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Adventures in Pornoland (DVD Review)

8 Oct, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 10/11/11
Virgil/Walking Shadows
$19.99 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Brad Brough, Taryn O’Neill, Greg Salman, Ron Jeremy, Kimberly Kane.

Lifting the veneer on the adult entertainment business is hardly new Hollywood territory (see Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Boogie Nights) or even scintillating.

What gives 2008 Canadian indie Adventures in Pornoland a slightly comedic twist on the genre is the fact that except for the lead actors, everyone involved believes they are filming a documentary on the porn industry.

Ethan Barret (Brad Brough) and David Gold (Greg Salman) are long-time Vancouver film school buddies who reconnect in Los Angeles when Barret wants to expand beyond directing Canadian TV and seeks to make it in Hollywood.

Barret and wife Jaime (Taryn O’Neill) arrive in the Southland with few contacts and lots of dreams — typical elements of an L.A. story. Exorbitant rental prices send the couple to the Valley, where Jamie waits tables and Barret hits the streets in search of an agent and getting his foot in Hollywood’s elusive door.

Met quickly with indifference at every turn, Barret turns to Gold, who makes a living churning out gonzo porn — a genre that values quantity over quality pentration. Barret, wishing to take the high road, wants make an art film with actual sex — a laughable concept to Gold.

“Once the f**king starts the story stops,” Gold jeers. With an unbelieving Jamie in tow, Barret and Gold make the rounds in the industry auditioning topless talent, boom operators and even a producer, Van Damage (his actual name), who also wants to star in the movie (of course he does).

If anything, porn actors aren’t shy admitting their limitations beyond the carnal — a reality underscored when Barret looks deadpan into the camera and says they succeeded in shooting seven lines of dialogue that day. The exception is the (ubiquitous) appearance of Ron Jeremy, whose desheveled portly “hedgehog” demeaner belies a wit and iconic status within the adult industry — both prerequisites to better comprehending the world’s craziest profession.

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