Thursday, September 11, 2014

Secret Mistress (Lasse Braun, 1986)

Shot on video, yet filmed in New York City, Lasse Braun's Secret Mistress is a bit of an odd bird for those very reasons. On the one hand, the use of videotape instead of film gives the entire production the look and feel of a cheap home movie (the blurry transitions look eerily similar to something you might see used in that haphazardly put together AV club-orchestrated highlight reel celebrating your high school football team's first winning season in fifty years). However, like I said, it's filmed in New York City; during the restoration of the Statue of Liberty, 1984–86 (you can clearly see the scaffolding covering Lady Liberty in one scene). What I'm trying to say is, while the film itself looks like crap, the location is to die for. Unfortunately, other than some quick establishing shots that boast the world's most famous skyline and some short scenes that take place near the Brooklyn Bridge, Lasse Braun doesn't really take advantage of its iconic local . That being said, I don't think that many people, other than me, of course, will protest too loudly, as their main concern is to be aroused/titillated. And if that's the only criteria you need to enjoy pornography, you should have no trouble whatever getting into the sex-adjacent shenanigans a socially awkward writer gets into over the course of this sex-filled romp.

Since I'm not your typical smut enthusiast, you might be thinking to yourself: Why am I writing about this particular piece of pornography?

The first thing that caught my eye was that it takes place in New York City. What can I say? I'll watch anything, especially if its pornographic in nature, that is set in The Big Apple during the 1980s. And the last time I checked, 1986 is definitely in the '80s.

The second thing that peaked my interest was that it's written, directed and edited by Lasse Braun. Impressed by his film, Body Love (1977), I was curious to see if his talent as a filmmaker was able to flourish in the artistic no-man's land that was shot-on-video pornography.

The third thing, the one that caused my pupils to percolate pure positivity, was the pulsating presence of the one and only Taija Rae. Oh, who am I kidding? Seeing Taija Rae's name in the credits was the only reason I bothered to watch this movie.

Not quite at the height of her shapeliness (believe it or not, she's even shapelier in 1985), Taija Rae's mouth-watering curves are still a force to be reckoned with, as her thick and hearty frame can be seen stomping around in a pair of skanky red pumps in one of the film's best scenes.

It's funny, changing gears for a second, but the female singer belting out the film's theme song sometimes sounds like she's saying, "desperately seeking Susan." While other times she sounds like she's saying, "naturally seeking Susan." Given my inability to decipher song lyrics, she's probably saying neither.

Anyway, after the song is finished, we enter the apartment of Steven (Robert Bullock), a writer of some kind. Actually, judging by the size of his apartment (it has a sauna), I would say he's a successful writer.

In fact, he's so successful, he has Ludmilla (Stacey Donovan), a lanky blonde, trying on lingerie for him in his apartment as we speak.

Hired by a lingerie company to model their product for special clients, Ludmilla tries on a number of different pieces in the film's opening scene.

The first one is a red bra and red panties combo with matching frilly gloves.

The second one is a burgundy top with straps (Steven really seemed to like this piece).

The third one, which, according to Ludmilla, is made from 100% Italian silk, is a blue bra and a blue and white thong.

Annoyed by Ludmilla's constant yammering (she insists on describing each piece to him in intricate detail) Steven tells her to shut the fuck up.

Just kidding. Steven doesn't tell Ludmilla to "shut the fuck up." Don't get me wrong, he tells her to be quiet. It's just that Steven, despite being a New Yorker, is way too polite and way too mild mannered to actually say that to someone.

At any rate, I wonder who he's buying all this lingerie for. It can't be for himself, can it? Hold on, I think we're about to find out. Appearing on his couch out of thin air is Eric (Rod Retta), Steven's brother. Asking him why he didn't try to copulate with Ludmilla, Eric stares at his brother with a look of disbelief on his face (in his mind, his brother had a half-naked lingerie model in his home and didn't once try to put the moves on her). Annoyed by the question, Steven shoots back at him that he's in love with Susan. Oh, okay, that makes sense. She's probably the Susan from the film's theme song.

Susan or not, Eric stills thinks Steven dropped the ball big time. And to prove he did, Eric makes Steven watch as he has sex with Ludmilla (who, like Eric, seems to appear out of thin air) on his fancy couch with his unspectacular cock. But not before telling Ludmilla to "show your ass to my brother."

Later that evening, Steven hears his doorbell ring. Looking through the peephole, Steven sees two new wave goddesses standing in the hallway. Letting them in, Annette (Taija Rae), who seems to know Steven, explains that she lost her keys (she lives in Steven's building), and asks him if she and her drunk friend, Gloria (Scarlett Fever), can hang out for awhile until her father comes home.

Agreeing to let them stay, Annette, who is wearing a black lace leotard, a tight red skirt, one fishnet opera glove, a funky black belt, fishnet stockings and red pumps, goes over to the couch and sits down.

As Annette leafs through a copy of Playboy (the issue that featured nude pics of Madonna), Gloria, who is wearing a pink mesh top over a pink bra, one black fingerless opera glove with pink tutu-esque ruffles, a white skirt, pink knee-high stockings, black pumps, and about a half a dozen bracelets (on the non-armwear arm), finds some panties stuffed underneath a couch cushion.

Grabbing a pair of black panties, Gloria stands up, removes her orange(!) panties and slips the black one's on.

Check out the part where Annette scolds Gloria for putting on panties that are clearly not hers. I mean, the way she says, "Gloria!" in her thick Philly-New York accent was beyond glorious (no pun intended).

When Ralph (Ashley Moore), Annette's father, Liza (Colleen Brennan), Steven's neighbour, come over, Annette and Gloria leave with them. However, just like the scene with Ludmilla and Eric, Ralph appears out of thin air to ridicule Steven for not taking advantage of Gloria, who verbally expresses the desire to fuck Steven twice during her brief stay.

Pretty soon, Gloria and Annette appear out of then air as well. Refusing to have sex with Gloria, Ralph decides to dine Gloria's blonde pussy essence instead.

As Gloria is blowing Ralph, you'll notice that her mesh headband contains the colours red, salmon, yellow and lime green.

One thing leads to another, and Annette and Gloria end up lezzing out on one of Steven's many ornate sofas. Even though he says she's not really his daughter, the sight of Ralph having sex with Annette was... not that disturbing at all; I didn't buy for a second that they were related.

I have to admit, my interest in Secret Mistress plummeted to a record low after Taija Rae and Scarlett Fever leave Steven's apartment. It's true, we do learn the identity of Susan and Kristata Barrington and Siobhan Hunter play a couple of typists. But nothing comes close to topping the sight of Taija and Scarlett in their sexy new wave duds.

Struggling to remain invested in the film's "plot," I started to regret the decision to watch it all the way to the end. I did eventually finish it, but at what cost? I think the lesson is this: Be wary of pornographic movies made after 1985. You might stumble across a few gems here and there, but bulk of the product is mediocre at best.

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