Monday, June 21, 2010

XXX Film Critique- "Haunted"

For this first installment of your brand new, Pornographic Midnight Snack, I critique a film featuring a personal fave from the annals (tee hee) of PRON, Briana Banks. Why is she a personal fave? One need only watch her lone scene in today's morsel to understand why, for it is the only scene worth watching in this otherwise lackluster Jerome Tanner film from Legend.

Haunted (2001)
starring: Briana Banks, Claudia Adkins, Meriesa Arroyo, Evan Stone, Toni James, Bobby Vitale & Friday.
written by: are you kidding me???
directed by: Jerome Tanner

Amateur ghost hunter Briana Banks (before ghost hunting was trending on SciFi channel and the like) is convinced a certain house is haunted. She gathers three of her friends (Friday, Mariesa Arroyo, Dillon Day) to prove it to them.

Meet your team, folks. No hi-tech equipment, no green van, no talking dog. Just this.

We the viewers already know said house is haunted, thanks to an otherwise completely unrelated sex scene during the opening titles. Hunky apparition Mark Wood materializes for a romp with pre-bath Claudia Adkins. After pop, the only remaining ghostly evidence is a love letter written on the mirror in lipstick.

"Oh no! Did we forget to bring wine and ouija?"

But rather than set up infrared cameras and super-sensitive sound recording equipment, they sit around and drink while Briana delivers the minimum descriptive exposition required for a film to be considered "story based." There's no back story about the spooks residing there nor is there anything particularly special about the house. Indeed, glaringly absent is the "why is the house haunted" scenario, and how does Briana know for sure in the first place? Her message, in even simpler terms than delivered in the film, is "this house is haunted and if we hang out long enough we'll see ghosts." That's it.

"Nope. Wine and ouija, check!" *whew!*

Our brave gang soon come to realize that it's not chanting, burning candles or ouija boards that attract ghosts, but rather hot sex that does. Friday passes out drunk and is left alone to sleep it off. Mysteriously, her nighty slowly slips off, by itself! (booga-booga! effective PRONfx, lol). And then she has sex with a ghost (Evan Stone).

Let's just call this foreshadowing.

After pop, Friday runs downstairs to tell everyone what happened (still naked, of course). Hysterical, Friday runs out of the room. Intrigued, Briana and Day follow her. (They wanted to get a jump on analyzing the ectoplasm, I'm sure). Horny, Arroyo stays behind and starts playing with herself. Which, of course attracts another ghost (Lee Stone) and they have sex.
Day being the odd man out (both literally and figuratively) is concerned that he's the only one not getting laid by ghosts in this place and goes outside to ponder this with a cigarette. Enter the ghost played by Toni James and the stage is set for their sex scene.

The hostess with the mostest ghostests.

We finally get to Briana's lone sex scene in the film and believe me, it's worth the wait. Encircled by the lit candles, she performs one of the hottest solo acts in my memory, and when her otherworldly partner (Bobby Vitale) shows up, the scene loses no intensity. It is by far, the best part of the film and explains why, in part, Ms. Banks was one of the more popular porn stars when she was in her prime.
The other four scenes are not only more tame than the finale, but they are so much more uninspired. Director Jerome Tanner's lack of imagination is so blatant because each scene is formulaic and can be carbon copies of all the others. They follow the same pattern; solo act, bj, vaginal, anal, vaginal from behind and then pop. Banks' scene does this as well, but she delivers a more intense performance without going over the top. This shows that, when left to her own devices, Briana Banks deserved to be amongst the elite of the A-Listers of her day.

"Hell yes! We should do this again next week AND invite more friends!"

What would I have done differently? For starters I would have added more variety to the sexy stuff. But more importantly, I would have done something to make the purported haunted house look at least a little haunted. Again, Tanner's lack of imagination is on display as our setting looks exactly like what it is; any one of a hundred Hollywood area homes owned by whichever porn producer is on vacation that week, renting it out to another porn producer shooting a porn film in it. With only the slightest effort (a cobweb here, a black cat there accompanied by a spooky soundtrack) we the viewers could at least infer the house is haunted, thus making the dialogue unnecessary and freeing up some minutes for a shorter run time or an extra sex scene.
That's what I would have done.

If real-life ghost hunters looked like this, they'd get better results.

Coming up on the PRON front, Digital Playground's Babysitters with Jesse Jane.
Still to be rescued from Operation Orca are critiques for Dark Star and Mummy's Kiss: 2nd Dynasty.
And down the line, brand new Turzman Critiques for Abominable (2006) and The Valley of Gwangi (1969).

Internet addict Pornocat says, "Where are all the NSFW screencaps?"