In 10 Words or Less
All-porn star rock band mockumentary
Loves: Good mockumentaries
Likes: Adult movies
Dislikes: Poor acting
Hates: Reality TV
Mockumentaries are much harder to get right than they seem. After all, you've got to have a really good team to make fiction seem like reality, especially when it comes to the acting. Of course, you could just say "Fudge it," and shoot a feature-length episode of reality television instead, full of all the manufactured scenarios, drama and women yelling that make me avoid that genre like the plague. That certainly seems to be the tactic chosen by the makers of Tight, the story of the first all-female, all-porn star rock band and their ill-fated first tour.
I'm fully willing to admit that I came away from this film a bit confused, mainly about the band itself. Made up of a quartet of lesser-known porn starlets (Monica Mayhem, Layla Labelle, Tuesday Cross and Alicia Andrews), the group might be a real construction, a Spice Girls for the adult film world, a possibility mainly because of porn's love of gimmicks and publicity, and the fact that, playing under their real porn names, they are authentically bad, playing small, miserable gigs. However, the film's authenticity is just terrible, thanks mainly to one of the largest collections of bad acting ever seen in one film.
Now, a movie about a suffering, sub-par band's awful tour experience can be a terrific thing, as we saw in This is Spinal Tap (a film name-checked on the cover in the inexplicable NY Post quote "the best mockumentary since Spinal Tap.") That's not the case here though, as the story is treated as more like reality-TV fodder, with the girls in the band (and manager Bree Olsen) constantly fighting, getting caught-up in forced situations and dealing with wacky side characters like Olsen's cousin Joel, who co-manages the group in an obnoxiously awful manner that befits a lame sitcom than a mockumentary. Trying to care about the story as anything realistic is an unhealthy task, as the film changes course without motivation or logic several times before eventually finding its interest in the girls petering out far later than that of the viewers.
I certainly didn't sit and keep track (staying focused on the movie itself was enough of a task) but if I had to estimate, the breakdown of the film is 50 percent screaming fights involving the band, 25 percent unenjoyable music (featuring some of the most repetitive lyrics ever recorded) and five percent gratuitous nudity and/or sex (all mostly softcover in nature) with the rest made up of seemingly random moments of pointlessness. If there are any plot points that don't involve fighting or bad band performances, they are apparently easily forgotten within minutes of finishing the film's excruciating 111 minutes. Perhaps if you are a fan of Bravo's line-up of attitude-heavy, entitled women you might enjoy this stuff, but the terrible acting from pretty much everyone involved is probably too big an obstacle to overcome.
The film arrives on a single DVD, which is packed in a standard keepcase with a four-page insert featuring an article about the film written by the co-author of Monica Mayhem's autobiography. The disc features a static, anamorphic widescreen menu with options to play the film, select scenes and check out the extras. There are no audio options and no subtitles.
The one thing the film got right are the visuals, as the anamorphic widescreen transfer offers the look of a shot-on-video reality show well and looks consistently solid, even during darker night and club scenes. The level of fine detail is moderately high and color is appropriate, along with the black levels.
Delivered via a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, the audio in this film is all over the place. It's not even a matter of authenticity, as scenes in similar settings sound entirely different, which often makes it difficult to understand what's been said. It's too bad this isn't the case during the musical performances, which are unfortunately pretty strong. The mix is simple and straight down the middle, and is free of any distortion.
If this was an enjoyable film, the extras would be pretty exciting, because there's a lotof them, starting with three bits of concert footage, as the band performs three songs in three different cities (running a total of 8:08.) If the movie didn't prove how bad a band Tight is, these clips should make it as clear as a stripper's lucite heels. If you didn't get enough of Tight's way-out sound, two music videos (6:18 in all) are also available. Surprisingly, they don't sound as bad here in these low-budget greenscreen videos.
It's not clear exactly what "Bonus Videos" means, but it includes "On the Road with Ron Samuels" (6:57), a series of appropriately cheesy "entertainment reports" from Tight's tour. It feels like these were supposed to be part of the film, and they would have helped any mockumentary feel the film attempted to capture, but here they are. You also get Alicia's audition (1:20), showing her playing the drums to a track. It's not clear though whether this is supposed to be the real Alicia's audition for the film or the film Alicia's audition for the band. Either way, it's a bit over a minute of mediocre drumming.
Despite the film being nearly two hours long, there's a pile of 22 deleted scenes (31:19) here, from all over the film, featuring some subplots that didn't make it into the film, but most of it repeats stuff seen in the film. The clips range from 15 seconds to 2:56, though most are around a minute to a minute and a half.
Also on the disc is a relatively robust photo gallery of tour pictures and promo shots (including one topless photo of Olsen) and a trio of trailers about Tight (the band and the movie) along with 10 other Wild Eye trailers. More annoying than anything in the film or the extras is the lack of any play-all options, which forces you to return to the menu over and over again.
The Bottom Line
It's never a good sign when you're watching a movie and think "Well this has to be just about done," only to discover there's still over 40 minutes to go. That's just the case with Tight, a confusing attempt at making a mockumentary about the fringes of the porn universe (a topic that Christopher Guest should be developing right now.) There's nothing worth suggesting about this entire endeavor, as even the pile of extras offers no reason to spend an additional minute with these girls. There's got to be something better to do with your time than watch this movie.
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.