Harry Potter!
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Lights, Camera, Sex!
A porn guide

. "Sex Sells: The Making of Touche'"

The kindest thing to be said about this approach to exploitation is that it comes off as good-natured and amiable, living up as much as any other mockumentary to its claim to be a comedy. Clearly, writer-producer-director Jonathan Liebert, with dialogue and action to test the concept, knows the truth about his title.

He has rookie documentary filmmaker Bernard Hyman (Jay Michael Ferguson) lead us into the forbidden sound stages and orifices of the porno trade which he is purportedly covering for his documentary. Because of this concept, he's a constant presence in every scene as he interviews the staff and crew and integrates himself into their lives, both professionally and personally.

Roxy Free (still, at 50, well-put-together Priscilla Barnes) tests his mettle with her sex come-on, then goes to work on set posing as a hump machine in director Chuck Steak's (Mark DeCarlo) latest production, "Touche'." The scenario and characters are the result of a production meeting that gave Steak (pronounced "stee-ack") the idea of making a porno queen an insatiable android.

The setting is Steak's version of a film studio (seemingly a Van Nuys conversion of an industrial site) and we soon learn that this is the last film he's planning to make before retiring. It will therefore be his biggest and best with the world of porn record largest-ever orgy scene. His male star is Larry Long (Adrian Zmed) whose 42-inch cannon is constantly alluded to but never truly documented seen in Hyman's frames (nor anywhere else, we can assume). Meanwhile, neighborhood protesters threaten the production by closing the studio down.

But what's porno without a serious story hook and the human dimension? So real director-writer-producer Liebert devises that first-timer Pursey Galore (Lisa Jay) is the abandoned daughter of Roxy Free and she has been trying to find a way to bring it up (why is it that everything sounds like a pun?) with her unsuspecting biological mother. Oh, how the intimate revelations of a sub-plot raises the angst level and deepens the drama (see what I mean?).

In any case, it's not going to rip you apart emotionally, but it does contain some appealingly prurient moments and titillating action for the fans. It'll go well on a double bill with "Inside Deep Throat," furthering the veracity of the truism that Liebert started out with, "Sex Sells."

Mocumentary: A staged documentary and the last refuge of a low-budgeteer who isn't too much of a writer and can't afford to hire a real one. A format that tends to be closer to the work of an amateur than a pro. This one is full of under-rehearsed moments that aren't fully compensated for by spontaneity. It may be a fully serious effort to expose the humanity behind the sleaze, but the only thing saving it is the humor that it's peppered with.

Participants of the high-paying industry of sordid output seem, often, to crave sympathy. But that's a reach for folks who have chosen a tawdry occupation for their life's work. They frequently attempt to portray themselves as artists and professionals in a self-delusional mockery of filmmakers with real talent. Some of that is on display here. But, if this is the best they can do then maybe they can't be put down for trying to puff up adult filmmaking with a plea for a little respect. And who knows, fans of South Park will probably buy into it.

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                                      ~~  Jules Brenner  

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The cast and crew of "Touche'"
In a touching moment behind the scenes

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