|Café Flesh (1982)|
Pia Snow, Terri Copeland, Becky Savage, Marie Sharp, Darcy Nichols, Erica Nile, Angel Selby, Kim Collier, Sue Ravan, Andrew Nichols, Paul McGibboney, Joe Lennon, Neil Podorecki, Kevin Jay, Dondi Bastone, and Richard Bulzer
Single Sided, Single Layer
FMV chapter selection menu, 13-picture photo gallery
Porn with a plot, bizarre sex, oral sex, rimming (m -> f), lesbian, hairy bushes
If You Liked This DVD, You Should Enjoy
Café Flesh 2, DMJ II, New Wave Hookers
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The First Word: Considered one of the classic adult films, this strange, experimental movie pushed the boundaries of porn at the time. Men dressed as babies, a rat milkman, a pencil-headed executive, and a nuclear undead await at Café Flesh!
What's It About?: A short narrative at the beginning of the movie establishes the story: In a post-apocalyptic world, 99 percent of the population are unable to experience sexual contact. These "Sex Negatives" still have a strong libido, but any sort of erotic touch makes them completely ill. The remaining one percent are "Sex Positives" and make a living performing sex shows in front of the watching Sex Negatives in clubs such as Café Flesh.
In the dark and smoky cafe filled with the bizarre Sex Negatives, the weirdness begins with the first performance: a housewife (Terri Copeland) with three babies does a 69 with the milkman, who just happens to be dressed as a rat. After the show ends with the rat fucking the housewife and cumming on her stomach, the story progresses with a group of Negatives talking about the legendary Johnny Rico, who the Cafe's talent scout has wooed from a rival club. We're also introduced to the characters of Nickie and Lonna (Pia Snow), who are two Negative regulars, and Angel (Marie Sharp), a young naive girl from Wyoming in her first visit to a Cafe.
The next act is set in an oil tycoon's office, with a naked secretary punching a typewriter, another one lying on top of a desk doing arm curls with the phone (Becky Savage), and a business suit-clad man with the head of a pencil walking around. As the naked secretary repeatedly asks in a robotic voice, "Do you want me to type a memo?", the pencil receives a BJ before fucking the girl on the desk until he cums on her furry bush.
In the main dramatic dialogue scene of the movie, Nickie and Lonna are in their apartment and discussing the Cafe. Lonna is excited that "Moms," the proprietor, is going out of town and asked her to manage the club. Nickie is frustrated that Lonna is so obsessed with the club and longs for the days when he could have put the Positives to shame. He and Lonna embrace, but, like clockwork, they both get sick immediately.
Back at Café Flesh, the next bit of entertainment involves some lesbian licking between a bikini-clad chick and a girl in a seaman's cap. It's all too short though, as the floor show ends, and the plot continues. The Cafe is raided by the Enforcers, looking for Positives who aren't performing. The main Enforcer focuses on Angel, accusing her of being a Positive, which she admits to. As she's dragged off, she claims that she was hiding the truth because she is a virgin. Nickie runs off to try to save Angel.
After closing time, Lonna stays behind in the Cafe to wait for Nickie to return, and is soon overcome by desire and begins to play with herself. But she's not alone: Max, the Cafe's MC and stand-up comic is watching, and he figures out that she's really a Positive. At the next evening's performance, Max drops hints that Lonna is a Positive, much to Nickie's puzzlement. On stage, in a Broadway revue theme involving telephone booths, Angel (now a performer as required by law) gets it from both ends by two "telephone booth dancers." The action climaxes with a couple of large loads on her body.
Fortunately, Max pushes his luck too much with his hassling, and he's dressed down by Moms, who makes him reveal that he's impotent. Then the legendary Positive performer, Johnny Rico, arrives at Café Flesh. Lonna goes goo-goo over him, much to Nickie's concern.
In the featured act, Johnny spends a lot of time eating out Angel before she turns her attention to his big cock. Lonna is so turned on by watching them that she goes up onto the stage and joins them, revealing her true nature. After Lonna and Angel 69 for a while, Johnny lifts Angel off of Lonna and removes her from the stage then returns to fuck her doggy style. The movie ends abruptly after Johnny is escorted out of the Cafe.
What I liked: Daring concept and screenplay: I'll give Café Flesh this: it's definitely original and unexpected. It may not be a great adult film in terms of fucking, but it has a script that clearly took longer than a day to write. The dialogue in places reminds me of a Dennis Miller monologue with his zeal for pontification that only an intellectual would love. I wouldn't say that the film is a brilliant satire, but it transcends "being porn" at times. At worst, it could be mistaken for a television movie of that time if it wasn't for the hardcore sex. It's also daring because even though the plot is about sex, it doesn't make you think that you're watching a porno -- this is a lot different than the scripts that exist only to introduce the naughty bits.
What I didn't like: Short, uninspired sex scenes: As you'd expect from a classic film, there's much more non-sex footage than hardcore. The explicit scenes themselves are short by today's standards and don't show the "close & personal" angles that dominate porn. That's refreshing, but the scenes are so short that it's more of a tease than anything. Also, the sex is missing heat -- the shots are filled with random body parts, since you rarely see anything more than torsos. Maybe that was the idea since the heads are usually masked or concealed anyway, but you don't get any sense of passion from the performers.
Rather ordinary looking cast: Back in the Golden Age, there were very few gorgeous performers -- in fact, most of them were rather ordinary looking folks who you wouldn't ever peg to be adult stars. Café Flesh follows that pattern, since none of the performers are particularly well-endowed in any way. I guess this fits with the movie's theme, but it makes for less appealing porn when you aren't drawn to the bodies of any of the cast. So you're left staring at some disembodied cocks penetrating the hairy pussies of actresses you've never seen before; combined with the quick & passionless scenes, you'll be looking for your player's remote.
DVD Extras: Dull and purely functional menus are the norm on VCA classic releases, including this one. The only real supplement is a small 13-picture gallery with old production stills. It's very irritating to select the "Other Titles" option and only see box covers -- actual trailers would have been nice.
A/V Quality: I'll drag out the usual disclaimer about classic-era films: since they are so old and the production value wasn't high to begin with, you can't expect high quality. Café Flesh definitely looks its age. The film print that the video master was taken from is scratched and worn, and the brightness varies from second to second, causing some noticeable pixelation effects. There are a couple of instants in the movie where there's a tape dropout and portions of the picture disappear for a split-second. And although it was an intentional creative decision, the darkness of the set affects seeing parts of the action (no c-lights here!). Finally, once you've seen a few minutes of Café Flesh, you won't be nitpicky about the audio--let's just say that it's rather raw and low-budget as well.
The Last Word: I recognize that this is one of the cult classic films of the adult world, but I guess I don't really see the point. It's not for plot-lovers (it has a shallow plot with no ending) or raincoaters (there's not nearly enough sex, let alone explicit sex). It's just plain weird. Not that there hasn't be a good share of weird pornos (Devil in Miss Jones, New Wave Hookers, etc.), but I can't see why anyone would really want to own this title. Might be good for a rental if you haven't see it before, but unless you are really into this type of strangeness, you won't want to keep Café Flesh.