No stranger to experimental avant-garde pornography, Jamie Gillis starred in Roger Watkins’ (Last House on Dead End Street) experimental adult hardcore flicks Midnight Heat (1983) and Corruption (1984), but I doubt any of his performances are quite as idiosyncratically Mephistophelian as his role in Through the Looking Glass. Notably swarthy and Semitic in appearance and a true blue NYC Judaic in character and pantomime, Gillis makes for a dubious and downright odd choice as the father of fair-skinned and blonde-haired Nordic beauty Catherine Erhardt (aka Catharine Burgess), but when looking at the Through the Looking Glass as an allegorical piece of particularly perverse anti-pornography, it makes perfect sense. As a rich and spoiled wasp whose greatest dilemmas involve what sort of catering company she should use for her next party, Catherine represents the old, significantly weakened, and dying Anglo elite of America. While Jamie Gillis – being as kosher as Kashrut – represents America’s new and wholly hostile Judaic elite as a virtual Golem of the goy gal's nightmares; a Hebraic Freddy Krueger and an extra-cynical "cunning linguist." In every war, one of the first things that the conqueror takes for bounty is the bootys of the defeated female population. Through the Looking Glass, like many films of its era (and especially those created afterward) reflects this transition – whether a conscious or unconscious decision on the director's part (I would go with the latter) – of one group triumphing over another to a most degrading and pitifully prurient metaphysical degree; where a girl's father becomes her most flagrant defiler. Thus, it is only fitting that Catherine begins to question whether or not the necromantic archfiend that appears to her through the medium of her mirror is really her padre or an exceedingly perverted imposter. Becoming increasingly detached from her Anglo husband and daughter, Catherine falls under the nefarious spell of the debonair demon until she is literally dragged down to hell in a scene that echoes the Hades of the classic Italian silent film L'Inferno (1911) directed by Giuseppe de Liguoro; a work based on Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy. Although it would be a stretch to compare the film (as a recent dvd synopsis does) to the Biblical art of early Dutch Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch, Through the Looking Glass is indeed a film of discarnate proportions that metaphorically presents the crushing, defiling, and dismantling of a formerly dominant people and a religion. The Jewish community has never shied away from bragging about their contributions to civilization and few are more glaring as their pioneering and undying domination of the porn industry. As Jewish-American 'actor' Robert Kerman aka R. Bolla (Cannibal Holocaust), who at one time lived with Jamie Gillis, once stated, "Sex is not the greatest sin in the Jewish religion" and "I hope that porn is the most unrighteous thing I do. If we go out of our way to be scumbags, that's the sin, when I do porn, I offend Shakespeare more than God." Jewish Professor of American History at Aberdeen University in UK, Nathan Abrams, noted in his article "Triple Exthnics" (The Jewish Quarterly, winter 2004) that: "Jewish involvement in porn, by this argument, is the result of an atavistic hatred of Christian authority: they are trying to weaken the dominant culture in America by moral subversion. Astyr remembers having “to run or fight for it in grammar school because I was a Jew. It could very well be that part of my porn career is an ‘up yours’ to these people.” Ironically, Through the Looking Glass looks more like the work of a decadent and thoroughly demoralized European filmmaker than a profiteering Judaic pornographer, but aside from writing and producing the Jeff Lieberman directed slasher flick Just Before Dawn (1981), director Jonas Middleton seems to have totally disappeared from the filmmaking realm, thus one can only speculate in regard to his background.
Featuring one of the first candid ‘gyno-cam’ shots ever featured in a porn flick where one truly gets to explore protagonist Catherine’s insides in a less-than-flattering fashion, as well as a wicked wealth of incestuous scenarios highlighted in between drudging dinner scenes of monotonous pseudo-wasp-speak, Through the Looking Glass is an authentically abominable, loathsome, and disenchanting work that one can't help but never forget. If the German phrase “entartete Kunst” (degenerate art) was invented for anything, it was to describe a film like Through the Looking Glass; a work where everything that is beautiful, sacred, and holy is laboriously despoiled. That being said, I would not surprise if the main artistic motivation behind the film was to attack and wreak havoc upon the viewer, most specifically of the Anglo-American persuasion, as it was certainly not a work that, unlike the majority of adult films, was made with monetary gain as the most influential factor as expressed in by its exceptionally deranged and distinguished fetishism and all-around ridiculously repellant attributes. There is no doubt in my mind that if cultural marxist darling Herbert Marcuse got around to seeing Through the Looking Glass before he croaked, I am sure he was quite tickled to see a potent example of the ungodly excesses of his incendiary Occident-overturning legacy.