Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

March 26, 2015

Movie Review: SexWorld (1978)

Directed by Anthony Spinelli

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

It would follow that Michael Crichton’s sci-fi epic Westworld (1973), a theme park for adults with anything-goes pleasure androids would eventually get the triple-X treatment. It took director Anthony Spinelli and his organized crime cohorts three years to mount SexWorld, but the twain between mainstream and porno would never meet. Whereas Westworld jettisoned James Brolin and Richard Benjamin on a futuristic hovercraft, the lower middle class folk ferried to SexWorld have to settle for a smoky ol’ bus, with a “SexWorld” banned hastily stapled to the side. As smut scholar Robin Bougie would note in his essential volume “Graphic Thrills: American XXX Movie Posters, 1970 to 1985,” there was no substituting Hollywood with Inglewood this time around.

Vinegar Syndrome has finally resurrected a hardcore porn picture worthy of reconstruction. SexWorld has ambition to spare: there are many spacious and elaborate sets, countless non-sexual speaking roles, and loads of original music and thematic complexity. But make no mistake: There are enough grab shots, bad lighting and non-acting to remind viewers it’s only a skin flick … it’s only a skin flick … it’s only a skin flick …

The premise? Bored middle-aged couples and singles, fed up with what reality has to offer, pay big bucks to go have their fantasies fulfilled at the titular resort. Fantasies include, rape, rough sex, incest and interracial. The main female, Lisa (Sharon Thorpe) is so repressed, she has to wear a wig and makeup in order to have anonymous phone sex! In a bit of self-reflective ruminations on the skin trade, Lisa is the rare female porno junkie, whose main fantasy is to do the nasty with stud Johnnie Keyes from Beyond the Green Door (1972)! Dressed in the revealing white leotard as the one he wore in that earlier film, Keyes gives Thorpe the nasty in the film’s best and most erotic scene. In pulling the sometimes-boxer Keyes out of the mothballs for one more explicit scene, the producers inadvertently may have acknowledged the role the adult film industry would have on people’s sexuality.

While director Anthony Spinelli seemed to be just as ethically challenged as his contemporaries in pornographic filmmaking, he did seem to invest some personal commentary into SexWorld. While stuffing the flick to the rafters with explicit, jizz-heavy sex, Spinelli crammed just as much material involving alienation, dysfunctional couples, failed marriages and abusive relationships into its fractured storyline. While it has the expected patty-cake action, make no mistake. SexWorld is one bleeeeeeeeeak porno film!

Vinegar Syndrome has done another yeoman job with this pornographic curio. There is a 90-minute “hard” version with vivid coupling and climaxes, as well as a heavily edited 88-minute “soft” version, close to the boner – but no cigar. This harkens back to the early Eighties in which edited hardcore would play the “midnight matinee” circuit.

There are interviews galore. There is a 16-minute interview with Blue Movie grand dame Kay Parker. She shares that SexWorld was her first hardcore feature in which she was contractually obligated to spread ‘em. She also relates how one rough sex scene with male costar Joey Silvera left her with a chipped tooth! There is a six-minute interview with Silvera as well, who looks remarkably well many years later, overall. There is a four-minute interview with photographer Joel Sussman, who snapped production photos. Very brief, Sussman claims he was paid far better than many of the performers who toiled tirelessly for his hungry lens! 

There is also a hefty four-minute theatrical trailer and a teaser trailer running a minute-and-a-half. For historical reasons alone, Golden Age Porno Fans should consider this edition of SexWorld an essential purchase.

No comments:

Post a Comment