In 10 Words or Less
Classic adult-video ridiculousness
Loves: Dave's Old Porn, Boogie Nights
Likes: Bad old-school adult flicks
Dislikes: Thinking about how old these people are now
Hates: Zero extras
Have you ever watched Dave's Old Porn? It's a fun little Showtime series where comedian Dave Attell is joined by another comedian pal and an old-school porn star, and they watch an old porno flick and crack jokes. If there was ever a movie tailor-made for that show, it's Same Time Every Year. Released in 1981, and featuring some of the most legendary male actors in adult cinema, it's a cornucopia of bad porn cliches; the kind of movie they were making at the beginning of Boogie Nights. As such, it's really kind of fascinating to watch. (However, if your intent is to enjoy this movie the way most modern porn is enjoyed, you may want to keep looking, probably at another website.)
Like most old-school porn, this one has a story, however flimsy it may be. A group of guys are getting ready to go away on their annual lawyer convention, leaving their longing ladies at home. They think they're getting one over on their galpals, because they are really going...somewhere else (it's not clear where), and having lots of sex with random women in random situations that seem unlikely to be in the same place they were all driven to by their driver (a young Ron Jeremy (who looks a lot like Max on Happy Endings.)) The thing is, the ladies take advantage of their alone time to have plenty of sex of their own with plenty of random guys, in a form of payback.
For anyone who has seen a porno movie made in the modern era (think the end of Boogie Nights when Rollergirl has her unfortunate limo ride) this is nothing like that. Rendezvous last a few minutes at most, moving swiftly from act to act, rather than lingering through some sort of sexual marathon. Sex isn't a violent act, but rather mostly gentle and loving (and sometimes hidden from sight due to camerawork and lighting.) The women are either soft and curvy or thin and somewhat flat-chested, rather than molded out of plastic, and the guys aren't carved out of marble. And, of course, there is hair EVERYWHERE.
Now, most people don't watch an adult movie looking for story, but this isn't a modern movie. This is a classic of bad cinema; a hardcore made-for-MST3K flick. While "acting" in these movies has pretty much always been a laughable concept, this movie takes it to a whole new level, thanks to a combination of bad performances and barely-coherent scripting (not to mention some technical issues, like a lack of sync between mouths and voices.) After watching Nature Calls, starring the hilarious Patton Oswalt, and this movie, starring the substantially less funny Herschel Savage, I can honestly say I laughed way more watching Same Time Every Year.
Inside a standard keepcase, you get a one-disc release, with a static anamorphic-widescreen menu offering options to play the film and select chapters. There are no audio options, no subtitles and no closed captioning.
No one would expect a Criterion-level clean-up on a little-known early-'80s adult movie, but boy this one looks rough. The anamorphic-widescreen transfer is riddled with dirt and scratches, which may contribute to the film's vintage grindhouse charm, but it's still ugly. At one point, the entire image stutters and jumps like something went wrong with the reels. The color is quite muted and detail is hit or miss, while black levels are better referred to as gray levels. At least there are no notable issues with compression artifacts.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is fine for what this movie is bringing, which is a pretty killer porno score and some actually interesting audio editing (the key word being interesting...not good.) There's nothing dynamic about the center-balanced presentation, as the dialogue is easy to hear (which is important in terms of laughs.) The music is probably the best thing about this movie, and the DVD delivers it well.
Nada, outside of that shameful feeling you might have after watching.
The Bottom Line
Every silly stereotype about early '80s porn is on fine display in this time capsule of an adult movie, which even has the good taste to throw in a Ron Jeremy performance. While barely titillating, it's frequently hilarious, and would be a fun watch with the right group of like-minded friends (just remember, it sounds good, looks like old hell and offers no extras.)
Francis Rizzo III is a native Long Islander, where he works in academia. In his spare time, he enjoys watching hockey, writing and spending time with his wife, daughter and puppy.Check out 1106 - A Moment in Fictional Time or his convention blog called Conning Fellow
*The Reviewer's Bias section is an attempt to help readers use the review to its best effect. By knowing where the reviewer's biases lie on the film's subject matter, one can read the review with the right mindset.