Hot Nights on the Campus
- 1h 7min
Naïve small town Indiana gal Sally arrives in New York City to attend college. While in New York Sally lives with four more worldly and uninhibited female roommates, goes to wild swinging pa... Read allNaïve small town Indiana gal Sally arrives in New York City to attend college. While in New York Sally lives with four more worldly and uninhibited female roommates, goes to wild swinging parties, and falls for both a college professor and a young athletics major. Complications e... Read allNaïve small town Indiana gal Sally arrives in New York City to attend college. While in New York Sally lives with four more worldly and uninhibited female roommates, goes to wild swinging parties, and falls for both a college professor and a young athletics major. Complications ensue after Sally discovers that she's pregnant.
Generally speaking, silent porn films tend to be boring garbage, with stylists like Nick Millard and Doris Wishman offering diversions, if you can get on their wavelength. It's because the method is a cheap crutch, not like the silent approach of the great Italian filmmakers of Fellini caliber but rather cheap-jack pornographers who give the audience the most meager form of entertainment. I know that serious adult filmmakers, like Joe Sarno and Russ Meyer, didn't stoop to this.
Orlando however comes up with a varied, interesting, almost hypnotic narrative in his voice-over, here handled with great aplomb by the voice of Joan McVey. It makes the rather stilted (no acting required) visuals amount to much more than filler.
Despite the ultra tacky packaging of the Tom Ward/Saturn Prods. DVD, which foolishly trumpeted the greatness of one "Alpha Centuri" (which turns out to be a pseudonym used by an inconsequential female co-star), this film is almost a one-woman show for Gigi Darlene, perhaps her greatest career showcase in soft porn. She plays Sally, a girl from small-town Indiana, fresh to NYC to attend college, presumably NYU, as her favorite haunt is Washington Square, shot by Smith in lovely now-period time capsules.
She's rooming with four other gals, including the inevitable (and frequently topless here) Darlene Bennett, who introduce her to swinging parties where sex is happening. Gigi soon goes with the flow, developing a steady relationship with a boyfriend as well as a professor, and is caught short when she suddenly becomes pregnant -who's the daddy? Not to worry, as both guys are supreme heels, leading Gigi to the torment of seeking a back-alley abortion. This is the film's weakest sequence, as she backs out after seeing the creepy lady who's going to do the cutting-a sequence that Orlando muffs compared to the more dramatic depictions in vintage 1930s exploitation films replete with direct sound dialog! Eventually she finds a night in shining armor named Gig, cueing a hurried happy ending.
This corn works because of the realism of the NYC locations, the tremendous beauty of Gigi Darlene, and the consistently interesting flow of the diary-type narration, which never sinks into Nick Millard's ludicrous purple prose or Wishman's silly histrionics. You really get to feel for Gigi, and I bet the adult cinema fans of the '60s were touched by the actual sentiment here. (The antithesis of this is the cynical co-feature on the Tom Ward DVD titled THE VELVET TRAP, an exercise in nastiness and misogyny more typical of the usual porn).
I liked this film quite a bit even though its entire premise of "campus" and "college coeds" is a fake. There's no real school atmosphere, no classes, nothing to support the film's title or really its story. You have to give in to the power of suggestion in the non-stop narration, which is what it's for after all. I guess fans of Raul Ruiz are the logical next audience for this, once it moves from mere cult status to REALLY being taken intellectually seriously.
Film's production date is identified by marquee for CAT BALLOU on screen, and the soundtrack includes a terrific Art Blakey track stolen from Blue Note circa 1961 featuring Wayne Shorter as well as many Jimmy Smith cuts with trio or big band recorded for the Verve and Blue Note labels. Camp followers will enjoy a rendition of the library music later found by Mike Myers as his signature AUSTIN POWERS theme.
Orlando has an earlier film titled THE BLOCK, made in Atlantic City, which probably will indicate (especially if it is a "talkie") whether he is indeed a pantheon filmmaker. I guess it doesn't have the sex hook to have merited a video reissue in these benighted times.
- Oct 26, 2010