18 January 2008 | Nodriesrespect
Halfway to Hell
As with many multi-parters, a popular way to recoup production costs in the adult industry at the time, there was enough material to fill out a single feature 90 minute film. At two installments of 70 minutes each, there's way too much flab and filler for it to be considered on a par with Gerard Damiano and Ron Sullivan's superior predecessors. DMJ3 came as close to perfection as any Greg Dark endeavor has. DMJ4 however deteriorates into chaos right from the start.
Submitting to the advances of late Kevin James as the Rock Man, Justine (still played by the wonderfully witty Lois Ayres) proceeds on her Negro-guided tour of Hell. Jack Baker (a well-liked mainstream bit player who died in 1994) is on hand for sparkling repartee, leeringly describing the next stop as the Perverse Room where the action becomes jumbled and disjointed, a far cry from the precision editing that characterized the previous episode. The camera stumbles from one carnal exhibit to another, the sex hardly anything to shout about excusing a really rather jaw-dropping Sapphic duet between Erica Boyer and Tamara Longley, joined at the pudenda by a double dong ! At least, the fornicating's more focused in the subsequent Racist Room as Nazi Marc Wallice (a chilling harbinger of his rumored not to be entirely accidental "Patient Zero" status within the industry about a decade later) goes through the motions with black Purple Passion and Oriental Kristara Barrington, accompanied by a rousing Hitler speech on the soundtrack ! Stuck-up Southern Belle Patti Petite is simultaneously ravished by Zulu warriors Robbie Dee and Field Marshal Bradley in one of the more spirited numbers.
Returning to the plot, Negro recounts a most bizarre dream involving a pair of ladies' buttocks and...a talking pig's head ?! Bored and repulsed by all this, Justine wanders into the rightfully feared Taboo Breaker's Room, only to be confronted by her own image and the reason she's condemned to the Everlasting Inferno is finally revealed. This also supplies the most dramatically functional fornication bit which I simply cannot describe here without giving away a clever twist that ends this somewhat unwieldy two-parter on a high note. One of Dark's most successful directorial touches is the inclusion of a series of narrative interruptions where an unseen interviewer - whose identity I shall not divulge - questions Justine's nearest and dearest (brother, ex-boyfriends, father confessor) about her sordid past and their part therein. What initially seems like an amusing swipe at Warren Beatty's self-important REDS would with the passing of time turn into a staple of the Dark catalog, evidenced by INSIDE CENTERFOLD GIRLS and the CREASEMASTER movies.