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PORN STARS OF THE 80’S: MIDNIGHT BLUE VOL. 6 (80s)
Published by David Carter on 2009/11/5 (1986 reads)
Directed by Various
Review by David Carter
Released by NY After Midnight (Blue Underground)
Running Time: 121 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital English
Region Code: 1, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: Full Frame 1.33:1, 4:3
16:9 Enhanced: No
Special Features: Trivia pop-ups, Wally George’s interview with Al Goldstein
Trailer Online: Yes
Short Version: Porn legends talking about life in the business
Though few admit their predilection in public, porn fans are a die-hard bunch. Some fans have been around long enough to see the genre go from seedy back alleys to the days of “porno chic” to the video age and now the Internet age. One wonders if any of them could have anticipated one of the more recent trends in porn: porn nostalgia. Despite the tons of new pornography being produced right this second, many fans are clamoring to collect DVDs of their favorite stars from the past. Al Goldstein’s MIDNIGHT BLUE was a home away from home for many famous and infamous porn personalities and in an attempt to sate the desires of fans Blue Underground’s NY After Midnight label has been releasing compilations of the program. They are now up to VOL. 6, PORN STARS OF THE 80’S.
The Eighties were an interesting time for the porn industry. The decade saw two of the biggest changes to the business with the move to home video and threat of AIDS and both topics come up frequently during the interviews. The majority of the biggest stars of the decade appear on the DVD, including a young (and thin!) Ron Jeremy and Veronica Hart.
It’s hard to review interviews so I’ll just offer a few thoughts on some memorable moments. I was struck by how uncomfortable some of the women were during the interviews, particularly Vanessa Del Rio and Desiree Cousteau. Del Rio is practically assaulted by interviewer Steve Kraus in a chapter that the DVD callously titles “The Violation of Vanessa.” Del Rio is visibly unhappy with his incessant groping but one can see that she goes along with it to a point to maintain the image she projects in her films. I was impressed with her professionalism and appalled by Kraus’ behavior, which makes Goldstein appear to be a perfect gentleman by comparison. Cousteau, for her part, tries to give a tactful answer to questions about her retirement from the business. She tries to come up with a way to express her dislike of the porn business without insulting her fans or the viewers and, unfortunately, the interviewer doesn’t give her any assistance in doing so.
On the plus side we have interviews with outspoken women like Annette Haven and Nina Hartley. Haven isn’t afraid to speak her mind, disparaging several other actresses and dropping an intriguing allegation about Marilyn Chambers and Chuck “Formerly Mr. Linda Lovelace” Traynor. The always well-spoken Hartley talks about porn from a feminist perspective and her goals for the business.
PORN STARS OF THE 80’S comes with an extremely entertaining bonus feature that, in my opinion, significantly increases one’s enjoyment of the DVD. “Money Shots” are small pop-ups (think Pop-Up Video from VH1) that occasionally appear during interviews to give history, facts or other comments about the on screen personages. Not only does this feature make the DVD accessible to those less versed in porn history, die-hard perverts will enjoy it too.
PORN STARS OF THE 80’S has enough good moments to outweigh the bad spots. Though it is entertaining, the DVD’s true value is as a historical document of both porn and American culture of the 1980s. Fashions, law, technology and attitudes have greatly changed since then and this DVD is a fun way to get a glimpse into the past.
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