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This, one of several porn films made by the late Roger Watkins in the eighties, is a highly downbeat and surreal work. I’d hesitate to call CORRUPTION good, but it has some impressive elements.

The Package
     1984’s CORRUPTION, headlined by porn stalwart Jamie Gillis, was the third of Roger Watkins’ porno features credited to “Richard Mahler” (following HER NAME WAS LISA and MIDNIGHT HEAT). Watkins is of course best known for the classic 1977 freak-out LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET, which was likewise credited to a pseudonym. As for CORRUPTION, it was not a success but has garnered a loyal cult following.

The Story
     Alex is a stressed-out businessman who’s just made a deal with some shady mafia types. Shortly thereafter he finds himself in a nondescript building where he’s confronted with a horny naked woman. She invites him to watch her fondling herself--no man, she claims, could ever satisfy her in the same way.
     Alex enters another room, this one painted red. Another naked babe is inside, a brunette who propositions Alex with the line “I want you to eat me.” He complies.
     Alex finds himself in another room, this one pitch dark but for the expected naked whore. This gal is quite philosophical, proclaiming that “A man has to give up certain things in order to get certain things.” She asks Alex to renounce love. He agrees and she invites him to screw her, only to throw him out before he’s done.
     Back at his house Alex has sex with his wife, apparently not remembering that he renounced love in the previous scene. Later on in a strip club he chats with his lowlife brother. The latter shows Alex a hole in a wall that provides a glimpse inside the ladies’ room, where two women get it on. Alex peeks through another hole and spies an apparently dead woman being molested by a creep in a top hat.
     Alex than learns that his wife’s sister has been kidnapped, and is being held for ransom by his slimy business partners. From there “reality” dissolves altogether as Alex’s sister-in-law is anally raped and he gets it on with a ho in a blue room, while his increasingly unhinged brother embarks on a bloody shooting rampage.

The Direction
     It’s a big stretch to call this film a “masterpiece” comparable to the work of David Lynch (as some internet wags have done), but it has a definite oft-kilter allure--as you might expect from the director of LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET, who in interviews likened this movie to Richard Wagner’s 19th Century opera DAS RHEINGOLD.
     The studied and precise visual compositions are far superior to those of most porno features, while the dark-hued photography is quite atmospheric, and the ever-changing color scheme downright hypnotic (prefiguring Peter Greenaway’s THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER). Listen also for music cues lifted from LISZTOMANIA and THE THING, and quintessentially Roger Watkins-esque dialogue like “I’d drink a mile of piss to see her pussy.”
     Yet for all its strong points CORRUPTION is still a porno movie, meaning the highly disjointed and inconclusive “plot” is secondary to the copious hard core fuck scenes, which are allowed to drag on for unconscionable amounts of time. At least a couple of those fuck scenes, it must be said, are actually somewhat erotic, meaning that taken purely as stroke fodder the film isn’t entirely without worth. As an actual movie, however, it’s unsatisfactory.

Vital Statistics

Video Time Productions

Director/Producer/Screenwriter/Editor: “Richard Mahler” (Roger Watkins)
Cinematography: Larry Revene
Cast: Jamie Gillis, Bobby Astyr, Kelly Nichols, Michael Gaunt, Tiffany Clark, Michael Morrison, George Payne, Samantha Fox, Tanya Lawson, Marilyn Gee, Tish Ambrose, Nicole Bernard, Alexis X, Sabrina Vale, Vanessa del Rio