|John Leslie's Dog Walker (1994)|
Considering this is considered one
of the "classics" of the 1990's, I was shocked to see so few online
reviews of one of John Leslie's most acclaimed movies. I don't know why
this is, considering all of the positive attention in received at the
time. Maybe it's because of the surrealistic plot or the dark feel of the
movie, but considering the hard-on that most veteran porn connoisseurs have over
Kristi Lynn and Christina Angel, I'm surprised that Dog Walker hasn't
been reviewed more often.
The plot is a little challenging for most people since it contains a lot of (seemingly) random and out-of-place situations following a pretty straightforward opening dialogue scene. That opening introduces us to Tito (Steven St. Croix), a jewel thief who is trying to cash out one last score of diamonds with the local mob. Instead, Tito finds that he can't escape that easily.
The acting is quite good, as is the cinematography. There are a lot of comparisons to mainstream or Golden Age films, and with good reason. John Leslie, in a non-sex role, does a great job as the mob boss. There's a nice visual contrast between the dark and barren world of Tito's life and the brightness of the dream sequences (gee, could this be heaven?). There's a lot of overt symbolism -- maybe not 'high school English class' levels, but more than you could ever hope to expect in an adult film.
Perhaps it's because I've become jaded over the years, or maybe because the sex has gotten edgier since 1994, but I wasn't bowled over by the sex. I found Christina to be the hottest girl in the film, but she's involved in the weakest sex scenes, including a promising-yet-disappointing 4-way outdoor scene and the tame final scene with St. Croix. But there are a couple of genuinely hot scenes that keep this film from being nothing more than an artistic curiosity. I loved the club scene where Christina strips and masturbates while separated by a glass wall from Isis and Steven -- it's a voyeur's dream. And Joey Silvera's plugging of Maeva's ass is fun to watch. Don't expect anything nasty here -- this is 1994, we're talking about. This is old school sex, so if you are familiar with Leslie's recent work or Evil Angel's hardcore reputation, don't expect sex on that order.
The DVD itself is one of the earlier Evil Angel discs, so the quality and features aren't quite up to the standards that I've come to expect from more recent releases. While the transfer is decent, there's a good amount of pixellation, noticeable film grain, and occasional pinholes and frame jitter from the source film. The audio tends to be hollow, especially during the dialogue portions. Of the features included on the disc, the one that's worth watching are the sex outtakes, which show the rough footage from four scenes. Not only do we get to see more of Christina, but we also see some of the behind-the-scenes going on and can hear John Leslie give direction to the performers.
While I think that this is one of the best films that came out of the 1990's, Dog Walker is a little too strange and the sex is a little too tame for me to want to keep this title in my collection. For those who remember when this came out on video and loved it, it's definitely worth the purchase for nostalgia and to see the nearly hour-long set of outtakes. For others, it probably would be a better idea to rent this first to see if you like it.