Unrated - Cinema of the Extreme


Retro Seduction Cinema release their third Nick Philips grindhouse classic, perhaps the bleakest of his softcore output, combining the director’s favourite visuals; naturally endowed hippy-chicks in fetish wear, drug usage, and lesbianism, in a psychedelic sleaze-fest that proves both a turn on and downer. 1969 saw a turning point in the mood of porn, not only did this era pave the way for MONA: THE VIRGIN NYMPH, (1970), the first hardcore feature to carry a narrative storyline, but also led to the incorporation of darker themes involving depression and suicide with Gerard Damiano’s THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES (1972), and deviant fantasy horror in Jonas Middleton’s THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (1976).

Shot in black and white, with an uncredited cast, LUSTFUL ADDICTION introduces us to Jean who awaits her pusher for a supply of “Satan’s Powder”, the pusher arrives and ignores her sexual advances, preferring to shoot up, and the two get off their faces. After paying for her fix, Jean wanders the streets, and meets Tad, she’s sick of offering her body to entice her dealer, and instead wants to “savour the nectar of joy”. Cue a soft-core sex scene resulting in the couple falling asleep. Jean wakes to in a state of cold turkey, and rings her pusher for a rendezvous in a strip-joint where she can secure another quick fix. A go-go dancer, in a see-thru plastic raincoat provides eye-candy for Tad, whilst Jean anxiously awaits her dealer.

Having secured the drugs, Jean shoots up “A toast to the devil” she proclaims… Tad takes some for the first time, but passes out. The drugs are soon gone and Jean craves more, unable to find the pusher, Jean finds a bi-sexual hooker willing to share some smack in exchange for sex. There follows a hot sex scene, after which Jean shoots up again – but her system can’t take it and she dies of an overdose.

Tad receives a call from the prostitute who is freaking out. Believing that the pusher must be involved, Tad arms himself with a pistol, and waits for the dealer at his local hangout. Tad fills him with lead. The narrator informs us, “Now the snake will strike no more”. Jean is gone and “time has expired”, metaphorically denoted by a camera panning to a parking meter showing the dial having run its course.

Philips’ film is accompanied by a 2002 remake by Misty Mundae (a follow-up to her directorial debut, CONFESSIONS OF A NATURAL BEAUTY). Misty’s take is an altogether sexier movie, that concentrates more on the mental anguish and spiritual suffering of its female protagonist (Ruby LaRocca), whilst cleverly subverting the text of the original.

Dealer Johnny takes advantage of Ruby’s addiction by having her unwillingly participate in sex. He falls asleep after orgasm so Ruby takes a gram of cocaine from his pocket, and leaves a note saying she’ll pay him later. When Johnny awakes he’s pretty pissed and leaves a threatening note announcing that if she can’t pay him he’ll carve her face up. Ruby goes for a stroll in the park, she seems happy, she’s got drugs and her freedom. She meets up with a bohemian beauty, (Mundae), and the two go back to a house, get high on the Charlie and pills, and indulge in some spaced out lovemaking. When Mundae leaves in order to score more coke, Ruby is still sky-high and so visits a stripper-friend (Darian Crane). The pair indulge in further sex and Ruby gets paid for her trouble with a further gram of happy powder. Ruby takes the lot. So when Misty returns to party with another bag, (unaware of how much Ruby has already taken), Ruby OD’s. Dealer Johnny turns up at the house, armed with a knife, and wants paying, Ruby is out cold so he enacts his revenge on Misty

The lesbianism is lovingly photographed by Johnny Crash and devoid of the sleazy hello-fuck-goodbye, directness of the original. And in a sense, it’s what we expect when we see Seduction Cinema’s three Sapphic superstars, Ruby LeRocca, Darian Caine, and Misty getting down and dirty with each other. The revelation here is LeRocca who really does prove convincing in the lead as the depressed nympho, who inwardly craves something more than endless bouts of drug fuelled sex sessions. The scene in which she dreamily wanders amongst the moss-laden stone statues of children in the park, can be seen as a metaphor for lost innocence. Mundae wisely has her actors lay-off the heavy make-up in order to heighten the associations with youth, and as a result, LaRocca has never looked more alluring. From the melancholy opening in which our wretched narrator ponders her life, through shadowed windows, to the end sequence in which she tragically OD’s, LaRocca shines. What’s more, Misty Mundae proves that she is much more than a natural beauty in front of the cameras – she is a natural behind it.

This movie came as a pleasant surprise. The drug-taking sequences are very erotic, proving that when it comes to shooting girl-on-girl love scenes, Mundae knows her stuff. She also manages to bring a depth to the characters that I’ve not seen in a Seduction-Cinema release until now. As a result the ending is all the more shocking. This is a cracking start to Mundae’s career as a filmmaker, and with a decent budget she should go far. Just hope Seduction Cinema can keep her… come on guys, Pay Misty For Me!

Carl T. Ford

 
Original 1969 Version Directed by Nick Philips
2002 Remake Directed by Misty Mundae

English language

USA / 70 mins black and white (original) / 73 mins and Colour (remake)

SPECIAL DVD FEATURES
Theatrical Trailers
Interview with Misty Mundae and Film Historian ’42nd Street Pete’
Full colour 12pp booklet
Trailer Vault
Bonus Disc Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

A Retro Seduction Cinema DVD Release
Limited edition 20,000 copies.
All region. NTSC. Mono/Stereo. Full Frame 1.33:1

LUSTFUL ADDICTION (1969 / 2002)

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