Film Reviews

INSIDE DEEP THROAT

By • Feb 11th, 2005 •

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Universal Pictures / An Imagine Entertainment in association with HBO Documentary Films presentation of a Brian Grazer Production in association with World of Wonder
MPAA rating: NC-17 / Running time — 88 minutes

QUOTE: A little Lovelace and a lot of 85 year olds talking about it. It ain’t pretty.

Made for $25,000 and released in 1972, DEEP THROAT made $600 million. Star Linda Lovelace got $1200. Her co-star, Harry Reems, was paid $250. Time to drag out this relic of pornography once again. After all, there are some of us who have not seen the cultural watermark that defined a generation. DEEP THROAT, according to the ancient arbitrators of style and artistic freedom interviewed here, was a landmark. It takes “pride of place” in not only liberating sexuality from the straitjacket of American Puritanism but it was an historic leap forward for freedom of an individual’s sexual rights.

Rise up people! Linda Lovelace should be placed on a stamp!

We all know what made DEEP THROAT so relevant. It glorified the blowjob. It made the blowjob a topic for polite conversation.

I’m not against blowjobs. I’m against boring documentaries featuring really old people. INSIDE DEEP THROAT dredged up everyone who ever drove Lovelace to the set. The guy whose house was used is interviewed.

The problem with INSIDE DEEP THROAT is Michael Moore. After entertaining us with BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE and the influential FAHRENHEIT 911, Moore made documentaries fashionable. We now expect them to be witty, cutting, edgy, and very, very funny. MICHAEL MOORE HATES AMERICA tries to copy the Moore formula but fails miserably. It does not have the highly excitable content and Moore’s brilliant voice-over. INSIDE DEEP THROAT has narration by Dennis Hopper. A PBS “Frontline” special has more bite and grit.

Before FAHRENHEIT 911, people avoided documentaries. With the enormous success of Moore’s two films, the commercial market for cheaply-made documentaries burst wide open. There is a lot of money to be made putting together archival footage and interviewing people in their living rooms who do not expect to be paid. So how does Hollywood’s Brian Grazer exploit the documentary market Moore massaged into a moneymaker? Why not drag out DEEP THROAT? It certainly has name recognition and everyone is still interested in blowjobs, right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong. First, everyone who goes on camera pontificating about the social importance of DEEP THROAT is now 85 years old, such as Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer and Helen Gurley Brown. Then there are all the old guys who made DEEP THROAT. My favorite was Lenny Camp. Camp didn’t actually make DEEP THROAT. He carried equipment or was a friend of the director’s. I also enjoyed the old, toothless guy who did his interview in tight jeans and an opened-to-the-waist shirt. He kept his legs wide apart and did not bother to comb his hair. Then there was the old lady who kept yelling at her husband for allowing himself to be interviewed. Her husband has the luminous credential of having shown DEEP THROAT in his movie theater in Florida!

DEEP THROAT’s infamous director was Gerard Damiano and here he candidly admits it was a lousy movie. Damiano says Linda Lovelace really enjoyed making the movie. The toothless guy with his legs wide apart said Damiano just made porno because he wanted to get laid. We do hear about Lovelace’s claims she was not acting but performed under hypnosis and was held prisoner by her husband/manager. But enough about ugly reality. Let’s get back to the social importance of DEEP THROAT being shown across America.

Writers/directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato celebrate DEEP THROAT but it reeks of clever opportunism and another exploitation of Linda Lovelace under the guise of hailing her contribution to free speech and our first amendment rights.


Credits:
Writers/directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
Producer: Brian Grazer, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
Co-producer: Mona Card
Executive producer: Kim Roth
Directors of photography: David Kempner, Teodoro Maniaci
Editors: William Grayburn, Jeremy Simmons
Music: David Steinberg

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