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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Video Time Productions
Director/Producer/Screenwriter/Editor: “Richard Mahler” (Roger
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