Thursday, June 13, 2013

Shark Attack Summer: THIS AIN'T JAWS XXX (2012)

While nothing screams "nerd fantasy" like having porn stars dressing up like iconic comic-book characters and banging like a barn door in a heavy wind, for my money porn parodies are best when they are lampooning (I said "poon") slightly higher-brow fare. Did I say "at their best"? What I meant to say was "have great potential", because I have yet to see one that actually manages to be a proper parody with the addition of porn. I hear tell STAR WARS XXX (2012) is strong with the farce, but I have yet to get around to seeing it. I have seen quite a bit of the admittedly impressive DVD menus, though.

Even though I haven't read the magazine in decades, through the ages Hustler has been more than just a "dirty" men's magazine. Larry Flint may have been a farmboy turned two-bit strip-club operator turned nudie mag publisher, but he (and his lawyers) are the people you should thank for being able to watch Hawkeye whip out his "special" arrow and shoot at She-Hulk's face in the privacy of your own home. The argument that Flint fought a bloody battle for one of our most distinguished of constitutional rights was purely in the interest of self preservation may be a legitimate one, but if you've actually read any of the stuff printed in between the pink bits, you will notice that Hustler was a men's magazine on the cutting edge. If Hunter S. Thompson had been whacked out on mescaline, cocaine and ether and mistaken Hugh Hefner's silken bedchambers for The Bunny Ranch, Hustler is the bastard child that would be born of that coupling. Too bad none of that edgy innovation can be found anywhere in Hustler's video productions.

Taking it's cues directly from Spielberg's classic, the movie starts with "kids" around a campfire, though before any skinny dipping will take place, a pair of partiers (Lily Labeau and real-life BF Danny Wylde) head off to a tent to do some dipping of their own. I'm not much for the plastic, surgically enhanced, glass-eyed wannabe Barbie dolls that pass for modern pornstars, I'm much more of a home-grown, girl-next-door kinda guy and Labeau has that quality. No tramp-stamp, no navel jewelry, no jaded "I'd whistle while I work, but I'm a fucking pornstar" attitude. She's fresh, clean and enthusiastic and that's pretty hot in my book. Matter of fact, it's pretty surprising to see enthusiasm (and real boobs) like that in a Hustler video and that's about the only thing this movie has going for it. Less than 20 minutes into the movie and you've seen the best that it has to offer when it comes to the XXX side of things. Of course, after the predictably routine oral / reverse cowgirl / spoon / missionary / cumshot, Labeau runs out into the pool, err, I mean surf, and is suddenly pulled under the rock-bottom computer generated waves. Might as well shut the damn movie off now. No? You want more? Ok, fine. But remember, you asked for it!

Because we are in a hurry to get this over with, director Stuart Canterbury (also responsible for the previous year's THIS AIN'T CONAN XXX), completely throws out any pretension of real filmmaking and simply dissolves in and out to get from scene to scene. No seques, no cut-aways, not even smash-cuts, just dissolves and fades from one scene to another. I imagine Stu would yell something like "What? You seen da friggin' JAWS movie, whaddaya want? Some sort of 'cohesive narrative'? Getda fugouta here!" I don't know why I imagine him with a Long Island accent, there is only one exterior shot that isn't a digital composite and it was clearly in California.

I have utter confidence in a mayor who needs a road map in order to find her municipality.
In the mayor's office Mayor Vaughn (Darcy Tyler) is having an argument with Chief Brody (Dale DaBone) about closing down the bitches - err, I mean beaches. Says the mayor, "Amity's a Summer town, if they don't swim here, they'll swim somewhere else" and "You yell shark and we got a huge panic on our hands". Aside from the sloppy grammar, as you can tell, this is just a cheap rehashing of key scenes from JAWS with sex scenes thrown in.

I know what you are thinking, here we have an excuse to have Brody stick it to the mayor! I mean with all of her fiery rhetoric (delivered with the same conviction as a married couple discussing who is going to do the dishes), you'd think she was itchin' for Brody to slip her the ol' Speckled Epaulette. No dice! Instead we get a scene on the beach in which a fake-boobed bottle blond (Phoenix Marie) does a strip-tease in public beach tent (when was the last time you've seen one of those?) and invites in the local lifeguard (Rocco Reed looking like he stole Jeremy Piven's around-the-house wig) for some by-the-numbers, porn-quota filling sex.

In another convenient sex change, Dr. Hooper is now played by Alexis Ford, which allows for the meeting between Mayor Vaughn to turn into a tepid girl-on-girl scene in the mayor's office. Ford is typically plastic looking, except for the fact that the make-up department only saw fit to spackle on the M.A.C. to her face and not to her incredibly pimply ass or her bruise-covered legs. All I could think about while being mesmerized by the sheer volume of bruises and scrapes on her lower torso was how much likker and other substances she must consume every night to get that way. I guess there is something to be said for the old, scratched up porn loops of yesteryear. The quality was so bad that it covered up all the track-marks and razor cuts on the more pathetic workers of the industry. Damn, that got awfully deep for a porn-parody review. Quick send in the clown!


With that over and done with we get a 10 second introduction to Quint (Evan Stone in a cheap wig with a cheaper accent) checking a harpoon gun against a CG background, shouting "you guys wouldn't know your twats from a tunafish sandwich!" Dissolve to meeting in mayors office... again.

At this point there sure hasn't been any sort of "parody" going on other than by definition: "parody: an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect." It's definitely an imitation, there is plenty of exaggeration, but I am hard pressed to see the comic effect other than perhaps to the hipsters who think that anything made in a sloppy, careless and cheap way is instantly hilarious. "Lookit that wig! It's so stooopid!" The closest we get to actual joke-writing are lines like when Brody is told the townies have killed the wrong shark: "25 feet, that's just great! That's a hell of a lot of fishsticks!" Bring your own muted horns for the scene in which Quint says that he is going to catch the shark by pulling out his willie and when the shark goes for it, he will stab it with a harpoon. The shark, that is, not his penis. A CG shark that looks about as photorealistic as an outtake from "South Park" jumps up and Hooper replies (wait for it)... "I think you're gonna need a bigger dick".


Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your tolerance for 1990s era computer animation, there are far more clams than sharks in this parody and if you ever thought there should be a scene in which Quint sends Brody out to take watch so that he could get his crusty California Hornshark into Hooper's tidy whiteys this movie is there for you. Yes there is a scene where they compare scars and a re-interpretation of the song "Show Me the Way to Go Home" in which the phrase "I wanna go home" is changed to "I wanna get blown". This might actually have been funny except that is the only part of the song that is recited. It's like everyone forgot the lyrics and just decided to keep repeating that one line. Honestly how hard is it to come up with a XXX Weird Al-ized version? It certainly doesn't cost any money to write or shoot. I really don't think that's asking too much from something advertising itself as a spoof.

Annoyingly Charlie Lane shows up at the beginning of the DVD to ask people to buy the DVD and not to download it. Downloading makes her sad. Just like hurting cute animals. Personally I rented the disc (which was shipped in packaging made entirely from boot-crushed fluffy bunnies), but maybe if Hustler and Adam & Eve actually took the time and effort to make something that is not a cynically, sloppy mess, maybe people would actually want to buy the DVD or blu-ray. The European studio Private figured this out decades ago and has been raking in the dough ever since. Instead Hustler feels it should do exactly the opposite. As Tom Lehrer once said, "Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it." Doubly so for Hustler videos.

Moments of Clarity:

2 Reactions:

  1. This isn't the first Jaws porno parody, there was a really cheap flick called GUMS released in the 70's. It's bad, badder than the crappiest modern porn spoof.
    http://thecinemasnob.com/2012/05/16/gums.aspx

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  2. Oh man, you're killin' me. GUMS is actually the next review in the Shark Attack Summer series. I have always liked that flick. Good for a double bill with the amusing, but less ambitious soft-core flick DEEP JAWS.

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