20 November 2015 | lor_
Foolhardy attempt at porno Shakespeare ends with Act 1
Paul Chaplin and his Bluebird Films label may prove someday to be worthy of study by a future film historian delving into the underbelly of Brit porn. I find the dozens of Bluebird videos fascinating, especially when they misfire (a very, very common occurrence), and none was as big a failure as this misguided attempt to faithfully adapt Shakespeare's "Macbeth" in an explicit-sex context.
Besides the weird sisters who introduce the tale and reappear (to have sex with Macbeth as played by auteur Chaplin, of course), there are many weird choices in the execution of this mad XXX chronicle. For the most part Shakespeare's language has been retained as dialog, at least in paraphrase or famous quotes' form. The story is changed to a gangster saga set in the Roaring Twenties, with gaudy outfits of the Capone era. A jazz score, likely library music, matches that setting and those two factors immediately reminded me of a wonderful film (largely unsung): Basil Dearden's "All Night Long" which was in fact a gangster rendition of "Macbeth" set in London against a backdrop of jazz clubs, with many guest stars from the world of jazz including Mingus, Brubeck and Johnny Dankworth (!).
I don't know if the Bluebird crew was influenced by that little-known 1962 classic, but another key decision doomed the project almost inevitably. Because porn scenes take up so much time, a lengthy play like "Macbeth" with XXX content thrown in becomes an interminable undertaking. So this video clocking in at over 2-1/2 hours only covers Act 1, ending with Macbeth's line "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Duncan, it tolls for thee" -cue the end credits. That's all well and good if you have an audience ready for 9 hours or so of porno Shakespeare, but without the dramatic arcs of the rest of the play (particularly spotlighting Lady Macbeth, here played nicely by the severely styled Kaia Kane but only just warming up in the role as the curtain falls) the viewer has got to feel cheated.
Highlights of the show unspool at the beginning of the video, including a gory but cheaply done with SPFX bloody stabbing of herself by Lady Macbeth, so it is very likely that the entire film was shot, however long that might have run. It is described on the DVD box as "a play in 3 acts" (Shakespeare gave us 5 acts) and the final two videos are lost in the mists of time - perhaps only myself anxious to see them.
On to the actual content: the video, unsigned as to credits behind the camera but likely the work of Paul Chaplin himself, suffers from Chaplin's hammy performance in the title role. It wouldn't pass muster on any stage or screen and connected with his frequent whipping out of his dick for some one on one or orgy humping and several cum shots, the result is ludicrous. Steve Holmes as Banquo and a set of huge- breasted actresses fare much better in these circumstances, and it is their performances, not that of Chaplin's, that I long to see completed.
Bluebird fans, or even the casual porn viewer familiar with Chaplin/Bluebird's greatest hits -his spoofs of "Batman" and "Bonnie & Clyde", will recognize the sloppy approach to camera-work, set design and even direction of sex scenes, with orgy the ultimate goal. There are atmospheric moments, but a low budget betrays the entire enterprise - exteriors and transitions are just drawings -as chintzy and amateurish as any no-budget film - it reminded me in this regard of the notoriously "scene omitted" approach of budding auteur Fred Williamson in his 1976 comedy western starring Richard Pryor, "Adios, Amigo" (you have to see that one on the big screen to believe how many corners can be cut and you still end up with a movie).
Some of the sex is hot, and it is especially fun to see Amy Azurra in a leading acting (and humping) role. She recently re-emerged on screen in Brazzers videos as Amy Anderssen and her huge volleyball-fake breasts are bigger than ever, while her blonde hair has given way to brunette status that makes her very hard to recognize (expansion means those breasts look different too).