11/23/2020

Porno (Review)

Director: Keola Racela
Writers: Matt Black, Laurence Vannicelli 
Cast: David Arrow, Evan Daves, Blake French, Jillian Mueller, Amber Paul, Katelyn Pearce
Year: 2019
Min: 98

It's 1992 and a group of young people work at a family friendly movie theater. It is currently playing a League of Their Own and Encino Man, and is led by an older, Christian dude named Mr. Pike (Bill Philips). At closing time, he tells the teens that once all their work is done, they can watch any movie they choose. He leaves and days hell be back at midnight to take them home. 

A little bit later, a crazy, old man runs around in the movie theater. In the course of trying to catch him, they accidently find a secret room with old film reels. They choose one of them as the movie that they're going to view. Of course, they go with the one with weird symbols on it. Said flick ends up being some weird ass, experimental "porno" flick. 

In said movie, there is a hot naked chick, Lilith (Katelyn Pearce) covered in blood. The film also features satanic imagery. Goody two shoes and movie projectionist Jeff, AKA Heavy Metal Jeff (Robbie Tan) (even though, as he reminds a couple of times he listens to hardcore not metal) immediately stop the film reel, preventing them from watching more of this "filth". Not that it matters, cause Lilith is now free from the movie and looking to seduce them all using their fantasies to turn them on. To accomplish this, she takes on male or her own very fine female form. Soon dicks and souls are in peril and they must find a way to stop her sexy, evil, and frequently naked ass. 

Porno is a horror comedy presented under the Fangoria banner. It was suppose to have played a limited release, but alas COVID-19 and lockdown occurred and the movie made its debut online. This Tuesday 24, 2020 it begins to steam on Shudder. Which will allow it reach a much bigger audience.

The movie, itself, is a mix of hits and misses. From the technical aspect, though, it looks great. There is some excellent editing and camera work throughout its running time. It also has a really nice, Argentoesque use of color that adds a nice bit of style to the proceedings. 

Plot wise, it has a nice build-up to the story and action. I like the way the characters' secrets are revealed. Even though I figured out most of them on my own, these moments are still fairly well done. A lot of the humor is quite funny and, at times, welcomely dark.

The flick certainly delivers in the skin and blood departments. There is full frontal nudity, provided by the gorgeous Katelyn Pearce, which is a welcome change form the skin free horror of the last few years. And, the film has lots of male genitalia related violence and gore, as graphic castration and ball crushing ensues. Oddly and disappointingly, though, its actual body count is quite low.

Another plus is that the acting is quite good. Pearce makes for a sexy, fun, and beautiful demoness and is one of the film's biggest highlights. But, is in the protagonist characters, that the film's problems begin. The only good guy character I really liked was that of pretty, goth girl Chaz (Jillian Mueller). She had a little bit an edge and was likable. Sadly, most of the other characters left me feeling apathetic towards them, never caring for them one way or another. The only other protagonist to inspire any feeling in me was Robbie Tan's Heavy Metal Jeff. Unfortunately, said feeling was annoyance. He is simply too pure and good for his or the movie's own fucking good. 

He doesn't change by the movie's ending, in fact, no one does. The characters never progress, change, or grow from the predicament that they are in. You would think with these occurrences, they would be questioning their beliefs, or, at the very least, the guy who ran this theater. But, nope that doesn't happen, at all.

Hence, it's a little disappointing that for a movie features so much skin, has dick violence, and calls itself Porno, it plays safe in so many other ways. Christian ideas versus porn is an idea that is thrown in but never, if at all, fully explored. As a matter of fact, the idea of hypocrisy of the religious is touched upon, then quickly dropped. All of this is a shame, cause it would've added a level of depth that would have raised the quality level all around of the film. This all amounts to leaving me feel unfulfilled, as the the movie heads into its climax and ending. Sure said climax is kind of fun, but, honestly, I was left wanting more to happen. 

Porno is decently enjoyable, but it never reaches its full potential. It plays safe in so many aspects. It leaves you feeling like you had just sex, that's just alright but never fully fills the needs and wants. Still, Pearce's Lilith is a sexy and fun presence in the flick. Everyone else in the cast also do a fine job in their roles. Even if most of them are playing characters that aren't that interesting or even likable. Regardless, of any complaining, it is a very stylish looking movie, that is quite funny at times. I really wanted to like it a whole lot more than I did, but I don't regret viewing it one bit. And, I think it is worth at a least a passing look.


2.5 out of 4

0 comments: