Annie Sprinkle, Eric Edwards, George Payne, Gerard Damiano, Jerry Butler, Joanna Storm, Joey Silvera, Marc Stevens, Michelle Maren, Sharon Kane, Sharon Mitchell, third eye cinema podcast, vinegar syndrome
A killer discofied theme song (which sounds like it could have come off Alex’ Handle With Care, a junk sale dollar record find that’s become my all time favorite (Euro)disco cum funk album) kicks off Gerard Damiano’s belated followup to what was both his and mainstream 70’s culture’s first real entree into the world of hardcore, a no budget, less plot rush job of a film that somehow managed to kick off an entire decade of “porno chic” and make awkward de facto celebrities out of its main protagonists…namely Deep Throat.
An oddly disjointed triptych of unrelated tales, Throat starts things off with typical, bored married couple Michelle Maren and George Payne. Their sex life is nothing to speak of, with too much restraint and too little fulfillment. Maren is misadvised and badgered by her overly traditionalist mother, who seems to buy into the idea that raising a family trumps personal fulfillment, not to mention the “lay there and bear it” school of marital bliss…while Payne is driven to the arms of sexy hooker Sharon Mitchell.
But one overly personal chat with the gas man (Eric Edwards, coming ’round once a month to check the meter…) leads to a quick round of infidelity…which of course, cures their marital ills instantly. Everyone’s happy, film over.
Except wait, that was barely a half an hour.
OK, so now we switch to an entirely unrelated vignette, this time one long, boring session between Sharon Kane and her rented gigolo Jerry Butler. Very little happens, other than Kane telling the story about her first paid experience with a girl. O-kayyy, helps to kill some extra time, I guess…
Then on to Joey Silvera taking Joanna Storm at her very cutest to some wonderful fetish club named “The Sewer”, owned by a cameoing Annie Sprinkle (with a leatherboy “bouncer” straight out of a Frankie Goes to Hollywood video), whose decor includes toilet props and rolls of Marcal on the wall. Nothing says “sexy” like the porcelain god, right? After a crib from Ten Little Maidens, it’s a disco orgy, complete with the most hilariously lyriced 12″ club mix dancefloor ditty you’ve ever heard.
At the end, it turns out Kane and Silvera are a couple (of swingers, obviously) and all palsy-walsy with Maren and Payne. A shared drink, a montage of what you just saw a few minutes ago, roll that Alex track again.
Well, it had nothing whatsoever to do with the title, and the parts don’t fit together in the least (unless you really buy into that quickie “let’s tie up all the loose ends” thing in the last 5 minutes)…but there’s a lot of smokin’ hot erotic business to be had at times.
Despite looking like some ersatz Fran Drescher with the world’s most hideous hairdo (a nasty lightbulb-‘fro with a devil lock for an accent (!), Madsen is very “in the moment” (as she corroborates in the extras) and a hot talker…and the always delightful Sharon Mitchell more than one ups her at her game.
Storm is pretty damn close to gorgeous here, with a group of generally decent looking extras at that seedy “club”…the only real letdown is the middle eight, where a grumpy, neurotic Butler brings Kane to some hilariously goofy and over the top faked orgasm (seriously, if you don’t laugh out loud at this scene, you’re pretty much an idiot…this goes beyond “faking it” to BWA-HA-HA!!! territory).
Chop that ridiculous sequence out, you’ve got an evocatively smoky soundtracked, well shot, surprisingly erotically charged hour long film, well worth taking a gander at for those interested in the genre.
There’s a half hour on camera chat with a surprisingly bouncy Maren where she talks about her progress from “Miss New York” to “glamour modeling” to adult film (and then working as an escort!), how she didn’t see much difference between hardcore and mainstream film sets (!) and her time as an opening act for Tiny Tim (!). She also relates a great anecdote on how the average “starlet” prepared for scenes…one of the more amusing and likeable interviews we’ve seen on one of these…and it turns fascinatingly psychologically revelatory towards the end to boot. Kudos.
There’s also a 20m onscreen with cinematographer Larry Levene, and a feature length Sharon Kane audio interview that runs as a de facto commentary track, for those so inclined.
It looks nice (duh…), 2 of its three half hour vignettes are or get pretty steamy and one or two of the ladies here (Storm, Mitchell) are operating on all cylinders.
Its discofied yet never quite cheesy soundtrack (you know how it gets with the more “mainstream” stuff like Donna Summer and the Village People…this is the real deal we’re talking) will “get you in the mood”, the cinematography is crisp and intimately lit and the whole thing feels very late 70’s/early 80’s New York nightlife.
Kane camping it up for the back row and Butler kicking cans sulking in the corner aside, Throat in most ways beats the crap out of its overhyped predecessor, while simultaneously feeling very typical of likeminded works of its era…or at least the better instances thereof. Worth a look.