Inside Deep Throat 2.0 stars

Inside Deep Throat movie poster

A revisitation of the advent and aftermath of what we might call, with more literal meaning than usual, the seminal work in "adult" films of the modern era, or what Camille Paglia calls, with her characteristic amount of self-restraint, "an epochal moment in the history of human sexuality." It's a chopped salad of a film, assembled from archival footage and talking-head reminiscences, by the documentary team of Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. A good deal of nonsense, certainly, gets talked by those heads: "Men want to believe that the clitoris is in a woman's throat," affirms Erica Jong, swallowing in toto the silly premise of Deep Throat. Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal, meanwhile, who have always had a lot to say about a lot of things, come off as intellectual giants in the rotation of commentators that encompasses John Waters, Wes Craven, Hugh Hefner, Larry Flynt, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Helen Gurley Brown (attesting to the benefits of semen as a facial treatment), Deep Throat's director, Gerard Damiano (a former hairdresser whose roadkill toupee is resignedly gray in the present day and fancifully dark in the past), its male star, Harry Reems, and the Memphis prosecutor, Larry Parrish, who hauled Reems into court to answer for his sins: "Deep Throat attacks the very core of our being." The female star, Linda Lovelace, is unavailable as a talking head, having been killed in a car wreck in 2002. But she talks from the archives, first as a proponent of pornography ("The last person that started censorship was Adolf Hitler, and look what happened there"), then as an opponent of it, before she switches sides again and attempts a pornographic comeback at the age of fifty-one. She is not an inspiring figure, unless maybe inspiring of pity. She is also, to be sure, represented in excerpts from her immortalizing performance, showing off the hard-core skill celebrated in the title, and possibly, with that, inspiring something else as well, something between awe and asphyxiation: Deep Throttle. The documentary tells an interesting story or stories: a cultural story, a character story, a courtroom story, a commerce story, an organized crime story. (The original film, costing $25,000 to manufacture, $1200 of it going to Lovelace and $250 to Reems, is calculated as the most profitable motion picture in history, although the profits didn't go to the people who made it.) All of the interest of it, however, is in the story, not in the telling. The chopped salad is hackwork. 2005.

Duncan Shepherd

  • Rated NC-17 | 1 hour, 32 minutes

This movie is not currently in theaters.

Comments

Jay Allen Sanford March 24, 2010 @ 10:10 p.m.

The original Throat played in various downtown San Diego Theaters multiple time per day, for over seven years -- Hotel San Diego owner Vince Miranda (who operated the CA Pussycat Theater chain) owned the exclusive California rights to screen the film, and the deal made him rich indeed.

Altho, the GET the titular talents of Miss Lovelace onto CA screens, he had to give away rights to the Pussycat Theater name in all states outside CA, enabling the Mob to open the legendary NYC Times Square Pussycat, which thrived until its mob boss owner died in a secret tunnel beneath the theater while running from the FBI.

Helluva story, and much of it is sourced right here in San Diego - Checkout http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2008/dec/26/pussycat-theater-history-when-cathouses-ruled-ca-5

0

Jay Allen Sanford March 25, 2010 @ 2:39 a.m.

Projectionist Dan Whitehead recalls opening Deep Throat at the downtown Pussycat Theater on 4th Avenue. "I worked for three days straight, because the day projectionist, Michael Knight, was a college student and afraid of getting busted; he later became management. Those were 18-hour shifts, back to back. After the third day, I literally couldn't go on any longer and went home and crashed."

"That was the night the vice squad came in and confiscated the print."

The theater's head of public relations, Don Haley, was staying in town and prepared. "He brought a second print over from the St. James Hotel [also owned by the Pussycat chain] -- the cops could only take one print until a court decided if it was obscene -- and then he proceeded to call all the radio and TV stations in town. When I got to work the next night, people were lined up way down the street and around the block, and it stayed that way for a long time. It was so busy that we were answering the phone in the projection booth, because the concession stand and box office were literally too swamped to do it."

The Pussycat's owners battled the city over this and other Pussycat matters for years....

0

Sign in to comment

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close