Retro Porn Review – Deep Tango

April 12, 2015
10 Shares Facebook 10 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 0 10 Shares ×

Retro Porn Review - Deep Tango

Combining famous titles and plots from both the era’s porn and mainstream worlds was fairly usual in the mid-70s. Because Deep Throat had been such a huge commercial success, lots of adult movies started referencing it, and throwing together elements of it along with those from a more respected film, so several “Deep Throat meets (insert cult movie name here)” were born.

In the case of Deep Tango, the serious flick they borrowed heavily from was Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris, released a couple of years earlier to scandalous reviews in its own right for its graphic sexual situations. The plot is sketched around LTIP, although with the male and female roles reversed; the names were switched (Pauline instead of Paul; John instead of Jeanne), but the core of the relationship — two people who don’t reveal anything about themselves to each other and just carry on meeting up with nothing but raw, animal sex in mind — is kept.

Pauline, played by Fifi Watson (billed here as Mona Watson, in what would be her last film), even strikes a slight resemblance to Maria Schneider’s character from the original, although her role is supposed to draw more from Marlon Brando’s here. John (Keith Henderson, in his only part ever) is also dating a filmmaker (played by the amazing Annette Haven), who — like in Last Tango in Paris — is shooting a documentary on him. To add to the weird hippie vibe, her angle is to create a cinema verité document of their relationship, and carries her own amateur film crew with her.

There’s even a re-enactment of the infamous butter scene, this time with a scarily thick loaf of bread that could have made it a lot more shocking if it hadn’t been for the nonsense dialogue and slapsticky outcome.

You see, while the topics and characters are based on Last Tango in Paris, the plot, characters, emotions and lack of grounding is very much unlike the classic art-house drama. A lot of it feels like the student/experimental films of the time. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that a lot of drugs were involved in the creation of Deep Tango.

There are constant Deep Throat references to please the porn crowds, mainly making Pauline a nurse for a sex therapist who records audio notes on his patients’ cases in Harry Reems-ish fashion. Some nods to The Devil in Miss Jones are also present. None of them make sense with the story, and turn everything unnecessarily confusing.

The film, directed by Zachary Strong has some random vignettes of a 1970s style dance marathon. “Desperate people mimicking desperate people. Their dance is a ritual,” Pauline would tell John towards the end. The symbolism of all this gets lost while half-assedly trying to look serious (especially odd after making light of everything else for over an hour before that.)

The sex doesn’t look particularly amazing, and the angles are a little basic. Having said that, some ferocious 69ing improves things every once in a while.

The music is simple, DIY, psychedelic stuff with graphic/dirty lyrics that sort of narrate things at times, but mostly just had lots of stream of consciousness randomness.

The problem with taking its cues from a well respected cult art film is that by comparison it’ll always look shitty, but if we’re judging it with porn standards in mind, it’s still a passable film with a personality; it just doesn’t excel at anything in particular.

Rate this post

10 Shares Facebook 10 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 0 10 Shares ×

comments

Warning

Adult-oriented material ahead!
Do you wish to proceed?

YES

No thanks.