This month, Showtime is running Eli Cross/Bryn Pryor and Paul Fishbein‘s documentary X Rated: The Greatest Adult Movies of All Time; overall, I found the documentary to be a little too self-serious, and I have some issues with the list of movies they chose — most notably, there’s a gap covering the Silver and Iron Ages — between 1984 and 1992 — which should not have been overlooked, IMHO.
As I mentioned elsewhere, I am excited that this movie got produced at all, let alone scored distribution on Showtime, the other major American cable network that isn’t HBO.
Chanel Preston hosted the proceedings, providing opening and closing stand-ups, connective tissue and some brief in-studio interviews with Christy Canyon, Wesley Emerson (Cass Paley), Kimberly Kane and Ana Foxxx
The format was pretty rigid – generous amounts of harder-than-expected footage from the films in question, intercut with talking heads – usually people involved in the movie. Due to the size of the list and the length of the documentary, each movie only got a bit over 2 minutes of discussion each.
(Speaking of the interviews, some of them were presented waaaay over-exposed. I’m not sure of the stylistic choice of presenting it this way, but I found it distracting, when correctly exposed footage seemed to exist.)
In addition, when participants in the movies couldn’t be found, they relied on recent starts to offer opinions or summaries – for example, Skin Diamond (Best Oral (get it?), 2014 AVN Awards) was used to do the heavy lifting summarizing Deep Throat, since pretty everyone involved in that movie is dead now; Riley Reid talked about Blonde Ambition; Casey Calvert spoke about Nothing to Hide 1
But, BUT! They did get some great modern-day footage of performers Constance Money, Georgina Spelvin, Kay Parker, Eric Edwards, Richard Pacheco and Gloria Leonard from her final interview (courtesy of Steven Morowitz of Distribpix – Steven’s blog posting about his participation)
We talked about the doc during the latest episode of ThisAintNotTheViewXXX and how the makers completely skipped over The Silver and Iron Age of the adult movie — just off the tops of our heads, we had to wonder where was New Wave Hookers (1985) or Night Trips (1989) or Chameleon (1989) or Adventures of Buttman (1989) or Dog Walker (1994). (1989 was a really great year for porn!) We couldn’t find a list of the movies, so I put my own together.
Major directors are overlooked – where is Bob Chinn? Robert McCallum? Carter Stevens? Svetlana? Alex DeRenzy? Henri Fucking Pachard? The Dark Brothers? John Leslie? Cecil Howard’s great, but does he deserve three movies on the list? No mention of Seka except for an appearance in a coming attraction that ran under the credits?
Any list will have its omissions, so I wonder if there were outside forces influencing some of the choices – was Johnny Wadd passed over because Chinn didn’t want to participate? (I have no clue; just using him as an example.) Could they not get the rights to show clips from New Wave Hookers? (Same caveat.)
Here’s their list, ordered by year of release, which is how the documentary was structured:
- Deep Throat (1972), directed by Gerard Damiano
- Behind the Green Door 1 (1972), directed by Artie Mitchell and Jim Mitchell
- Devil in Miss Jones 1 (1973), directed by Gerard Damiano
- Opening of Misty Beethoven (1975), directed by Henry Paris
- Barbara Broadcast (1977), directed by Henry Paris
- Debbie Does Dallas 1 (1978), directed by Jim Buckley
- Blonde Ambition (1980), directed by John Amero and Lem Amero
- Taboo 1 (1980), directed by Kirdy Stevens
- Neon Nights (1981), directed by Cecil Howard
- Cafe Flesh (1982), directed by Rinse Dream
- Scoundrels (1982), directed by Cecil Howard
- Roommates (1981), directed by Chuck Vincent
- Nothing to Hide 1 (1981*), directed by Anthony Spinelli
- Firestorm (1984), directed by Cecil Howard
- Hidden Obsessions (1992), directed by Andrew Blake
- Justine: Nothing to Hide 2 (1993), directed by Paul Thomas
- Latex (1995), directed by Michael Ninn
- Flashpoint (1998), directed by Brad Armstrong
- Looker 1 (1998), directed by Nic Cramer
- Seven Deadly Sins (1999), directed by Ren Savant
- Dark Angels (2000), directed by Nick Andrews
- Fashionistas 1 (2002), directed by John Stagliano
- Masseuse 1 (2004), directed by Paul Thomas
- New Devil in Miss Jones (2005), directed by Paul Thomas
- Pirates (2005), directed by Joone
- Corruption (2006), directed by Eli Cross
- Upload (2007), directed by Eli Cross
- Fallen (2008), directed by Brad Armstrong
- 8th Day (2009), directed by Ren Savant
- Star Wars XXX: A Porn Parody (2012), directed by Axel Braun
- Underworld (2013), directed by Brad Armstrong
- Wasteland (2012), directed by Graham Travis
- Submission Of Emma Marx (2013), directed by Jacky St. James and Eddie Powell
* A quick note on years: According to the US Copyright Office, Nothing to Hide has a date of publication of December 18, 1981. The AFAA and CFAA gave it awards in 1981, it won “Best Film” at the 1982 Adam Film World awards, but AVN didn’t give it any awards until 1984, and in their book “AVN Guide to the 500 Greatest Adult Films of All Time” they list the date as 1983; which the copyright office lists as the date of registration (not the date of creation). IMDB also lists its release as 1981.
What are your thoughts on the list?