Released: Jun 01st, 1984
Running Time: 91
Director: Robert McCallum
Company: Cal Vista Video
Cast: Shauna Grant, Ron Jeremy, Jon Martin, John Leslie, Joey Silvera, Tara Aire, Laura Lazarre, Gayle Sterling
Critical Rating: AA 1/2
The wonder of it all! I'll never understand what makes a great porno film "great." Suzie Superstar is a product of its own hype. Long awaited and often talked about, it garnered critical acclaim when it played in theatres, several "girlie" magazines named in their best film of 1983 and it won three Erotica Awards. Its star, Shauna Grant, was nominated for Best Actress in her first role in which she even attempted to stretch her limited acting talents. I was hyped into believing that this is a "great" adult film. Wrongo!
We could have run this Suzie Superstar review earlier, but with the unexpected death of Shauna Grant, it deserves the utmost examination; this may well be the film that the beautiful Shauna will be remembered for. The opinions expressed here are no from just myself, but with input from two other AVN critics.
Directed by veteran Robert McCallum, who previously gave us such wonderful fare as Ecstasy Girls, Satisfactions and Private Teacher, Suzie Superstar borders on the average simply because its plot, songs and erotic scenes do not live up to the extraordinary production values of the film. It's creatively edited, photographed in gorgeous bright colors (lots of reds and purples) in various settings, and has the look of a $10 million dollar movie. On the other hand, its players lack suitable character development and much of the sex seems labored.
Suzie Mitchell (Shauna Grant), a sexy, rock-singing vamp, has achieved superstar status, although we never find out how or why. Her manager Z.W. (played by John Leslie) has her locked into a contract that makes Suzie his financial and sexual property. He cheats on her, uses her, pushes everyone else out of her life and maintains complete control over her.
He arranges for Suzie and her band (which includes Jon Martin and Joey Silvera in controlled, very fine performances) to play an exclusive party for big money for a syndicate figure. But Z.W.'s affair with the businessman's daughter, played by the wonderful Laura Lazarre, leads Suzie to find a sneaky, ingenious way out of her contract.
With all of the material and fine actors McCallum has to work with, it's a wonder that Suzie Superstar plays so tediously. Leslie can't seem to get into his sexual encounters with Shauna. Yet his two performances with Laura Lazarre are steamily erotic, especially in front of the fireplace where Ms. Lazarre shrieks with ecstasy while writhing in pleasure. She's certainly a star in my book.
Sharon Mitchell, who mysteriously appears towards the film's end plays admirably as a country/western singer and performs well in a closing shower scene with Leslie. Also, Ron Jeremy, who won the Erotica Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role here as Leslie's driver/bodyguard, steals the opening moments with a lustful 3-way orgy in the back seat of his limo.
Suzie Superstar, with its varying hot and cold segments, leaves me up in the air. It's high-mindedness allows for serious criticism when comparing it to other quality features. A story about a rock 'n roll singer that only has three (very poor) songs needs a lift from other areas. And the film just leaves me dry too much of the time to give it better than an average rating.
Which brings us full circle to Shauna Grant, who never looked better than in this movie, especially in her rock 'n roll clothes. She really does seem bored most of the time during sex scenes and few actresses could get away with that. Her sexual romp with Joey Silvera is the best of the lot, but the rest of the time she simply lays there. Unfortunately, she did have a future and Suzie Superstar would have begun an illustrious career, had she had time to develop.