The dark side of the famous adult film
Likes: Classic porn
The story is a bit disjointed, jumping around from a where-are-they-now follow-up, including a disappearing star, to an undercover crime story to a somewhat underwhelming story about the film itself. Because of that, the pacing can get a bit laborious, especially when it gets mired in the story of a pair of investigators tracking the money behind the film's production. It could just be the people involved, but it's not the most enthralling bit of the tale.
More interesting is the catching-up that's done with the actors from the film, who are now well into middle-age. The diverse paths their lives have taken are exactly what the story needed to rise above, though none of the men look negatively on it. The women, on the other hand, either refuse to be involved or are somewhat boring to hear from, as seen in the interview with adult star Robyn Byrd, who actually puts a limit on her available time.
Making a movie about a porno flick and not including some of the film, especially when the porno flick is so famous and not actually seen (unlike the Pam Anderson/Tommy Lee tape), is almost impossible. Of course, include the film, and you now no longer have a documentary about porn, but porn itself. So the creators smartly presented the footage by offering distorted views of the more graphic moments. By doing this, the movie takes on an artistic feel that raises its sophistication level.
Though for the most part interesting, the film takes the topic a bit too seriously, sounding way more like a Geraldo report than a documentary about a porno. Sure, you can do an investigative documentary about the adult film industry, but you don't have to make it into Woodward and Bernstein. A lighter touch, like that seen in the actors' interviews, would have given this disjointed documentary more balance and made it more entertaining.
The audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 2.0 track of a stereo mix, and it sounds very clean. There's no attempt at any kind of dynamic presentation, but the soundtrack is put togther well.
A promotional screen for Docurama and a quartet of documentary trailers fill out the package.
The Bottom Line
If you're looking for a good time, this isn't the right choice, as it's too dark, but it's certainly interesting. The DVD gives the movie a solid presentation and supplements the main film's short length with an appropriate short film that provides a bit more bang for the buck. If you're interested in the story behind the film, this is worth checking out, though the limited content and lack of extras label it as a rental.