, after the blue, da ba dee, da ba dai) is Jennifer (McClendon). She’s actually very attractive. Nice defined face, lovely smile, and beautiful blonde hair in a unique hairstyle that I can’t quite place. She’s even got pretty silver nail varnish on that contrasts well with Joe (Ratcliffe)’s hair, and considering the fact that she doesn’t get to do anything except be awkwardly boob-kissed by Joe for the first 28 seconds, she does at least give off good vibes.

From the boob-kissing we cut to some thigh-kissing (yawn), with added ‘kiss’ sound effects (yes, really), before a mix to bog-standard softcore oral sex. Joe’s head is far too far north for this to be believable, but the look on Jennifer’s face does at least suggest she is enjoying herself – one supposes she is the one carrying the scene.

Smile, dammit! Smile, I command you!
Very nice girl. Lovely teeth.

It doesn’t, however, negate the fact that by this point, the scene is halfway through, and for a sex scene there doesn’t appear to have been much sex. Let’s move on.

I had to watch 1:03 to 1:09 to make sure I wasn’t imagining this. There’s a switch here from Joe being on top of Jennifer to Jennifer being on top of Joe – but, rather than a mix or a fade or a cut, it happens on-screen in double speed! There’s no change in the music or indication that this is going to happen, or indeed, if it’s intentional at all – but for five or so seconds, they have suddenly channelled Billy Whizz, before instantly returning to normal pace as if nothing has happened!

…What?!

Anyway, once we are back a tempo, we do get something approximating what I assume is an attempt at simulating penetrative sex. At the very least, Jennifer is astride Joe and neither of them is wearing anything (unless the duvet conceals it – a cunning design), so I think this is the OMGZ SEKS bit. Jennifer does have a nice back (and, although I don’t mention this very often, a well-proportioned arse), and once we mix to a front-on view, it turns out she has nice breasts too (if only Joe’s damn hand would get out of the way).

Back shot. I’m a sucker for a good back. There’s a kink I didn’t realise I had.

There just isn’t a lot of movement. She’s just… sitting there while he flails his hand around a bit. At 01:33 she even grabs it in what appears to be an attempt to stop him doing so – making me wonder if this was scripted, or if it was just the actress getting fed up with it!

There’s a touch of movement at 01:44, accompanied by a shift in the music, presumably to indicate a shift in tone; the previous piece (a kind of ambient dreamy synthy thing) suddenly overlaid with bass guitar, kick drum and tambourine. It doesn’t really add anything, but at least it makes things a little more interesting.

It may as well, because the sex isn’t getting any more interesting.

And then a telephone rings. Telephone, the real star of the show.

It took me ages to screenshot this.
Should’ve received full credit.

Overall, I’m not sure what this scene is meant to be. It’s not overly sexy, and wouldn’t be at all were it not for Yvonne McClendon. It’s slow, but not romantic slow or intense slow, just slow slow. The cinematography’s okay, and the music is sound, and – as I said – understated but colour-consistent décor is always nice – but it’s delivered with a kind of disinterested detachment that makes me wonder what they were doing here.

“Hey, we need to move this plot along! Throw in another sex scene and they’ll never notice!”

But hey. Four sex scenes in one episode. Horny teenagers watching this on L!VE probably aren’t going to complain.

Soft Porn Sunday: Jewel Staite & Callum Blue

Although there’s a lot of go-to scenes I have, throughout various permutations of glossy smut – on my hard drive, my busted external HD or my Disks of Wonder™ – there is also quite a lot to be said for the quick snatches of sex, implied or otherwise, that you’ll find in more mainstream media.

Sex and the City isn’t a good example.

Anyway, here’s what I mean – something ostensibly mainstream (if a little cult-ish), definitely not softcore porn, but hot nonetheless. An example, if you will.

Appearance: Dead Like Me, Series 1: “Rest in Peace” (2003)
Characters: Mason & Goth Girl

In before anyone trying to tell me that it’s actually requiescet in pace. “Rest in Peace” is the name of the episode. Look, shut up, I can only go on what IMDb tells me.

We don’t get Dead Like Me over here in the UK, and as far as I’m aware, it’s never been shown on UK TV (although it seems like a programme that E4 might pick up) – a Bryan Fuller comedy-drama series focusing on George (Ellen Muth), who dies early on in the pilot episode, becoming a reaper, one of a team who guide the souls of the dead towards the afterlife. A bit like watching Last of the Summer Wine, really.

Mason in pain. Can reapers feel pain?
“Ow! Bloody ‘ell! You motherf…”

Anyway, the scene I’m going to focus on features British reaper Mason (Callum Blue, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Princess Diaries 2, Smallville), who – as far as I can tell, since I haven’t actually watched the show – is incredibly British, on account of the fact he says “bloody hell!” in this scene. After getting slapped in the face by a little kid in a video store (hence the aforementioned profanity), a sexy goth girl (Jewel Staite, who has also starred in Firefly, which I’ve never been interested in) appears, holding something Mason dropped.

DIALOGUE!

A very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, attractive girl
I love her style, and I love her smile!

Goth Girl: “You dropped this.”
Mason: “Yeah.”
Goth Girl: “What’s ETD?”
Mason: “Estimated Time of Death…”
Goth Girl: “What is this? Whose Estimated Time of Death? Who are you?”
Mason: “I’m Mason! Can I have this back, please?”
Goth Girl: “What are you, some kind of grim reaper?”
Mason: “…yes?”

And that’s it. That’s all we need to set up some impromptu sex. Porn doesn’t even do that. We’ve got Mason and the unnamed goth girl circling each other, and some very clever camera work (which is, apparently, a motif of the series) involving a quick pan accompanied by an electric guitar slide, and then sex! Fantastic!

Hey, those are nice boots!
I noticed this, so of course I took a screenshot. Now you know.

So, yes. Mason and the goth girl have rough, dirty sex inside a listening booth (or possibly a janitor’s closet… or both…) in the store itself. We can tell they’re having sex because the production team saw fit for the goth girl’s Dennis the Menace-patterned knickers to be around one of her boots, but to be fair, we could have worked that out without the shot. Nice touch, though.

The sex is quick (as I said, this isn’t porn), but hot and energetic. It’s the kind of instant sex fuelled by nothing except lust (and maybe a little fascination with death in her case). There’s a lamp swinging back and forth, occasionally throwing them into shade and occasionally sharp relief. Oh, and Mason is hot and Jewel is hot, and she’s wearing a very attractive goth outfit and she’s very clearly in control here.

I love this stuff.

Maybe they're singing opera?
“I’M A REAPER!”. Yes, we get it.

The thing that drives this scene is the dialogue that continues throughout the sex. The goth girl, who’s quite clearly fixated on a certain aspect of Mason, grabs him and elicits him to “tell me what you are!” a couple of times, quite forcefully (well, wouldn’t you?). After timidly realising that “I’m a… I’m a reaper?” gets her going, Mason picks up the pace, shouting “I’M A REAPER!” so loudly the whole shop can hear it.

Probably should have checked that the booth was actually soundproof. Get it together, shop owning guys.

Scandalised public… and it isn’t even Britain!

Even the way they exit the booth is clever (again with some good camera work). Jewel seems unconcerned and cool as a box of frozen cucumbers; Mason, on the other hand, is dishevelled AF, and without a word… he gets slapped again.

Usually I’d mention scenery (it’s good here), music (metal here, which is appropriate), characterisation (no context, so I’ve no idea), and relevance to the plot (…again…). But this is different. Dead Like Me is a programme with a production budget. You’d expect it to look good, sound good and have good actors in it. I can’t comment on the rest of the series, but at least for these eighty seconds, those are there in spades.

And so they should be.

Clearly in a state of disarray
Goth Girl doesn’t seem to be fazed by any of this. I can’t quite say the same for Mason.

The point I’m trying to make, convoluted as it may be, is that it doesn’t need to be a sex show to have sex. Lots of people have sex for all sorts of different reasons. I’m fairly certain that being dragged off to a side room by a goth girl for a quick shag doesn’t happen a lot in real life (it’s certainly never happened to me), but then again, I’m also fairly certain that dead people don’t get appointed as a gang of reapers, so I can forgive the slight ridiculousness of the set-up.

And, apart from anything else, this does make me laugh.

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