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DVD Review: Inside Deep Throat

When your hear the phrase "deep throat", two things probably come to mind, so just to let you know, we're not talking about the Watergate scandal here. Inside Deep Throat tells the story of the of a controversial pornographic film called Deep Throat that was released in 1972 in theaters all across the United States of America. It cost only a measly $25,000 to make, yet raked in over $600 million! Apparently that makes it the most profitable movie every made. It's a shame the actors didn't have royalties back then. Anyway, this well done documentary takes us not just through the making of the film, but through the events that happened before, during, and after its production. It covers not just the film, but the times, such as the sexual revolution and the government's crackdown on smut.

From the sound of it, Deep Throat was like the first mainstream porno movie. One where couples, celebrities, and anyone else for that matter could just go out to a theater and enjoy the show. Now, I was like -3 years old when it was released, so I didn't quite have those experience like a lot of the people that reminisced in this documentary. Of course, while much of the public was curious and wanted to see what it was all about, our wonderful government felt that they needed to impose their tastes upon everyone, and thus attempted to ban the film completely. Hm... can you tell that I'm not such a big fan of censorship? Did that vibe slip out a little? I loved one of the shots they showed in the film where some news guy was actually trying to make a strong connection between censorship and anarchy. I shouldn't have been surprised, as I know there are a ton of stupid people in the world, but still, if I was that guy I would feel so embarrassed.

Inside Deep Throat Okay, so this dirty film was about a woman who, strangely enough, had her clitoris located deep in her throat. Yep, and that's about it. But for Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems, the two main stars of the film, Deep Throat thrust them into the spotlight, for better and worse... though mostly worse. And Harry Reems was never even supposed to be in the film! He was originally the production assistant on the movie, and only moved into the acting position because the production moved locations and they couldn't find any other actor. While the flick made him well known all over the country, it also prevented him from obtaining acting roles in non-pornographic films, which led him to the trap which so many fall into, alcohol and drugs. Plus, he even faced some serious jail time at one point, just because he acted in the film. Can you believe that? Definitely not the kind of government I would want running things. But hey, at least the laws that enabled him to be prosecuted are finally gone... oh, wait, no they're not!

Inside Deep Throat Sadly, the beautiful and quite talented Linda Lovelace didn't fare all that much better than Harry Reems in her post Deep Throat aftermath. She seemed very happy while making the film, and proud of it when it was released and became a smash hit, but then later on in life she did a complete about-face, becoming a feminist spokeswoman against pornography, even going so far as to claim that her performance in Deep Throat was all rape. And then even later, she turned around again and bared it all in an issue of Playboy Magazine. From this documentary, you kind of get the feeling that she feels how people tell her that she should feel. Unfortunately, she could not be interviewed for this documentary, as she was killed in a car crash a few years prior. Even though I didn't know her, I was quite sad to hear that, but was then uplifted to hear that at least Harry Reems was able to get his life back on track.

Inside Deep Throat As I mentioned earlier, the government was all hell-bent on extinguishing smut. So what they did was commission a study to examine the effects of pornography on individuals. After it was complete, the results showed that pornography had no adverse effects, and thus recommended that most of the laws regulating pornography be done away with. Ah! Finally some logic and reason! But what did our lovely government do? They disregarded the recommendation and buried the report. Yep, the results didn't match their expectations, so instead of accepting the evidence they just hid it away and continued to spill out their belief that pornography was harmful. Hmm... tell me again why people trust the government? I just don't get it...

Inside Deep Throat There are a couple of really great quotes in this documentary that seems to sum up a lot on both sides of the controversy. One is from an elderly lady recorded a while back after seeing Deep Throat. She says: (play clip)

I wanted to see a dirty picture, and that's what I saw. But I want the right to see that picture, I don't want somebody telling me that I can't see a dirty picture.

Then another is from Larry Parish, who was the prosecutor against the film. This quote comes from his interview that was done for this documentary, and shows just how much his beliefs have changed: (play clip)

I think today the climate is even more ripe for vigorous enforcement of the obscenity laws. Now if we could get these terrorists to go away and quit taking up so much time of the Department of Justice.

Inside Deep Throat I know I've already said this but... can you believe that?! Gee, if only those danged terrorists would stop killing people then could get back to the business of telling people what their allowed to see and hear.

Inside Deep Throat Alright, enough of that, let's get back to the DVD. Wow! This this is packed with extras! A commentary with the directors, a ton of mostly interesting and enjoyable featurettes, and... uh... well, I guess that's about it. Hm, doesn't really sound like a lot, does it? Well there are a ton of featurettes, so it is actually a lot of stuff. And you know how most DVDs come in a widescreen and fullscreen edition? Well, this one comes in a Rated R and Rated NC-17 edition. I've got the NC-17 edition, which clearly shows off Linda Lovelace's special talent. Documentaries aren't usually my thing, but this one was definitely entertaining.

Inside Deep Throat was released on September 20, 2005 by Universal Studios Home Video. It was directed by Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, narrated by Dennis Hopper, and stars Harry Reems, Linda Lovelace, and many, many others. Check out the official Inside Deep Throat website for more information.

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