A few weeks back, we beheld the great Zalman King's fleshy visitation of Two Moon Junction. And the camera lenses have a brand new coat of Vaseline and the sax-to-sex-by soundtrack is rolling, so Mr. Nine 1/2 Weeks must be at it again. He's the fella who gave X-man David Duchovny a stack of dirty letters and had him read them real late at night on Showtime -- in the couples-oriented series Red Shoe Diaries. Zalman's an innovator, and truth be told, largely responsible for slipping softcore porn into the mainstream by emphasizing eroticism and sensuality over mere exploitation. Showtime released two discs in the spring, Red Shoe Diaries 11: The Game and Red Shoe Diaries 12: Girl on a Bike, each featuring commentaries by the man hisself. The next batch, Red Shoe Diaries 13: Four On The Floor and Red Shoe Diaries 14: Luscious Lola (1999, 87 minutes) , has arrived with the original feature due early 2001, so ya gotta wait a bit to see Duchovny wronged by his cheatin' woman in slutty red pumps.
Luscious Lola: Bookish babe (Bobbie Phillips) can't tear herself away from the safety of her computer screen, but when she does, it's only to moon over her office fantasy man (Michael Bendetti). She thinks she's not good enough for him, so she day-dreams a tropical getaway as free-lover Luscious Lola, who wears slinky outfits, and sips seductively on one of them drinks with the little umbrellas. She also does some dirty dancing to island beats with her office stud, which leads to similar moves, but horizontally. Later, it turns out her dreamboat has the hots for her also, but their tyrannical boss (Kristina Fulton) wants him for herself and an other-worldly cat fight ensues. Faithful "Blood, Breasts and Beasts" readers will remember Ms. Fulton from the abysmal Lucinda's Spell as the lead witch/whore battling for the custody of her child and the love of a warlock. Directed by Stephen Halbert.
The Last Motel: A Navy seaman (Darren Foy doing his worst Jack Nicholson) records video letters to five different women, inviting each to a motel during his next shore leave. There's two gals in white go-go boots. A folk musician. An Asian woman with a gelatin fetish. And last, but never least, a cheerleader with enormous pompons. The scenario plays out like one of those old "farmer's daughters" jokes, with the grinning fella visiting each room and frolicking within. There's also another couple who're just at the hotel to diddle -- only the gal wants more. But the more INTERESTING couple has a unique way of working through domestic issues. The woman ties her unruly man to a chair and tells him she's pregnant, and when he's done whimpering about it -- she rides him like the coin-operated pony in front of the Sack'N'Save. Of course, the sailor gets caught trying to have his way with all those babes, but this being late-night cable, all the chicks are into it, and all six of them pile into one room for a nightcap. Directed by Zalman King.
Mercy: A Southern belle (Heidi Mark) writes to prisoners in order to keep their, ahem, spirits up (as well as her own.) Naturally, one of these fellas (John Enos) serves his time and comes a lookin' for the object of his desire. He finds her alone at the lonely, roadside diner/gas station where she works and neither acknowledge they know the other (typical of these sorts of stories). And a dance of sexual tension begins, mostly with Rebecca coming on to "the stranger." He gives her a REALLY short cocktail dress and takes her on a ride on his Harley, but the whole Penthouse Forum encounter screeches to a halt when she announces she's married. Seems her jailhouse stud is reluctant to indulge with a married woman -- even after she hikes her skirt up to her chin and wiggles out of her panties. But with a few carefully chosen words, spoken in a seductive (but phony) Southern drawl, Rebecca becomes intimately familiar with the hood of a convertible. Her geriatric hubby (Joseph Whipp), who also happens to be a law man, comes home the next day and things get real weird in a hurry. Playboy subscribers will no doubt remember Heidi as Ms. July 1995 who listed the people she admires as "Maya Angelou, Jessica Lange, Sally Field, my DADDY!" Directed by Zalman King.
Notables: 16 breasts. Horse whipping. Gratuitous Hawaiian shirt. Surf-side diddling. Sword play. Polaroid photo session. Pompon shaking. Fun with Jell-O. Peeping. Hog riding. Gratuitous banana munching. One giddy cartwheel. Seven white bunnies.
Quotables: Tanya the fiery boss babe chastises an employee, "Are you getting enough iron? Well, I think it's settling IN YOUR ASS!" The motel manager/philosopher speaks, "You want some advice? Love. Love is the answer. Love is the drug of the mind, the body and the soul. The best and only drug you'll ever need. Reach for the unknown -- touch the stars." Rebecca is full of double entendre, "Are you hungry? Well, of course you're hungry. All young men are hungry ... You better eat up, or I'll think you don't like my biscuits!" But when her stud is reluctant, she's very direct, "Be as gentle as you want. Be as savage as you want. I like it both ways. I just thought you'd like to know that." Text of Jake's personals ad: "WOMEN: Do you keep a diary? Have you been betrayed? Have you betrayed another? Man, 25, wounded and alone, recovering from loss of once in a lifetime love looking for reasons why. Willing to pay top $$$ for your experiences. Please send diaries to: Red Shoes; P.O. Box 7956319; Canoga Park, California 91309. All submissions strictly confidential."
Time codes: Meet Luscious Lola (7:25). "Four breasts. Three swords. Two women ... " (18:25). Can't reason with your man? Tie him to a chair (38:30). Freeze-frame pervert's delight (46:38). Dressing for the Debutante Ball (1:02:45). A story sure to get things cooking (1:10:10).
Audio/Video: Relatively clean fullframe transfer with no real need for complaint -- there is, however, a discrete amount of digital shimmering. That Zalman-signature music sounds extra cheesy in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.
Extras: Motion-video main menu with audio. During "The Last Motel" there are about eight instances where a red shoe appears on the screen and allows viewers to peruse that portion of the script (Oooooooo!) Two unedited love scenes amounting to about four minutes. A three minute interview with King during which he discusses the genesis of Red Shoes and why he believes it has been successful. An intriguing addition is a steamy diary that completes the story begun on the Four on the Floor disc. Gallery of 18 photos. Cast bios. Trivia game with video-clip rewards for each correct answer.
Final thought: Three-for-three! This collection showcases WHY Zalman is the undeniable KING of Late-night Cable -- the GRAND POOH-BAH of Boob-ahs. Highly recommended.
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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.