Inside Deep Throat review, Inside Deep Throat DVD review

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Buy your copy from Inside Deep Throat (2005) starstarstarstarno star Starring: Dennis Hopper (narrator), Harry Reems
Director: Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato
Rating: NC-17
Category: Documentary

ALSO! Click here to read Will's interview with "Deep Throat" star Harry Reems.

My father has seen “Deep Throat.”

When this information first presented itself – it came up when I mentioned to him that I’d interviewed Harry Reems, to which he responded, “Well, I can’t remember what he looks like, but I’ve seen ‘Deep Throat,’ so I know I’ve seen him before” – inappropriately or not, I found it mildly disconcerting. You may have to begrudgingly accept that, at some point, your parents have had sex...but it’s hard to wrap your head around a concept like, “My dad has seen a porn flick.”

“Deep Throat,” however, wasn’t just a porn flick. It was the “Star Wars” of porn.

It was an event film; everyone wanted to see it. It’s hard to imagine that people would be lined up around the block – in some cities, a few times around the block – to see an adult movie, but it was an unprecedented event in motion picture history. It brought pornography into the mainstream...or, at least, as close as it had ever come to the mainstream up to that point...and filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have put together a brilliant documentary that puts “Deep Throat” into its proper historical context.

It also makes me decidedly less disconcerted about the fact that my dad saw it; if I had been in my early ‘30s in 1972, you can bet I would've been in line with the rest of America. To use a current reference, it was kind of like “The Aristocrats”; everyone wanted to see it, not because it was supposed to be all that great, just because they heard it was just so darned dirty.

The documentary gives a thumbnail sketch of what porn was like in the dark days before director Gerard Damiano and his stars, Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems, teamed up, then tackle how the film came together, where it was made, how much it cost, and the like. (For the record, it was made in Florida for $25K and has since gone on to make more than $600 million, meaning that, even to this day, it remains the most profitable film ever made in the state of Florida.) From there, the controversy over the film is discussed, as well as the battle over censorship, and, of course, the obligatory “where are they now?” summaries. Interviews with the original participants are plentiful; Lovelace has since passed away, but there are plenty of archival clips included so that her side of the story is incorporated. There are also comments scattered throughout the film from Hugh Hefner, Bill Maher, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, John Waters, Helen Gurley Brown (who has one of the greatest comments in the film, where, with a smirk that speaks volumes, observes that “I’ve always known that ejaculate is good for the complexion”), and the Happy Hooker herself, Xaviera Hollandera, among others.

The DVD includes a ton of deleted scenes, including lengthier interviews with Hefner, Maher, Mailer and Al Goldstein (founder of Screw Magazine, if you’re not an aficionado of dirty magazines), the participants of the film, and more expansive discussions on various plot points in the film. Example: Linda Lovelace’s friends and family appear briefly during the documentary, but there’s an additional segment, “Linda’s Exit: What’s The Big Deal?” that goes into greater detail about how her career in the adult film industry continues to affect her relatives and acquaintances to this day. There’s also audio commentary with Barbato and Bailey, during which they go into more detail about the construction of the film.

“Inside ‘Deep Throat’” is full of quick cuts, humorous observations, shocking revelations, and lots of nekkid folks, ingredients which make for a sometimes startling but always fascinating documentary that’s educational on several different levels. Enjoy it...then loan it to your dad.

~Will Harris

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