Feb 7, 2014

Neon Nights




Undoubtedly, with the possible exception of neo-expressionist Stephen Sayadian aka ‘Rinse Dream’ (Café Flesh, Dr. Caligari), Cecil Howard aka Howard Winters aka Ward Summers aka Umberto Corleone was the greatest and most inventive director of hardcore pornography during the 1980s and, quite ironically, it was only when he attempted to direct a non-pornographic work, the marvelously moronically titled quasi-exploitation flick Dead Boyz Can’t Fly (1992), after he and his family were nearly murdered in a robbery, that his libertine-oriented filmmaking career would come to an end. While I cannot say I have seen all 29 of the films that Howard directed between 1975 and 1992 (he began his filmmaking career as a producer with The Hot House (1970) directed by fellow subversive auteur-pornographer Armand Weston), those that I have seen have never failed to enthrall me in some way or another, with the keenly kaleidoscopic yet equally phantasmagoric cinematic adult fairytale Neon Nights (1981) aka Cecil Howard’s Neon Nights being arguably his suavely and stylishly salacious magnum opus. As one can expect from virtually any shockingly artful, well acted, and memorable blue movie from the Golden Age of Porn, Neon Nights stars charismatic yet seemingly half-crazed kosher star Jamie Gillis (Through the Looking Glass, New Wave Hookers), but what really makes this fuck flick captivating in terms of acting is the Lolita-like lead Lysa Thatcher (Trashi, The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue), who on top of vaguely resembling my girlfriend (who is actually much more beautiful than the porn star), has a certain misleading ‘innocence’ about her that virtually all porn stars lack. A sort of non-anthropomorphic take on Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871) meets a transsexualized tribute to Psycho (1960) with a preposterous ‘poetic’ tribute to the famous shower scene in Hitchcock’s film (not to mention a Hitchcockian appearance by director Cecil Howard himself), Neon Nights is a wickedly wanton work of the quasi-psychoanalytic sort about a melancholy blonde teenage nymphet with a rather serious, albeit mostly subconscious, Electra complex. The first cinematic collaboration between Howard and his seemingly equally talented screenwriter/associate producer Anne Wolff aka Anne Randall (who would go on to pen some of Howard’s greatest works, including Foxtrot (1982), Spitfire (1982), Snake Eyes (1982), The Last X-Rated Movie (1990), etc.), Neon Nights is a naughty nymphomaniac nightmare that proves that, indeed, telekinesis can be titillating and that at least one pornographer was able to utilize mirrors and doppelgangers/shadows in a manner not that unlike Herr Fassbinder. 



 A swarthy middle-aged Semite named Robert (Jamie Gillis) is giving his single mother girlfriend (Linda Vale) a ‘shocker’ (i.e. ‘two in the pink and one in the stink’) and the lecherous old lady cannot help but moan with overwhelming pleasure, which catches the sensual attention of the woman's petite yet busty blonde teen dream daughter named Sandy (Lysa Thatcher). While mother eventually has an entire hand shoved up her naughty bits by Robert, Sandy begins to pleasure herself by putting red lipstick on her nipples and eventually shoving a small comb in her virginal meat curtain. When Sandy goes to the bathroom to take a bath the next morning, kiddy defiler Robert barges in naked and begins seducing the young lady, stating “spread them for me, hurry!” and “show me how you wash your pussy.” When Robert and Sandy begin to make sweet statutory rape, mother walks in on them, thus putting the teen in a precarious predicament. Apparently, Robert previously carried on an affair with Sandy’s identical twin sister Denise, but her whore mother clearly cares more about cock than being a mother. When Sandy attempts to call her friend Bonnie (Kandi Barbour) for advice, she is met with apathy, as her friend is too busy boning her much older brother-in-law/tennis instructor Lyle (Ashley Moore). Bonnie is a rich bitch with an extremely low IQ who was told by her psychoanalyst that her innate clumsiness is a result of having “too much unresolved sexual energy,” so she gets Lyle—a preppy dork who is supposed to drive his grandmother somewhere but decides otherwise after being seduced by his brother’s wife (he literally states, “Fuck my grandmother…I’d rather fuck you.”)—to service her with coitus so as to rid the little lady of her feeble motor skills. Following the lead of her estranged twin sister, Sandy decides to head to New York City. After missing the bus after a perverted magician named Harlan (Jake Teague) begins sweet talking her by the roadside, Sandy reluctantly decides to hitch a ride with said perverted magician. Staying in a sleazy motel room with Harlan and his equally sensual female assistant Sweet Marie (Jody Maxwell), Sandy is magically seduced by her new carny friends via clothes-undressing telekinesis and lecherous levitation from the wanton wizard. 



 In a tasteful tribute to Psycho, the viewer is introduced to the characters of witch-like bitch Rhonda (Veronica Heart) and jock-like philistine dick Snow (Eric Edwards). While Rhonda is a scheming wench with a voracious sexual appetite, Snow is a ‘kept man’ and man-whore (Rhonda calls him her own “private fucking machine”) who is not good at much aside from blowing babes and bucks. Rhonda is Sandy’s sister Denise’s boss and when the teen finally arrives in NYC, the former takes the latter under her wing. Unbeknownst to Sandy, Rhonda and her bad beau Snow are involved in shady business practices that include white sexual slavery and drug-peddling, not to mention the fact they work for a mysterious fellow know simply as ‘Mr. Prince’ who lives in a quaint cabin-mansion in the woods with his artist girlfriend/muse Lilah (Arcadia Lake), an amorous lady who gets off to painting crude portraits of gigantic neon cocks. In what is easily the most enthralling segment of Neon Nights that visually falls in somewhere between the hermetic surrealism of Kenneth Anger and Federico Fellini, Sandy is initiated in an ominous orgy ceremony where she learns some unsettling things about her supposed sister, estranged father (Roy Stuart), and herself in what is probably the greatest plot twist(s) in blue movie history. 



 A deliciously dark orgasmic celluloid odyssey of the Carroll-esque sort that is equally charming and corrupting but always succulently stylized, Neon Nights is ultimately arguably the greatest film of the late ‘porn chic’ era and sad evidence that pornography probably would have taken a more aesthetically and thematically ambitious path had it not been for the advent of videotapes. Shot on luscious 35mm film with a use of mirrors and simplistic yet exceedingly effective special effects quite comparable to the works of Jean Cocteau, Neon Nights could be mistaken for an Alain Robbe-Grillet film upon a superficial glance were it not for all the hardcore pornography. Somewhat oddly, auteur Cecil Howard made no lie of the fact he was mostly into making porn flicks for the money, once stating, “If you went on a percentage deal, you'd strive hard to have a good film because the better the film, the more money you'd make,” but then again, he also once confessed, “I've always felt that there is a double audience. People that go to see an intelligent movie will sometimes laugh at what they think they'll see in an adult movie. I liked to surprise them...,” with Neon Nights certainly being a work that was specially tailored for more sophisticated audiences. And, indeed, Neon Nights is quite the suavely sleazy celluloid surprise that manages to seduce the viewer in a mischievous manner not unlike how the various curious characters of the film that seduce protagonist Sandy. Indeed, a rare example of XXX-rated cine-magic that deserves being described as a ‘classic’ and not simply within the garbage-filled ghetto that is pornography, Neon Nights most certainly needs to be reexamined by the the sort of cinephile that does not mind having their mind in the gutter every once and a while. As a work of pornography, Neon Nights reminds the viewer that there was actually a time not all that long ago when female porn stars did not look like unhinged plastic drag queens and thus the film will probably be of no interest to contemporary fanboy porn addicts who wallow in silicone pseudo-tits.  Indeed, real artsy fartsy porn flicks with chicks with real tits are hard to come by and you will find few better than Neon Nights, a work that makes for the perfect double feature with Jonas Middleton's arthouse horror blue movie Through the Looking Glass (1976).



-Ty E

20 comments:

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I wish the lead actresses name hadn`t been "Thatcher", it reminded me of that dirty old slag who almost single-handedly turned Britain into an even bigger shit-hole and worldwide laughing stock than it had been before ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

So Ty E, you`re saying that your bird looks like the bird in this film but is even more gorgeous, and you`ve got your knob up her bum every night, YOU FUCKING LUCKY BASTARD.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

That bird has certainly got perfect tits, although i still prefer the 17 year-old Pauline Hickeys from 1985 simply because they were just as perfect but much bigger ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Ty E, pornography is not a 'garbage-filled ghetto', it is 'the future' ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

'Unhinged plastic drag queens' ! ? ! ?, what porn sites have you been visiting geezer ?, i think its time you started visiting "Arse Teen Mouth" and "First Anal Quest" on a regular basis my old mucker, they`re the best porn sites on the entire internet with gorgeous sexy 18 year-old birds who actually look like gorgeous sexy 18 year-old birds ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Lysa Thatcher (as the bird was in 1977 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously).

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I thought that geezer was Lou Reed.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Kandi Barbour (as the bird was in 1974 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously).

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Veronica Hart (as the bird was in 1974 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously).

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Arcadia Lake (as the bird was in 1975 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously).

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Jody Maxwell (as the bird was in 1963 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously).

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Linda Vale (as the bird was in 1956 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously).

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I thought the bird with the balloons was Gennie James ! ! ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

When Kandi Barbour snuffed it a couple of years ago her body was donated to medical science because no-one came to claim it, thats the kind of horse-shit that gives the porn industry a bad name ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I still think one of my 10-second clips with a big knob thrusting in and out of a gorgeous sexy young girls bum is worth more by itself that all the so-called erotic artistry displayed in this movie combined ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

You showed pictures of Lysa Thatchers tits and twat but i was really disappointed that you didn`t show any pictures of her bum, why ?, i`d have loved to have given that bird "a thousand in the stink and none in the pink" back in `81 ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

"Having their mind in the gutter every once and a while" ! ? ! ?, yet another phrase thats derived wholly and completely from the fact that we`re all still unfortunate enough to be living in "THE TIME OF SEXUAL REPRESSION" ! ! !.

willy jerk-off said...

Another great thing about todays porn actresses is that they shave ALL their pubic hair not just some of it.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Ty E, another thing about the word "pornography" is that its an ugly looking and sounding word (even if you dont know what it means), there-by making it easier for the authorities to demonise the images (with just the ugly sound of the word itself), if sexual images had instead been refered to with the word "beautiful" or the word "wonderful" from the get-go (in the middle of the 19th century) there would have never been any difficulties with it what-so-ever ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

That bird looks so gorgeous looking in the mirror, and you get to bugger and sodomize something like that every night Ty E, you bloody lucky sod.