Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cabaret Sin (Philip O'Toole, 1987)

Since no one living in 1980s could have foreseen what the world was going to look like in, say, forty or fifty years, there was only one thing the people in-charge of depicting the future for entertainment purposes could do. And that is, take the 1980s aesthetic and amplify it to point of mental and physical exhaustion. Now, I could be wrong, but I think that's exactly what the producers of Cabaret Sin (a.k.a. X-Trop) were trying to do when they came up with the look of this film. You see, without access to expensive special effects or elaborate sets, the makers of this particular (and highly peculiar) slice of pornographic sci-fi had no choice but to exploit the stylistic temperament of the fingerless glove era. Besides, in a weird way, high fashion hit its zenith during the 1980s. Meaning, everything that has occurred since, fashion-wise, has simply been a rehash of something from the '80s. So, in a strange sort of way, the clothes and hairstyles seen throughout this movie are in fact futuristic, even though they're over twenty years old. Let me put it this way: Anytime you see a woman with flat, lifeless hair with no personality, blame Jennifer Aniston. On the other hand, anytime you see a woman with short platinum blonde hair that's been shaved around the sides and back, thank Lois Ayres. Sure, the incomparable Miss Ayres isn't in this movie, but her life force is. Speaking of force, you could say Gail Force's "Shadow Dancer," who can be seen dancing behind a screen as Lorrie Lovett and Tom Byron fornicated on stage, is the director Philip O'Toole's subtle tribute to Lois Ayres.

Ah, I see your eyes lit up when I implied that Miss Lovett and Mr. Byron did the bulk of their fornicating on a stage. Well, this film, my friend, is the closet thing to a sequel to Café Flesh we're ever gonna get.

I know, you're out there screaming at your television: "They made a sequel to Café Flesh, two in fact, dumbass." That's true, they (not Rinse Dream, mind you) did make a couple of sequels, but I think Cabaret Sin is one of the few films that manages to truly capture the spirit of Café Flesh.

While the makers of Café Flesh were portraying a bleak future from the perspective of someone living in 1982, the makers of Cabaret Sin are living in 1987. In other words, they, the Cabaret Sin folks, had more of the 1980s to work with. It's true, you could say Café Flesh had a bit of an edge because its cast and crew were able to utilize fresh memories of the late 1970s (the late 1970s were nothing but a cocaine blur by the time 1987 rolled around), and they had the advantage of shooting on film (film looks better than video). But let's get real, in Cabaret Sin, the hair is bigger, the colours are bolder, the neon is brighter and the sex is hotter.

In Café Flesh, Marie Sharp doesn't even come close to touching Kevin James' well-traveled ball sack with her mouth. However, in Cabaret Sin, the captivating Leslie Winston devours every square inch of real estate Kevin James' well-traveled ball sack has to offer.

This is going to be the last time that I compare the two films. But it should be noted that Cabaret Sin is nowhere near as compelling as Café Flesh, as the former is severely lacking when it comes to acting and basic storytelling. It's just that I was simply taken with the fact a non-Rinse Dream directed film came somewhat close to duplicating the magic of Café Flesh.

In reality, while Cabaret Sin does owe a debt of gratitude to Café Flesh, the majority of the inspiration seems to come from Blade Runner.

Everything, from the Sean Young-esque manner in which Krista Lane smoked, to the part where a bouncer tells the film's lead that it's "time to die," before attempting to strangle him, practically screamed Blade Runner. Even the year the film supposedly takes place in screams Blade Runner. Sure, Cabaret Sin takes place in Los Angeles in 2020 (Blade Runner takes place in 2019), but it's close enough.

In charge of killing droids, Taylor (Greg Derek) is the best "Eliminator" there is. In sector 48 to conduct a routine clean up job, Taylor enters the Pleasure Dome, a club that features live sex shows. As he walks in, it looks like Kristara Barrington (who is dressed like a geisha) is about to get it on with a guy dressed as a samurai, but this scene was clearly cut out of the movie for unknown reasons.

Despite this hatchet job, the atmosphere of the Pleasure Dome is so '80s, it hurts. Seriously, my brain can't handle the amount of '80s-ness on display in this scene. I mean, the combination of punk and new wave hairstyles, neon signs and synth flourishes on the soundtrack are enough to send even most fervent apologists for the 1980s (from a pop culture standpoint) to the emergency room.

Every audience member looks the part, as they watch Lorrie Lovett dance in ancient Egyptian garb for a lengthy period of time. Slowly but surely, she removes most of her clothing (don't you dare remove those white stockings). This is obviously Tom Byron's cue to go on stage. I don't think I have to tell you what happens next. But you know what? I think I will anyway. Jumping on stage, after some playful dancing, Lorrie sucks Tom's cock. And, after making sure his balls have been licked up and down more than once, Lorrie allows Tom to enter her vagina. And what's the best way for a man to enter a woman's vagina? Yep, he uses his penis.

If you're thinking to yourself: This sounds like your typical sex scene. Wrong. The editing and the music is so off-kilter, you'll be too stimulated to even notice two people are fucking on stage.

Meanwhile, backstage, a droid (Kevin James) has sex on a pink bed with a female Pleasure Dome performer played by Leslie Winston. Ball licking, 69, sex in the spoon position, and a cum shot. The best thing about this scene, besides the fact Leslie has a great face, is that feathery mask Leslie wears when the droid enters her dressing room.

Unlike the replicants in Blade Runner, the droids in Cabaret Sin dress like bikers and wear masks with flashing red eye lights. "Flashing red eye lights"? Ugh, I guess that makes sense.

Thankfully, some plot points are laid out in the next scene (the scene between Kevin James and Leslie Winston seemed to serve no real purpose), as we learn that a killer droid is on the loose, one who is stealing decoders. Now, they don't explain what these decoders do exactly, but I did appreciate the attempt to lay down some sort of story structure. We're even introduced to Turk (Herschell Savage), the film's villain, a shady fella who runs his criminal empire out of the Pleasure Dome.

Let's take a moment, before it's too late, to bask in the exquisite thickness that Keisha's oomph-tastic body. Dancing on stage in a tight green dress, the curvy Keisha proceeds to give Candie Evens (who is wearing white stockings and a fedora) a series of gifts (lingerie mostly). After rejecting them all, Keisha decides to give Candie the gift that every woman wants. No, not a diamond ring, silly. She gives her cunnilingus. As you would expect, the audience laps this up, and show their appreciation by applauding loudly.

Skipping past the scene where Taylor boinks Candie Evens backstage, the film's greatest scene in terms of editing and having an original concept is the one where Bunny Bleu's "Tammy Dorsey" plays the trombone in a mini-raincoat and sequined leotard. Flanked by two guys blowing on trumpets, this scene has got so much going in terms of creativity, that it's kinda of a shame that Bunny had to stop blowing on her trombone and turn attention to blowing the two guys blowing on trumpets. Unable to receive a blow job and play the trumpet at the same time, the guys toss their horns into the audience.

The way one of the audience members started to play the trumpet tossed in his general direction immediately upon catching it was favourite non-Keisha moment in the entire film.

My least favourite moment is the scene where Leslie Winston and Tish Ambrose double-team Herschel Savage. The sight of Leslie Winston riding on top of Herschel's cock was great and all. But I didn't like the way Tish Ambrose (Corruption) and her first-class booty were filmed during this scene. What I mean is, we get no clear shots of Tish. This irked me beyond belief. It didn't ruin the movie for me, but it did put me in a sour mood for the rest of the flick's running-time. Sadly, Cabaret Sin is the closest thing we're ever going to get to a "Who's That Girl (She's Got It)" porn parody, so, savour it while it lasts.

1 comment:

  1. This movie was also edited down with all the XXX bits taken out, and re-released later that same year as Droid, as an attempt to appeal to Sci-Fi fans.