Released: Jan 01st, 1989
Running Time: 123
Director: John Stagliano
Company: Evil Angel (EA) Productions
Cast: Kathleen Jentry, Champagne, John Stagliano, Jack Baker
Critical Rating: AAAA
At one point or another, a director will feel compelled to make a personal artistic statement. John Stagliano went so far as to create his own company to exercise his latitudes. In Dance Fire, his first feature for his own company, Stagliano creates a feature for his own company, Stagliano creates a feature of such visual sensitivity and depth, that one suspects the production may have to seek out its own audience. It may be too good for its own good, if that’s possible.
Outside of a few John Leslie, Cecil Howard, Anthony Spinelli, Candida Royalle or Paul Thomas productions, Stagliano’s effort far surpasses the pedestrian expectations of the adult video market. Here he gets into a more incisive study of his Mario character reprised from Very Dirty Dancing – a dance instructor of artistic commitment, tortured doubts and misgivings whose tragic flaw is that his creative expression is encumbered by his passion for his students. Never was a scene more descriptive of a man’s unfulfilled lust than Mario drinking himself into a numbness in the stark, lonely consolation of the moonlight, as his student Champagne wages hot, impulsive sex with her boyfriend, Rick Daniels in the next room.
Stagliano takes every available opportunity of playing sensual eyegames with light and shadow in his sex scenes. If you can find a more erotic orchestration of dream imagery than Mario’s love episodes with Kathleen Jentry, I want to see them. Perhaps they’re best described by Jack Baker’s comment to Mario: “You met her a hundred times, you’ve just never seen her before.” The action certainly follows the pathway of the poetry.Some might raise their eyebrows at the running length of the feature, but I didn’t see a scene that was wasted or squandered. Stagliano has certainly fulfilled an erotic mission (which I suspect he’s on). I just wouldn’t want to be in his dance shoes to try and top it.