Wednesday, September 29, 2010
CAN LINDSAY LOHAN PULL OFF CHALLENGING ROLE OF AMERICA‘S FIRST PORN QUEEN?
Pic 1: The real Linda Lovelace
Pics 2&3: Lindsay Lohan as Linda in "Inferno" posters
CAN LINDSAY LOHAN PULL OFF CHALLENGING ROLE OF AMERICA‘S FIRST PORN QUEEN?
In May 2010, one infamous, troubled actress with the initials “L.L.” was chosen to star in a big-screen biopic about another infamous, troubled actress with the initials “L.L.”. Tabloid’s reigning bad girl Lindsay Lohan was selected to play the late porn actress Linda Lovelace in the movie “Inferno“, to be directed by Matthew Wilder. For those of you too young to remember, Linda Lovelace was one of the most talked-about women in the ‘70‘s (and, like Lindsay in our decade, not always for her artistic abilities…) As the star of the groundbreaking 1972 X-rated movie “Deep Throat”, Lovelace is largely credited-- accurately or not-- with bringing that particular sexual act of the movie’s title into the American consciousness. “Deep Throat”-- a movie which cost about $47,500 to make, grossed way over $100 million (600 mil by some estimates), and is still widely watched today-- also changed the way America viewed porn. All of a sudden it was “chic” for the bourgeoisie and culture vultures to go out and see a dirty movie in a theater, and “Deep Throat“ became the reigning discussion topic at cocktail parties. Miss Lovelace soaked up the attention. She delighted in telling the media that she was a bona fide exhibitionist, that she loved making porn, and that she believed in complete sexual freedom in America. She wrote two best-selling books about her life (“Inside Linda Lovelace” and “The Intimate Diary of Linda Lovelace”) at the time when printed erotica was popular. More significantly, she became America’s first porn star and the poster girl for the sexual liberation of the ‘70‘s. Later on, Lovelace radically changed her life story. She wrote yet another best-selling but VERY different kind book called “Ordeal” in 1980, in which she revealed she never wanted to do porn. She now claimed that she was forced into the sex business by her abusive husband who beat her, pushed her into prostitution, and even forced her, under the threat of violence, to have sex with a dog on film. She found a new role, as an anti-porn crusader. By middle age, Lovelace seemed to have made peace with her various past lives, and she settled into a relatively quiet existence as a devoted grandmother in Denver, Colorado. Sadly, she died in a car crash in April 2002, at age 53.
No matter whether you believe Linda Lovelace was being honest about her life the first time or the second time, her life story packs a wallop. If you believe her story she told in “Ordeal”, her life was marked by non-consensual, insane sadism; domestic abuse to the point of non-consesual slavery; and forced prostitution. This was all in addition to the backstory of sex, porn, and notoriety-- all overseen by the glare of fame‘s spotlight. Most telling, the Lovelace story is one about America’s changing mores about sex between the 70’s and the new millennium. Because of all its true life drama, Lovelace’s story has been trying to make its way to the big screen for decades. Lindsay Lohan is the latest in along line of starlets who have been chosen to play Lovelace. Despite Lindsay’s latest legal problems and newest stint in rehab, the producers of “Inferno” swear that the movie will go on as planned. The poster art for the movie, showing Lohan as Lovelace (One of them inspired by the original “Deep Throat” poster art) has even leaked out to the media. But a more important question is: Does Linsday have the acting ability to play the “Deep Throat“ girl‘s story? Although we see her on TV almost every day, Lohan has not appeared on big screen since the seriously mediocre “Georgia Rules” and the grotesque “I Know Who Killed Me“, and critics including myself were seriously underwhelmed by her acting. The role of Linda Lovelace would be an intense and challenging role (requiring nudity, explicit sex scenes, and-- most challengingly-- entering some seriously dark areas of the human psyche). If she could overcome her personal problems and really throw herself into the part of Linda Lovelace, the bold role could really change her reputation as an actress. No matter what, I’ll be in the theater for opening night of “Inferno“. That is, if the movie even sees the light of day. For those like me who are obsessed with every little detail about the life of the late Miss Linda Lovelace, let’s hope so…
Before "Survivor", before Omarosa, before the Osbournes, before even "Family" in 1972, there was Linda. Ms. Linda Lovelace to you. Linda Lovelace, who will always be remembered as "that 'Deep Throat' girl", was the first reality star. She wasn't born Linda Lovelace, but the star and the person became inseparable to the masses. "Deep Throat" was the porn flick in 1974 that changed the X-rated movie biz forever, and catapulted the innocent-looking brunette with that not-so-innocent special talent into instant celebrity. Unfortunately, Linda Lovelace came into the cruel glare of the spotlight without having the right management or the know-how to market herself, unlike most of the shrewder 15-minute celebs or the manufactured porn stars of today. Linda filled a void at that time. Had she come into the public consciousness in, say, 2005 and filled a void, she may have had a better chance at happiness and/or some length of enduring success. For all you kiddies out there who don't know her story, Linda was an advocate for sexual freedom on film and real life in the 70's. After making a number of short "stag" loops, the full-length "Deep Throat", and "Deep Throat"'s ill-fated X-rated sequel, Lovelace left the jizz biz for good, trying to squeeze into the mainstream entertainment scene which was not only smaller but also less forgiving at the time. No, Virgin-ia Mary, it wasn't always "acceptable" to be seen fucking on film-- like Pamela or Paris -- or, for an otherwise talentless trust fund brat to make a porn video and then have it "accidentally on purpose" leaked on to the Internet just do wriggle her way into the public consciousness. (Beware that 16th minute, Ms. Car Dash Ian...) When her mainstream career failed, Lovelace became a spokeswoman for the combined forces of the Religious Right assholes and kooky radical feminists, speaking against porn and stating that she hated every minute of her life as an outre sex symbol, that she was essentially being raped on camera. In the last few years of her life, she came into some kind of integration of the two faces of her past, and admitted that she was used by the censorship-loving Right as much as she was used by the men who mistreated her in porn (You mean the radical Christian/political right manipulatively uses people to advance their own agenda? That's not possible!). She even came to peace with the "Linda Lovelace" persona, perhaps finally realizing that she could profit from her own name the same way so many others had for over 30 years. Unfortunately, Ms. Lovelace experienced her revelation too late. In 2002, at age 53, she died in a tragic car accident in Colorado, where she was living a relatively quiet life. In Linda Lovelace's first two biographical books, "Inside Linda Lovelace" and "The Intimate Diary of Linda Lovelace", she wrote about her "real" life story: her wide range of sexual adventures and her thoughts on sexual freedom for all. Nothing was bad, she proclaimed, as long as it was between two (or three, or four, etc...) consenting adults. Later, after she turned against porn, she wrote a searing, best-selling book called "Ordeal" where she revealed her real "real" life story, where she was forced into prostitution and porn by the unsavory men in her life. most notably her first husband/manager. Which was the really "real" Linda Lovelace? Balanced minds may figure out that Linda Lovelace may have been at odds with two sides of her persona and her life, but both sides were likely "real", albeit exaggerated versions. Her conflict may very well be typical of most American women and even some men: We want to explore and enjoy our sexual sides, yet we face unrelenting overt and subtle disapproval-- so institutionalized through the centuries, that often we don't even realize it ourselves. This stems from the world domination of organized religion. This means radical Muslims (who seem to approve of sexual pleasure as long is it's by straight men only) and hardcore Christians (who seem to disapprove of all forms of sexual pleasure, male or female, gay or straight). In 2007, despite that Dr. Phil and Oprah tell us it's OK to sort of enjoy sex, Americans still have a problem with it. The Linda Lovelace story is indeed a fascinating, not always pretty one, with so much of what was going on in her life tied into America's mores about sex and celebrity through the decades. For years in Hollywood, people have tried to bring L.L.'s story to the big screen, with many names attached: including Ron Howard as director, Laura Dern and even Meg Ryan (The producers reportedly wanted to take a “good girl” and “dirty her up” with Meg.) mentioned as possibly playing Linda. A screenplay for a biopic about Lovelace's life, called "Lovelace", made the rounds for years-- and most recently, rock star/actress Courtney Love was poised to produce the movie, and ostensibly star as Linda as well. It seemed like the perfect vehicle for her. But at a New York book signing on Halloween night, 2006, I met Courtney and she told me that she had "various other projects in competition", and the status of "Lovelace" was up in the air. Sure enough, it never happened. Anna Farris was also mentioned to play Linda in a new Lovelace biopic called “Inferno”. In May this year, the role went to another “L.L.” with a penchant for lesbian escapades, tabloid overkill, and crotch-flashing: Lindsay Lohan.
After "Deep Throat", the most financially successful fuck film made, it was only a matter of time before plans for a sequel had to come into fruition. That sequel was named-- get ready!-- "Deep Throat Part 2", and it was originally shot as a full fledged porn flick starring Lovelace, Harry Reems, Andrea True, and others. But for reasons which have never been completely verified (Fear of government charges of obscenity? Desire for a larger audience?), the hardcore sex scenes were removed (Most of them were purportedly lost forever.), and what survived to hit the theaters was an R-rated comedic sex- and espionage-themed bomb which, as "Variety" put it, was likely to arouse more ire than des-ire in all those who had bought a ticket to see it-- all three of them, it's likely. It's more silly than funny, the only truly humorous parts being the choppy editing in which even the dumbest cinemaphiles will know just when the sex scenes were snipped away. (FYI, It's also very obvious the movie was shot in Astoria, Queens.) "Deep Throat Part 2" was widely regarded as lost forever until it inexplicably turned up in a 2005 DVD compilation called "The Linda Lovelace Collection". Also on that colllection is "Linda Lovelace for President". Next to the goofy "Deep Throat Part 2", "Linda Lovelace for President" is high art. Linda Lovelace, again playing "herself", is running for President of the U.S. on the Upright Party ticket. She recruits a cast of misfits-- a German guy in a Nazi uniform, an Afro-wearing black guy, al Chinese guy complete with all the tired stereotypes, an ultra-swishy gay guy, a man-hating feminist, etc. Starring a cast of '70's B-listers and other pop culture inhabitants--Scatman Crothers, Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees (!), and others-- the movie was Linda's attempt at mainstream success in a patently absurdist, lowbrow comedy which plays like a cable TV version of an episode of "All in the Family"-- minus the wit, any underlying intelligence, or charismatic characters. Except for Linda-- who not only never looked lovelier than in this flick, but makes us think that in a leadership-starved 2007, she would have probably made a better President than most of our politico-whores today. There's lotsa nudity and simulated sex in "Linda Lovelace for President", which was originally rated X-- but no hardcore. This flick was repackaged and re-released many times on VHS in Great Britian (never officially in the US, oddly), including a 2001 VHS release which featured box art with "More Bush, Less Gore" and "Monica Sucks" campaign posters on it. Interestingly, none of the versions out there, including the version on the "Linda Lovelace Collection" DVD-- are truly complete. Some scenes featured on one print are missing from others and vice versa, which means that you'd have to obtain all the issues of the movie out there to see "Linda Lovelace for President" in its entirety. Some critics, needless to say, may feel it's hardly worth the trouble. Others, like me, will seek out every last thing about the late Miss Linda Lovelace.
"The Linda Lovelace Collection", featuring "Deep Throat Part 2" and "Linda Lovelace for President", is released by Alpha Blue Archives and is available to buy at
www.AdultVideoUniverse.com.) The collection also features the theatrical trailer for "Deep Throat", a great photo gallery, and a few of Linda's hardcore "loops". But be warned: the loops are pretty low quality, and the more fetishistic scenes (the watersports, the fisting and foot scenes, the infamous dog scene) are either pixelated (which is hardly necessary given the poor quality) or cut entirely. Self-censoring porn? What's with that?!
Also check out:
the original "Deep Throat" (Especially if your a gay boy who digs straight porn like I do... buy it at
"Inside Deep Throat" a documentary, my favorite movie of 2005 (Rent it at Netflix.)
"The Real Linda Lovelace" -- a British documentary which uses re-enactments and passages from Lovelace's books to show the two different -- including her death. You can borrow this rare DVD from me! E-mail me for more info...