Welcome back to Heady Entertainment, MERRY JANE's weekly guide to just-released movies, books, and music — all fresh, dank, and THC-friendly. In specific, we choose our picks based on how they can enhance your combined consumption of cannabis and entertainment.
For this special Sex Week edition, we reached around just a bit further than usual to round up recently-issued flicks, shows, books, and tunes that keep with the intoxicatingly erotic air around MERRY JANE at present.
Streaming highlights include the Italian teen sex worker shocker Baby, as well as Cam, an out-of-nowhere horror hit centered on online sex. Next, the cult archivists at Vinegar Syndrome have issued collector’s editions of some lovably-bizarre ’70s hardcore favorites, The Sexorcist and Deviates in Love.
Our hot books include Porn and Pong, a highly conscious examination of how video games shaped 21st Century sex, as well as Black Lace Drag, a republished vintage novel by Ed Wood (yes, the famously terrible movie director). Music pulsates pleasingly this week, ranging from the smooth seduction of Rico Love to the more hard-pumping gyrations and poundings of Black Girl/White Girl. So let’s get straight — but not “straight” — to this week’s fresh-rolled recommendations.
“Baby”: Season One
Cast: Alice Pagani, Benedetta Porcaroli
Watch It: Netflix
Imported from Italy, this controversial series is based on the real-life “Baby Squillo” teenage prostitution scandal that rocked Rome. As high school students from wealthy families, Chiara (Benedetta Porcaroli) and Ludovico (Alice Pagani) find their lives of pampering and privilege boring and predictable. Baby then follows the teenagers and their friends as they sneak out to who grapple with "forbidden love, family pressures, and shared secrets.” It all leads wild escapades, uninhibited drug consumption, and sex-for-hire in order to keep the party going nonstop.
Director: Daniel Goldhaber
Cast: Madeline Brewer, Isabelle Link-Levy, Greg Gilreath
Watch It: Netflix
Cam is a sneaky, surreal freak-out of a fright film. It’s also bracingly of the moment, as it chronicles young, ambitious Alice (Madeline Brewer) who gets hooked on the fast money and weird fun of being a cam model online. All goes okay until one day when Alice logs into her own account to find a show in progress — starring an exact replica of herself!
The premise of Cam is a brain-bomb, and, fortunately, the actual movie proves so powerful that horror master supreme Stephen King recently gave it his personal endorsement. Think of all the Stephen-King-related material you’ve loved while fully lit. Now add Cam to that screaming roster.
“Christiane Amanpour: Sex & Love Around the World”: Season 2
Watch It: Netflix
Over the course of Christiane Amanpour: Sex & Love Around the World, the legendary CNN reporter applies her investigative skills to the topics of the title in six major world cities: Tokyo, Delhi, Beirut, Berlin, Accra, and Shanghai.
As a result, it’s a trip to lean in and learn about the state of human relations outside of typical erotic hotpots like Rio, Paris, Amsterdam, and Las Vegas. You may well wonder on occasion, though, how weed could further enhance the subjects’ goings-on, as many of the locations suffer under draconian drug laws. It’s okay, though — just go ahead and smoke extra for everybody on screen.
“The Adult Version of Jekyll and Hyde” (1972)
Director: Lee Raymond
Cast: Jane Tsentes, Rene Bond, John Barnum
Get It: MVD
Decades before the high-profile “porn parodies” of the past decade or so (you know, the bluntly titled likes of Nailin’ Palin and Star Wars: An XXX Parody), the sexploitation industry cranked out numerous skin flick send-ups of classic sagas.
The Adult Version of Jekyll and Hyde delivers exactly what its title implies, pumping softcore sex into The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, author Robert Louis Stephenson’s much-filmed classic novel about a mild-mannered medico who invents a potion that turns him into a brutal beast of a man.
In the adult version, though, horny Dr. Jekyll (John Barnum) transforms into Miss Hyde (Jane Tsentas), a slinky female hedonist who promptly indulges her every carnal whim. Transform yourself before watching, too. In this case by toking up.
“Memories Within Miss Aggie” (1974)
Director: Gerard Damiano
Cast: Kim Pope, Darby Lloyd Raines, Harry Reems
Get It: Vinegar Syndrome
After directing the top two all-time classic adult films of the 1970s — Deep Throat (1972) and The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) — hardcore filmmaker Gerard Damiano created the avant-garde psychological drama Memories Within Miss Aggie.
It’s a unique blend or arthouse ambition and full-blown X-rated explicitness, hailed by Variety (yes, real periodicals reviewed porno movies back then) as a “superior, bizarre mood piece” with sex that is “handled with great style.” Memories is dank, dark, and dire, so pick a blend that will best enhance a combination of doom, gloom, and full-blown getting it on.
“Peekarama: ‘The Sexorcist’ (1973) and ‘Deviates in Love’ (1978)”
Director: Ray Dennis Steckler
Cast: Carolyn Brandt, Lillie Lamarr, Wayne William; Christie Ann, George S. McDonald
Get It: Vinegar Syndrome
If Memories Within Miss Aggie (see above) proves that some adult-industry directors were using the new freedom of the screen to create meaningful art back in the 1970s, the work of schlockmeister Ray Dennis Steckler represents the other extreme — purely insane, no-budget fun. By way of their Peekarama double-feature series, Vinegar Syndrome has paired two of Steckler’s most insanely tripped-out features on a single disc.
The Sexorcist tracks an aspiring female reporter as she penetrates an underground occult orgy network. Deviates in Love connects a bunch of unrelated, hippie-era sex loops by way of a psychiatrist talking in hindsight about one of his most, let’s say, adventurous case studies. Each one is a hoot to get high to on its own; together, they’re a broken-brained event just begging to be watched while passing a bong.
"Black Lace Drag”
By Ed Wood
Get It: Quimby’s Bookstore
When it comes to movies that fit the description “so bad it’s fucking amazing,” no figure looms larger than Edward D. Wood, Jr. And what a figure he cut!
The director of the all-time stench-bomb Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) was famously portrayed by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s beloved 1994 biopic, Ed Wood — an epic that affectionately delved into the filmmaker’s passion for dressing up in women’s clothing. Both Wood’s original works and Burton’s tribute are all-time marijuana movie classics.
In between whipping up big-screen curiosities such as Glen or Glenda? (1953) and Orgy of the Dead (1965), Wood pumped out heavy-breathing “adult books” that frequently focused on gender-blending dynamics.
Black Lace Drag (aka Killer in Drag) stands as Wood’s most celebrated pulp novel. It centers on a cross-dressing assassin who flees both the cops and the mob by taking over a traveling carnival, all while his inner personalities — male Glen and female Glenda — battle for a permanent coup of his consciousness. It’s a page-turner best experienced while properly inebriated.
“Porn & Pong: How Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider, and Other Sexy Games Changed Our Culture”
By John M. Gibson
Get It: Feral House
In the realm of stoner entertainment, online smut and video games rank as high as —well, at least as high as your last sesh when you enjoyed one, the other, and/or both.
In Porn & Pong, John M. Gibson argues that the two media have become inextricably intertwined in modern life, dating back to the ’80s when Atari got everyone gripping and manipulating joysticks.
Gibson further connects reality TV to the X-rated/Xbox nexus, and draws connections between celebrity plastic surgery enhancements and the increasingly credible appetites and appendages of video game characters. It’s a heady argument, perfect to ponder while puffing weed — you know, in between bouts with the book’s two endlessly-appealing subject matters.
“Tales of Times Square”
By Josh Alan Friedman
Get It: Feral House
The 1986 classic Tales of Times Square has been revised and updated by author Josh Alan Friedman in a new edition from Feral House. Now, more than ever, you can actually smell the poppers and various smoke fumes rising from behind closed peep show doors on every page.
During the late 1970s and early ’80s, gonzo man-about-town Friedman covered New York City’s vice districts for the city’s weekly sex periodical, Screw.
Tales of Times Square collects Friedmans’ best, boldest, and most bizarre stories, putting readers right on the frontline for all-too-true situations that get fictionalized in the HBO series, The Deuce.
If you ever thought perhaps that the seedy universe presented on The Deuce was exaggerated, here’s brilliantly written, first-person proof that, just a few decades ago, midtown Manhattan was an open marketplace of professional sex businesses, porn theaters, swingers’ clubs, street walkers, and hustles on the stroll — as well as a bazaar of every conceivable combination of intoxicant.
“Even Kings Die”
By Rico Love
Get It: iTunes
It’s been nearly four years since Rico Love wowed all comers with his solo debut, TTLO (Turn the Lights On). Of course, all along, the man who makes all the music he touches sounds as smooth as his name has been writing, producing, and otherwise enriching records by Usher, Beyoncé, and other icons of only the highest order.
Now Rico returns with Even Kings Die, thirteen tracks of molten R&B seduction, suavity, and rapturous bliss. Every note on the album is a turn-on and every song feels like a lush, lustful relationship. Pour the wine, spark the smoke, and turn it up — all the way up.
By Black Girl/White Girl
Get It: Beat Port
Deeming their sound “psycho disco” and drenching their releases in hallucinatory imagery and ideas — not for nothing was their April 2018 release titled Space Cookies — producer/DJ duo Black Girl/White Girl are scorching dance floors the world over. BG/WG’s deep, wild psychedelic beats can (and no doubt does) also serve as an ecstatically overwhelming soundtrack for moving bodies in private areas of interaction, as well. So get this new EP and then do it, While Tripping.
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