Last year, Essex released a tape of highlights culled from the annual Adult Film Association of America Awards. "Great," I thought, "just what we need —another awards show." But the program proved to be something of a surprise, as dancing girls performed some naughty numbers, comic Jackie Gayle told some age-old jokes and porn stars paraded to the podium in masse to accept their awards. Almost like being there.
Now AVC has decided to try a similar strategy with this live tape from the first annual X-Rated Critics Organization ceremony held last February at a Los Angeles nightclub. While there's lots of erotic greats on view here (with their clothes on, of course) and I applaud the XRCO's efforts of recognizing the best of adult films in a unique manner, I must render one question: Where's the entertainment?
What we have here is a batch of presenters reading off the names of nominees to the audience, and the winners coming onstage to grab their prizes. Some of the winners, including Kay Parker and producer David Friedman, appear genuinely thrilled; others have little to offer than "Um, thanks." John Leslie gets up to the podium no less than four times during the evening; he's speechless after the first trip. Superstars like Georgina Spelvin and Marilyn Chambers are nowhere to be found. Maybe they took off during the three hour blackout that interrupted the ceremony.
Still, it's great to see Colleen Brennan looking soooo sexy in a dark see-through dress, Ron Jeremy whipping off some witty one-liners and director Suze Randall offering some kinky come-ons.
To break up the monotony of the awards, scenes from winning films are added, but they get repetitious after awhile. And the overall production of the tape is uneven and lackluster: there's some special effects and neat graphics in the beginning, but the producers apparently don't care towards the end. Suggestions for next year's show: cut the tape to 60 minutes, add shots of the audience and people arriving before the ceremony and get a host or off-screen narrator. And why not a little comic relief. How about Jerry Lewis yelling "Hey, foxxxy laaaaddddy!"? Now that's entertainment!