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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Golden Age of Porn: Watching 1970s Pornos The Chambermaids and Honey Buns

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM

IMPULSE PICTURES
  • Impulse Pictures

"If you want to know how I really feel,

Get the cameras rolling,

Get the action going..."

- Andrea True, "More More More"

True's "More More More" was a chart topping hit at the height of the disco era in 1976. The song was autobiographical -- at the time, True was a well known porn star, with titles like 1974's The Chambermaids under her belt.

Chambermaids is one of two XXX films from the 1970s newly released on DVD by Impulse Pictures, purveyors of cult/underground cinema (porn or otherwise). Impulse's box cover claims that Chambermaids was rescued and remastered from a barely surviving theatrical print. Rescued? Yes. Remastered? Hardly. The print is scratchy as hell. Not that anyone will care, the less than erotic Chambermaids is hilarious, a camp classic if ever there was one.

Chambermaids was made during those glory days when porn was shot on film, played in cinemas, and often had scripts featuring defined storylines. Kinda. Many of these naughty classics were made by "serious" filmmakers who lacked the talent to cut the muster in Hollywood. The performers were often an odd collection of sex workers looking to market themselves, failed movie stars desperate for fame, and rebellious anarchists making a "statement."

The first thing you notice in these films is how ordinary the performers look. The ladies' bosoms sag and the gentlemen aren't exactly buffed -- Chambermaids' Jeffrey Hurst has a hairy back! Which offers hope to us all. If these poor shlubs could get paid to have sex on film, then us poor shlubs out here might stand a chance at getting laid!

Chamermaids is set in a hotel that looks suspiciously like someone's living room. The hilariously over the top, threadbare dialogue is designed to insure that all the male characters have sex with all the female characters. As is often the case in these films, the cast assumes the strangest and most uncomfortable contortions imaginable while doing it. It's highly unlikely any of them were getting actual pleasure, but it's not the models' pleasure that counts.

IMPULSE PICTURES
  • Impulse Pictures

Impulse Pictures also offers a surprisingly clear and sharp print of 1973's Honey Buns. The film features Rene Bond, the first above the title star to come out of the Los Angeles porn scene at a time when most adult films were shot in New York. Bond was a vivacious type who often showed a surprising acting range, with a genuine flair for comedy. And oddly enough, Rene Bond was her real name. In 1986, years after she left the adult biz, Bond and her husband were contestants on the TV game show Break the Bank as Lonnie and Rene Levine, which you can watch on YouTube.

Honey Buns has more of an actual plot than its sister release. Sort of. Nerdy Harry (Matt Hewitt), a babe repellent if ever there was one, is given a magical red pill by a stranger known only as The Magician. Soon, naked women, eager to please Harry, are appearing in his kitchen. Only they disappear before they finish! What's poor, horny Harry going to do?

No one is going to seriously suggest that films like Chambermaids and Honey Buns are "classics," but this doesn't detract from the harmless, silly fun one might derive by viewing them. These grindhouse sleazefests give new meaning to the word "campy" and are about as good natured as a "so bad it's good" movie could be.

Both films are now available for purchase -- if you're so inclined.

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