800 Fantasy Lane (1979)

One of the relatively rare "real" female directors (as opposed to male filmmakers employing gender bender aliases) in pornography, Svetlana's main claim to fame has always been her ability to discover hot new girls, many of whom went on to industry stardom. Indeed, quite a few carnal critics seem to think that was her sole saving grace. A closer look at the evidence would suffice to prove them wrong. Sure, some of her latterday efforts like the pedestrian Another Roll in the Hay (with scandalmongering Traci Lords) will only appeal to the most indiscriminate of girlie watchers, but in her heyday the great lady cranked out one fabulous fornication fest after another as "F", Sex Boat, the original Bad Girls and Surrender in Paradise (the undisputed highlight of her Ginger Lynn "Hawaiian foursome") clearly testify. Her very first directorial endeavor, 800 Fantasy Lane, already showed great promise yet it's also interesting to note how different it feels from subsequent work, an indication she might still have been feeling her way, exploring what worked best. The sex, for instance, proves a lot rougher than that in her considerably fluffier followups, pretty much bordering on full-on raunch, a factor which made me somewhat uncomfortable back when I first saw the movie over two decades ago but really makes me love it now that I'm - to quote the Three Degrees - a "Dirty Old Man".  Cue the close harmony !

A pair of horny pump jockeys, Vic and John (played by a shamelessly mugging Jamie Gillis and fly by night stud Bud Wise, who delivered a decent comic turn in Tony Kendrick's hit or miss prime time TV sendup Hot Dallas Nights), stumble on a way to live in the lap of luxury accompanied by all the hot and cold running wenches they can handle whilst perusing the ads in the paper. Seems that there's an upmarket real estate company willing to go that extra mile (i.e. wine, dine, 69) in order to secure their wealthy clientèle, so the buddies pose as filthy rich oil barons to get their hands and assorted other body parts on all the fine fillies dying to make a deal. Once the premise has been set up, the plot pretty much falls apart but with the tantalizing talent on display few will care. Superstars Serena and Desirée Cousteau get things off to a roaring start with their "fist insertion" number - the former being the recipient - now cut from all available DVD versions.  Something always strikes me as a bit clinical about scenes of this particular nature, odd exceptions aside (think Bob Chinn's Candy Stripers, the fistfuck benchmark by far), graphic demonstrations that would feel more comfortable as part of some how-to white coater. Hence, as far as I'm concerned, things only get better after this...

Where this movie truly excels is in its gallery of group gropes, surely a surprise for a novice pornographer as was Svetlana at the time. Carnal cult favorite Nancy Suiter (unforgettable in the legendary opening threeway from Gary Graver's milestone Ecstasy Girls) and the rarely seen Aubrey Nichols (from Jourdan Alexander's Taxi Girls and Heavenly Desire) make for an awesome twosome, ganging up on Gillis who's supplanted at the last minute by Wise for a stunningly shot ménage à trois. Aforementioned veteran DoP and ace erotic auteur Graver provided the glowing cinematography by the way, cementing his definitely deserved reputation as one of the finest in the fuck film field. A delightfully depraved dungeon sequence showcases superstar Serena and Hillary Summers (who had yet to hit the big time with Ron Sullivan's All About Eve take-off The Budding of Brie) suspended in slings, tormented by Nordic blonde Chris Anderson - who would disappear right after Svetlana's "F" - with Desirée frantically jilling off on the sidelines. The nastiness quotient increases dramatically once Gillis gets in on the act or what did you expect ? Remember that Serena and Jamie were a hot item on screen as well as off at the time, notorious for their seriously kinky antics. The bouncy bathtub five on one with Gillis being pleasured by Nancy, Aubrey, Serena, Chris and Hillary provides the perfect breezy counterpart to that intense number.

While "fellow" oil baron Hubert Fielder, played to the hilt and then some by overlooked dirty movie director Alan B. Colberg who made the unsung Abigail Clayton vehicle Naked Afternoon, does his darnedest to gather info exposing our "heroes" as impostors, the two of them get high on reefer, inspiring what might very well be the movie's most inspired sex section. Wise imagines carrying his humongous (papier maché) genitals around in a wheelbarrow, squirting milky substance all over his adoring acolytes ! In the scene everyone remembers from this film, Gillis turns into a wild animal tamer in a cage, holding pony Serena, tiger Aubrey and leopard Lisa DeLeeuw at bay with the crack of his whip. For the record, this movie also marked the debut for then 21-year old Lisa who allegedly passed away due to an AIDS-related illness in 1993.

Directed and written by Svetlana. Produced by Svetlana for Cal Vista International Ltd. Photographed by Gary Graver (as Robert McCallum). Edited by Joe Sherman. Starring Jamie Gillis (Vic), Bud Wise (John), Lisa DeLeeuw (Victoria), Nancy Suiter (Olivia), Chris Anderson (Karen), Aubrey Nichols (Samantha), Serena (Pony Girl), Desirée Cousteau (Submissive Voyeur), Hillary Summers (Sling Slave) & Alan B. Colberg (Hubert Fielder). Running time : 77 minutes.

Remembering the controversial if indelible Mr. Jamie Gillis, arguably the greatest male adult superstar of all time