19 August 2010 | lor_
Interesting XXX porn coulda been a contender
This half-hearted attempt to make an interesting porn film starts as an overachiever, but ends up as an underachieving programmer. Susan McBain's strong central performance is its drawing card for fans.
Something Weird revived it on Vol. 43 of its Dragon Art Theatre series, and the stupid writer of the accompanying back liner notes adds to the confusion of the film's already messed-up on-screen credits. He rattles on & on "knowingly" about the fabulousness of leading lady Brenda Basse, when in fact popular '70s star Susan McBain toplines as Janice Kent, the euphemized "Miss Kinsey" of the title, not Basse. Brenda Basse is a Black actress who plays a lesbian who seduces McBain; she is clearly identified in the trailer for Chuck Vincent's comedy BANG BANG.
Opening credits cause much confusion by stating: "Introducing Brenda Basse and Eric Edwards". Now in mainstream films an "introducing" card is often accorded an actor who has previously had only minor roles, but Eric Edwards had made dozens of films predating this one, even if the 1977 date is incorrect. He certainly looks older here than in his familiar early roles in such films as Roberta Findlay's Angel Number 9 or Chuck Vincent's Mrs. Barrington, as well as famous assignments for Joe Sarno. Why Basse merited this special credit is odd, unless it was a slow con to set a trap (Something Weird hack take note) for would-be fake "film historians" of our decadent age, who extrapolate and jump to false conclusions in an effort at self-promotion, since one would assume from the skimpy credits that she, not McBain, had the lead role.
Plot is set in motion when Miss Kent receives a phone call from her late uncle's attorney, informing her that if she carries on the old guy's sex survey, and comes up with results validating his research, she will come into a $2 million inheritance. Voice on the phone is very familiar, being that of ubiquitous porn star Eric Edwards.
That's enough plot for nearly an entire porn film, though a final reel twist pulls a switcheroo. Until then McBain as Janice Kent interviews various folks and in the manner of Playboy Magazine's popular cartoon character Little Annie Fanny, has sex with them in wide-eyed fashion without even a modicum of coaxing necessary.
Two of the interviewees are black, making for effective mixed combo scenes with John Lawrence and the aforementioned Brenda Bassie, latter strapping on a dildo for good measure. Herschel Savage, who is probably already a member of the "1,000 movie roles" club (especially if you include his short loop appearances), already shows potential early in his career as a nonchalant guy, who identifies his line of work as "porn actor and collecting unemployment" (!), that McBain picks up lolling around on the stairs of a brownstone, in a rare exterior shot that brands this film as "Made in NYC".
McBain's beauty, her ease with dialog (she recites her pre-set list of interview questions with nary a flub) and overall classiness make the movie watchable. Though lensed by the talented C. Davis Smith, it is a cheapie, with a crummy musical track that emphasizes banjo music for no reason. I will not discuss the stupid final reel since to do so is an instant spoiler, but as usual this truncated print ends abruptly before the inevitable Eric Edwards' money shot can be shown.