Neu Wave Hookers (2006)

Imagine, if you can, a mid-70s art movie… getting gang-banged by early 80s MTV… then being transported to modern-day Los Angeles… and sent out onto the streets to earn its living. Well done, you have just invited yourself into the world of Neu Wave Hookers, one of the most refreshingly avant-garde XXXs of the 21st century, and all the more so because it “avant garde” a clue that that is what it is destined to become.
     The cast… Riley Mason, Joanne Angel, Justine Joli, Tiger, Sierra Sin, Felix Vicious and Nyomi Zen… nobody’s notion of your typical street girls, all the more so when they hit the ropes in full-on eighties drag. But we start at a yard sale where they are sweet-talked into buying an old VCR and a handful of vintage pornos, including what has since become one of the most infamous of them all, the original New Wave Hookers. That, you may or may not remember, is the movie that launched Traci Lords to fame – at an age when the law insists she should have been sitting at home with her legs tightly crossed and her mouth sealed shut. Sweet seventeen, with a fake ID… yes, you can Google the ensuing fall-out once that little nugget became public knowledge.
     The movie was pulled, Lord’s role expunged… but it forms a fascinating subtext to this film, an homage of sorts that revolves, in a very very circular manner, around the efforts of the titular sextet to discover more about the original film. To the extent of breaking into the film-maker’s offices and unearthing the original paperwork.
     But in and around that, Neu Wave Hookers dances around some stunning cinematography, excellent sets and even – and this is so rare for a modern prono – a devastating soundtrack, fittingly glued into the modern era’s fascination with retro-eighties synthi sounds. Dirty Sanchez, familiar to my long time readers (“Fucking On The Dancefloor”) appear with a wonderfully staged “I Dig It,” and the verse about being caught masturbating by your mother is Grammy material on its own. Avenue D’s “O-Tron” and Electrocute’s “Fun Is A Floppy Bitch” are the highlights, with director Eon McKai putting on his best pop video director’s hat and wearing it better than most of the crap that’s on TV these days.
     The hottest scenes… the DVD box credits Dana DeArmond, playing Traci Lords, with giving “perhaps the most provocative blowjob in DVD history.” And it’s not bad (although it would have helped if Tommy Pistol, playing the Greg Dark character, at least had a full erection). But there are better – Joanna Angel maybe spends too much time spitting on Kurt Lockwood’s cock for their sequence to be truly memorable, but Riley Mason and James Deen (plus a swing set) are great to watch.
     And then comes the true piece de resistance, Riley and Nyomi tagteaming, and reminding us that the Olympics are just a few months away. Believe me, that’s not an easy position to hold for any amount of time but fuck it’s worth it. If you’ve never felt your own blood rush to your head while making sure your partner’s keeps rushing to his other head… well, you should. Oh, and if you dig into the Behind The Scenes sequences on disc two, the shadowy couple getting to know one another backstage is a beauty, too. Which raises my one criticism of Neu Wave Hookers – in a movie that works so hard to disavow the common cliches and set pieces of modern porn, why then conclude so many scenes with the stand “jerking into the girl’s open mouth” sequence?
     Yes, viewers expect it, blah blah blah. But they expect a lot of things that Neu Wave Hookers does not deliver, and the movie is all the more powerful because of that. Which brings me to what sundry Internet reviewers seem to feel is the most controversial element of all, a series of sequences in which our hooker heroines find themselves in the clutches of an uber-slimey old man, whose entreaties are alternately pitiful and sinister, and are so exquisitely discomforting that more than a few viewers apparently fast forwarded through his appearances.
     Don’t. Yes, they are uncomfortable, and yes, they are creepy. But they also serve as reminders of the realities of hooking, the fact that a girl cannot always choose just the hunkiest customers, and that occasionally things get out of control. Here the slimeball is simply cajoling, and the scenes never slide into violence. But they could, and in and around the rest of the movie, they offer a chilling counterpoint to the fantasies played out elsewhere.
     Because they are fantasies. The sets are amazing, but you never lose sight of the fact that they are artful artifice, lurking somewhere between Warholian Pop Art and Grade School set design. Backdrops are deliberately rendered as obvious theater props, and the Traci Lords car wash scene is decorated with little more than a hand-drawn sign that says, indeed, “car wash.”
     Sweet too is the ease with which sequences arise out of fantasies; Sierra Sin wondering what DP might feel like, and immediately finding herself sandwiched between James Deen and Tommy Pistol. And finally, there is the climactic scenes, all the girls together and not a cock in sight. Up there with the cat-women squawling through that memorable scene in The 8th Day (and maybe the orgy in Not Bewitched XXX), one of the finest lesbian action scenes around.
     So, a magnificent movie, a stunning production and all in all, one that is effortlessly up there with that select handful of other modern offerings in which the sex drives the action, as opposed to interrupting it.  In other words… I wanna be a Neu Wave Hooker too!

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