Freedom of Choice (1985)

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18 December 2014 | lor_
Fred tries too hard in porno/musical
Preaching to the chorus, pornographer Fred J. Lincoln gets on his soapbox and screams at the top of his lungs in favor of free expression in the tiresome XXX musical, more commercially titled SEX, DRUGS AND ROCK & ROLL. It should have been made in the '60s (on film) and necessarily soft-core, rather than a hardcore video 20 years later.

Sharon Kane, also using a nom de musique Sharon Stone (??) stars, did the music and even sings passably in this sort of stage play. Lincoln, calling himself Ed Lincoln for some reason, is the master of ceremonies, doing unfunny stand-up in which he basically exhorts all the "adult industry" clichés about free speech. You don't have to be an Associate Justice at the Supreme Court to know there is a difference between obscenity and protected speech, but of course porn is a multi-billion dollar industry strictly built on court interpretations of the First Amendment. I'm old enough to recall when it was less than a cottage industry, back in the '50s and early '60s, ancient history now.

I'm not recusing myself since this turns out to be a negative review, but I was a friend in the '80s of video's screenwriter Rick Marx, a talented guy who worked on many NYC films, magazines and stroke books. His contribution here is perhaps negligible, since the video is a sloppy mess of musical performances, improvised banter and of course sex scenes. It's all over the place and hard to watch, and doesn't even rise to the level of "Psychotronic", to borrow the now-famous category invented by another '80s friend, Michael Weldon.

Some examples of the iffy content: Tiffany Clark lip syncs a disco song while topless as if hoping to become the next Andrea True (end credits list the actual singer). Some former high school pals including Kane and Jean Silver (she drops the "Long" credit here, performing pleasantly like a normal person with her trademark stump hidden from view and not involved in the sex scenes). They reminisce about old times, and get together with other gals at Fred's night club, for lesbo action.

A guy named Mister Johnny is presented as a premier East Coast drug pusher, and we see the cast getting high as Lincoln presents a mixed message amounting to "pot si, hard drugs no". Kane, strung-out, gives us the object lesson. Lots of footage is repeated, and the film's attempted liveliness does not really capture (as was intended) the feel of a live performance.

Overall, the cast clearly had a much better time than the viewer will have watching this. The soundtrack credits jazz trumpet player Wayne Cobham, though he does not appear on screen (just as in the early days of talkies, a white player is shown lip syncing Wayne's solos).

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