Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

On some lousy DVD I was watching there was a trailer for this movie ‘Sex Sells: The Making of Touché’ and it came off as a wacky comedy in the mockumentary form of a ‘Spinal Tap’ only for the porn industry, and since the trailer was pretty amusing I decide to toss it my cue. Now I’ve seen more than my fair share of bad wacky comedies. Way more. Far too many. I have actually had to stop and gather myself for a moment as thoughts of how I’ve suffered for the sake of ‘journalism’ has made my fingers quiver. ‘Sex Sells’ isn’t one of those bad comedies. Truth be told it’s barely a comedy at all though it does have its funny moments, but it’s actually a very sweet and touching dramadey in the romantic vein that just happens to center around people who perform fellatio for a living.

Jay Michael Ferguson portrays Bernard Heiman, a young documentary maker trying to get the inside scoop on the adult film industry and for his subject he’s chosen adult auteur Chuck Steak (Mark DeCarlo) who still shoots his porn on film as opposed to videotape, and still insists that his films have some kind of narrative to them as opposed to the porn littering the video shelves today. Chuck has stable of regular performers he relies on such as Roxy Free (Priscilla Barnes), who has been with Chuck since the early days. Yes Ms. Barnes is well over fifty and yes we’ll always have fond memories of Three’s Company and yes Ms. Barnes blesses us with a couple nude scenes. You go girl. Then there’s Lance Long (Adrian Zmed) who gets buy in the industry with a 42 inch penis. Yes Mr. Zmed is well over fifty and yes we will always have fond memories of T.J. Hooker and no I don’t think he really has a 42 inch Penis. We also Pearce Boyle (Jack Kyle) who is the stud on standby and Pursey Galore (Lisa Jay) who is part porn star and part whiz MIS administrator for Chuck’s little studio of sin.

Chuck is about to shut it in on down since he’s been in the biz over twenty years but not before he crafts his great opus ‘Touché’ which is a knock off of ‘The Terminator’

and will feature the largest orgy scene ever recorded on film. However to pull this off there will be challenges as our little documentary filmmaker is getting in everybody’s business, upsetting Roxy to no end, finding out deep secrets on why Pursey is actually working as a pornographic actress all the while falling in love with the porn star. Also looming over the production are the ever persistent picketing porn haters who want to shut down Chuck’s little studio and have the nerve to try to interrupt the greatest orgy scene ever. The nerve.

Written and directed by some cat named Jonathan Liebert ‘Sex Sells’ is actually a very sweet and very touching little romantic comedy. The majority of these mockumentary thingies, post Spinal Tap with the possible exception of ‘Fear of a Black Hat’ usually come up way short on the comedy aspects, but ‘Sex Sells’ is different in that it didn’t appear to going for all out crazy laughs and instead focused in on these characters and did its darndest to get you into their lives and make you care for them, and for the most part Liebert succeeds. This is not to say that the flick doesn’t have its funny moments because it certainly does, and it even had a bit of insight for me as Chuck injected a Ninja fight in the middle of his pornographic epic. When the young filmmaker asked why he put Ninja’s in his movie, Chuck replied with ‘Everybody loves Ninja’s’. Just mere months ago I was curious why in the hell did German director Uwe Boll stick Ninja’s in the middle of his fantasy medieval epic ‘In the Name of the King’, and now I know because seriously, who doesn’t love ninjas?

Special props to comedian Mark DeCarlo as the pragmatic Chuck Steak who was very good and very funny in the role of the benevolent porn producer and is also, might I say, a very snazzy dresser. Conservative… yet modern. Even when he hosted that stupid TV show back in the day that I can’t remember, I do recall the man being having some very classy threads. Does anybody still use that word anymore? Threads? For all you freaks out there there’s also plenty of boobies to see bouncing around and quite a bit of simulated sexual action and what I’m guessing is some inside info on the secrets of the porn trade. Whether this info is real or fabricated I couldn’t tell you but it seemed real enough to me.

Now all of the little jokes didn’t work and there was a lot of forced sentimentality in the movie which might seem odd since it is based on porno, but I’m sure porno people have hearts too. Jay Michael Ferguson was kind of grating at times and perhaps the movie ran just a bit too, long but all things considered ‘Sex Sells’ was a cute, sweet, funny and heartwarming story about porno people searching for answers and looking love just like the rest of us. Plus it had Ninja’s and that you can’t beat with a stick.

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