Dallas Does Not Want to Do Debbie Any More

With Apologies to ICanHasCheezBurgerThere are a few porn movies which most people have heard the names of — Behind the Green Door, The Devil in Miss Jones, and Debbie Does Dallas. Add Cafe Flesh and maybe Caligula to the list if you are a science fiction dork fan like me. You can enjoy smut without ever having seen any of those flicks. You can make smut without ever having seen any of those flicks. But, if you have not heard of them, then you are missing a piece of the cultural zeitgeist that most people are in on.

Adult industry professionals and critics have a number of theories as to why the original Debbie Does Dallas movie was so popular. Some people think it was because a lot of people are hot for cheerleader porn and the Dallas Cowboys (and their cheerleaders) were practically America’s team at the time. I’m not really a football person, so I can’t comment on the veracity of that claim. Some people think Debbie Does Dallas was just a really catchy punchy title that was fun to say. Kind of like Snakes on a Plane, but with, you know, naked people. Some people believe that Debbie Does Dallas rode the initial wave of Betamax production, being one of the very first adult titles available on that videocassette format. Yes, I said Betamax. For those of you who are like “WTF is Betamax?”: It was a videotape format which competed with VHS to be the industry standard when VCR’s or video cassette recorders first came out. Betamax was generally considered to be a higher quality format, but VHS embraced the porno market. Guess which one ended up more popular? A VCR was expensive when Debbie Does Dallas first came out, so being one of the only options for an underserved and overpaid market was probably an advantage. Some experts on adult video opine that Debbie was just really really really incredibly hot. Whatever the reason, Debbie Does Dallas was one of the best-selling skin flicks of all time.

So what happens when a director or producer has the hook-up to make a movie with a decent budget, but they don’t actually have anything much to say personally as an artist? That’s right, they do a remake. Don’t get me wrong. Some remakes are enjoyable. I liked the Dennis Quaid-starring version of the classic thriller movie DOA better than the original, and the more recent one was probably able to have a more interesting and less Hollywood ending because the creative team could excuse it by pointing out that they were staying true to the original. In general, though, I am a fan of artists trying to do something new. I do understand that there are some people in the movie business and in the adult video business who just want to make a dollar and their only question is ROI. I can respect someone who is purely about business, so long as they don’t try to convince me they are something other than what they are.

I’ve never seen the original Debbie Does Dallas in its entirety. By which, I mean I may or may not have walked through a room where it was playing while at a party at some point. I’ve never even seen a boxcover for the — yep, you guessed it — remake of Debbie Does Dallas, the over-heralded recent release of which provided the impetus for this article. Although the current crop of Porn Valley faux auteurs often ask people to praise their films sight-unseen, I feel unqualified to review something I am totally unfamiliar with. So I’m going to let America’s beloved porn journalist Gram Ponante do it for me. Here are some excerpts from his Fleshbot review of the DVD:

“An altporn reimagining of the 70’s porn classic “Debbie Loves Dallas”, [Emo McCry]’s version is not going to make any converts to the altporn stable of stars, all of whom do an amazing job of telegraphing how not seriously they take their jobs. The eye rolling, gum smacking, and bad posture, the delivery of every line as if it had a question mark at the end of it, and the relentless irony of the performances made me think less like I was watching a porn movie than I was substitute-teaching an eighth grade class . . .

Back at Debbie’s place, Cassidey makes James Deen fuck Pixie as punishment for not cleaning the apartment. I don’t understand Altkid anthropology; if Deen had cleaned the house, would he have got to fuck Pixie twice? . . .

In the end, Cassidey gets her man. Punky, played by Alex Gonz, and Cassidey provide a sweaty and messy ending to the movie, real porn as opposed to metaporn, which is a welcome relief. Still, we could hear an offstage voice yell “Two minutes!” as Gonz worked up to his pop shot. I asked [Emo] if things other directors might smooth over – like stage directions – were included purposely in this movie.

“Truth to materials,” he said, quoting the architectural fad that prohibits gussying up building blocks. If that is true, why not have a split screen at all times showing what the crew is up to? What about a CNN news ticker or real-time L.A. traffic reports that would give insight into conditions on the set? Sometimes I think Altporn means never having to admit you’re phoning it in.”

Okay, having seen one other movie (on fast forward) by the same emopompous (I’m inventing words, but only good ones) director, I am inclined to think Gram’s review is probably right, but I’m not really the market for vanilla porn, so it doesn’t much matter if this sort of movie speaks to me. Sometimes Fleshbot runs reviews which are humorous and not wholly positive. Heck, Fleshbot poked fun at us the same week for being excited about award-winner Funkatron wearing a shirt for Blue Blood’s SpookyCash at the Adobe Max 2007 show for the future of the internet. Guess what I did when I read that? I laughed because it was well-written. I said, “ouch,” because it was well-written. I asked a co-worker if I should read anything into the fact that Fleshbot never links BlueBlood.com when they mention it, although they will link BlueBlood.net. We decided it probably didn’t mean anything, but I could always sacrifice a goat later and read the entrails, if I really felt the need. Then I got back to whatever I’d been working on at the time. I definitely did not do what the emopompous director of Debbie Wants a Mulligan On Dallas did.

That kind, friendly, sweet, sensitive (to his own needs), gentle soul who always remembers anything good anyone has ever done for him . . . Okay, I don’t think I can maintain a level of sarcasm here which could remotely communicate Emo McCry’s hysterically overblown ridiculous overreaction. Keep in mind now that Gram had given Emo McCry a ton of positive press in the past and that, although Emo McCry would like to get a discount for being all indie, he, in point of fact, works for a one hundred million dollar corporation. So, as the representative of a hundred million dollar a year business, one of the most established companies in adult, Emo McCry apparently shrieked in a completely juvenile way at Gram, calling and texting Gram’s cell phone over and over again to swear and indicate that he was owed a glowing review whether or not he bothered to make the slightest effort to do a good job. Emo McCry rounded out his businesslike presentation by adding harassing emails to the mix. Oh yeah, and he tried to get Gram fired. Mistakenly believing he actually had the juice to force Fleshbot to fire a popular writer like Gram Ponante over one review the director of a DVD didn’t care for.

The absurd but typical overreaction to the mildest slight is comedy gold. Apparently Emo McCry was under the impression that Gram didn’t even need to view the movie to proclaim genius, which, in all fairness, I know other people have done for this guy. I’m certainly long past tired of theoretically creative people, in this age of hype, who want to be congratulated on their brilliance without having to actually try. I’m sick of being asked to praise (or dis) projects I have not yet seen. How fake is this hype going to get before it entirely kills journalism? How un-American is it for publicists to try to run what journalists say down to the last semi-colon? The most annoying thing to me, as a creative person, is how hyper-sensitive these corporate sell-outs are. They whine hysterically over the smallest imagined insult, even though they are totally insensitive to anyone else’s feelings. Have they never heard that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones? And, if they are going to take money from big business, I think they have an obligation to do a good job. A remake might not be art, but it ought to have good production values and be a quality product. But these emo manchildren seem to think it is their raison d’etre to lash out and try to damage everything and everyone around them. Guys, you are not “sticking it to the man” by taking corporate money and giving, both your corporate masters and the viewing public, laughably amateur productions in return. What are you people spending all that corporate dough on anyway? And, incidentally, companies do not usually grow large by having stupid people at the helm, so they are going to eventually notice you are excusing laziness and poor performance as irony and hipness, whether or not you can convince journalists to say you rock. Sometimes I worry that a small crew of disingenuous ripoff artists have fed the whole scene figurative luminous toxin and it is going to kill everything which matters, but at least we have time to figure out who the murderers are.

At any rate, after all was said and done, Gram Ponante is, of course, still writing in the same humorous style for Fleshbot and the emopomous director of Debbie Does Derivative is still hilarious too. Only Emo McCry is solely unintentionally hilarious. I don’t usually pull aside the curtain, but, if you feel like reading the entire email barrage from an apparently grown-ass man who is very very sensitive, then you should check out where Gram Ponante posted the entire exchange on his site. Perhaps the truth of Emo McCry’s materials is just very painful.


Posted by on October 19, 2007. Filed under Blue Blood. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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