Image of Sex (2005)

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2 May 2016 | lor_
Terrible script, poor execution = worthless porn feature
If your interest tends to the current "hot sex scene is all" gonzo porn mentality, the previous blow-by-blow IMDb review will suffice. But if you are a film buff searching for nuggets of quality in a dwindling Adult Entertainment universe, I need to inform you of the inadequacy of "Image of Sex".

Even within the industry, in tatters though it may be with the onset of internet content (often for free) and streaming as the delivery mode de jour, there remains a distinction between "features" and "all-sex". Every BTS on a feature has the participants commenting on the differences, in performing, posing unnaturally for the camera angles, stop & start, etc.

I have enjoyed many of Jerome Tanner's features, but for this one he unwisely is working from a Cash Markman script. The prolific Cash is coming under my scrutiny simply because he has so many published (i.e., released videos) scripts making his work inescapable, and so far for me his batting average is near zero.

For this one he conjured up an idea, or at least a germ of one, that had me thinking of Aldous Huxley in the opening reel. Channel 6 is inaugurating a new subscription TV system that will permit its viewers to actually "feel" the action in the porn it broadcasts. This is analogous to Huxley's projection in "Brave New World" of "feelies", the new entertainment form where the viewer gets more of a sensory experience. In the real world the upcoming Virtual Reality entertainment revolution promises some of the same, but clearly falls short.

Tanner's execution of this Markman idea turns out to be wholly uninteresting, and insulting. The TV narrator (a poor man's response to "Outer Limits"' classic Control Voice of the '60s) intones to the viewer a rather nasty picture of us poor slobs reduced to remote voyeurism via the boob tube, and is clearly Cash's user- unfriendly attack on that very same audience which paid his bills over the years, for shoddy workmanship (in terms of screen writing) I might add. The audience surrogate is Alec Knight, a guy addicted to TV (and more relevantly, porn shown on TV).

His lovely wife (or girl friend, the script never makes clear which) Angela played by Randi Wright is a really poorly written character if I can call her that. She lies around asleep, complains of headaches and is so indifferent to Alec that hate would be far preferable.

At work he schmoozes with co-worker Evan Stone who is completely unsympathetic, basically telling Alec to "get a life" whenever latter brings up the subject of the rather expensive new TV service. Sex in the office, whether it be creepy boss Steve Holmes humping Eva Angelina and then firing her, in a poorly scripted -as usual - plot device to introduce replacement Missy Monroe, or Evan humping Monroe, eats up plenty of running time.

Rest of the running time is devoted to the transparent reason for Cash's initial plot device -a sort of loop carrier where we watch the TV along with Alec, sure-fire method for presenting unrelated sex scenes within the body of the feature. Manuel Ferrara is purely animalistic in his humping Tiffany while later on Reno does the dirty with Taryn Thomas.

Throwing any hint of creativity to the winds, the sensory gimmick ends up being Alec merely putting his cheek to the TV screen and "feeling" the woman shown inside. He even has a boring discussion with Evan of how he avoids "feeling" the guy on screen, a sop to homophobes out their in porn land. That is the sum total of development of what, in other hands, might have been developed into an intriguing premise.

Cornball finale has Angela turning on a dime to bed down passionately with Alec, her non-character abandoned and contradicted. Except for Evan's hammy dialog, the so-called feature emerges as gonzo crap under false pretense of being a feature.

Lest one thinks me too harsh on poor Cash, here's a pricelessly awful line of his delivered (poorly) by Alec in the final reel to Angela: "Maybe is as good as a yes to a man when it come {sic} from a woman". I will blame the grammatical error on Alec, but this level of dialog and attitude from Cash earns him a place in porn purgatory.

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