“She’s on fire (long pause)…she can’t deny her (long pause)…deepest desire,” or so goes the ingenious lyriced, saxophone and keyboard ditty contributed by one Leon Felburg…
Hot on the heels of Taboo come two more in the 7-part series spawned therefrom, all courtesy of the same director (who seemed to deliver precious little beyond installments of this decade-spanning opus).
Things pick up almost immediately where the first film left off, with Dorothy LeMay (one of creepy Mike Ranger’s ladyfriends in Taboo) introducing her brother Kevin James to seriously overly mothering Kay Parker. After a pointless interlude where Parker’s kinky pal Juliet Anderson gives her a massage and diddles her (weird friendship they’ve got, there…), James shows up to leer at Anderson and join in on and escalate the massage.
Meanwhile, we discover that LeMay’s father is none other than a flour-in-the-hair aged Eric Edwards (the the sex starved, cuckolded mother is Honey Wilder, another MILF type recently name checked by my Weird Scenes cohost Louis), that James’ girlfriend is the pudgy “Tammy” (whose few credits are probably indicative…) and that he not only peeps on his folks (sheesh!) but has a thing for his sister (who at least has the sense to resist…until “Tammy” gets her worked up with some lesbo nonsense and sneaks the creep in. It becomes a thing after that…)
Things get weird after that point, leading up to an orgy with a young, skinny Ron “the Hedgehog” Jeremy and some girl with a seriously angry red C-section scar…
Other than LeMay (who can be pretty cute in the right light and settings, with this series being one of her better showcases), this one’s strictly for the MILF lovers, though the sister thing, however screwed up, at least offers a bit of a break between the series’ insistence on pushing the Oedipal scenario (yeesh…).
Can’t say I was a fan, but LeMay was easy on the eyes, there’s a lot less of Parker this time around and the prurient business is well filmed and sweaty-“hot”, which explains some of the less icky end of the series’ apparent longstanding appeal.
It’s still pretty distasteful conceptually, but a hell of a lot better than the original. Let’s just leave it at that.
For the sequel, we get a few changes. Parker and Wilder are still on hand, but the focus shifts a bit to Parker’s other son Jerry Butler* and the band he manages, “Affair” (who not only look like a cross between Kajagoogoo and The Knack, but provide some decent 80’s film soundtrack music in a New Romantic goes AOR vein).
Butler* scores with Kristara Barrington and another groupie before repeating the scenario a few times with butter-faced Lisa Lake (who makes the late 80’s Wendy O. look like a sex goddess by comparison). Apparently she’s a hand-me-down girlfriend, getting passed from one brother (or is it band member? Who cares…) to the next.
Butler…*or is that his lookalike Blake Palmer in all three instances? is also balling Parker’s new bestie Wilder, both of ’em are balling their sons (both of ’em…Mike Ranger actually returns near the end of the film for one last fling with Parker), it’s one huge clusterfuck of backwoods yee-ha “if you can’t keep it in your pants, keep it in the family” insanity. Whatever…
At least you get a few numbers from “Affair”, including one where one of the guys is decked out like John Constantine (who he’s a dead ringer for), Ron Jeremy shows up for for a few seconds and you get to watch just how tortured and awkward attempts to dance to this sort of music actually were back in the 80’s…
Without the focus on LeMay at her most appealing, we’re straight back into creepy Oedipal territory (OK, not like we ever really left it, but it felt a bit less icky with her as the locus of all this creepy-crawly nonsense), and both Parker and Wilder are showing their age in certain light situations. At one point, the two of them were talking, and when Wilder was given a close up, the lyrics to “Maggie May” started running through my head…’nuff said.
The sole extra here (beyond a scan of Kay Parker’s script for the film) is an interview with Taboo III’s Blake Palmer, who talks about his entree into the industry and how his mother, who unbeknownst to him was a former burlesque dancer, used to show off stills of his work in porn mags to her friends and coworkers(!) and how people (and adult film stars) back in the day used to be more genuine and relate on a more honest level than they do of late…
Of the three series entries released to date, Taboo II is the one to watch, at least if you’re inclined to subject yourself to weird inter-family nonsense like this in the first damn place. LeMay probably never looked better, and the focus, however weird and distasteful things get as we progress through the film, is mainly on her and her exploits…making this one the clear winner among the three.
The other two, you’re pretty much on your own…and even the cinematography and color tones seem darker, less well lit and far less vibrant on III than it did on the other entries thus far…particularly coming after the very 80’s day-glo feel of II.
These films are what they are, and as noted last time around, I know at least two guys personally whose eyes light up when the series is mentioned, so whatever.
LeMay and the New Wave-y band bits aside, they’re not my bag.