Review – New Sensations’ The Big Lebowski: A XXX Parody (2010)

Review by Hank Fontaine

If it is at all possible, I’m afraid to say I might finally be turning the corner on parody porn.

Wait, allow me to rephrase that… maybe “afraid” isn’t exactly the right word. No maybe a better word might actually be “ashamed.” If it is at all possible, I’m ashamed to say I might finally be turning the corner on parody porn…

I have previously and profoundly taken a moral stand against porn parodies as a whole, insisting all the while that the content becomes more of a distraction than anything else (see that discussion here). If you have any real connection to the source material at all, you inevitably end up constantly comparing the actors or characters from the original to the adult performers that portray them. Very rarely will this work out in the favor of the adult actors.

Another problem I have had with parody since early on is that I always viewed it as something of a lazy copout. My argument was that it can’t possibly be that hard to come up with an original idea, can it? Have all the good ideas already been used? Really?

The more time I’ve had to reflect on this (keeping in mind that this is only since I’ve started viewing/reviewing porn from a critical level) however, I’ve realized that the same could be said for mainstream Hollywood features. Everybody jumps on the popular bandwagon of the day. Whether it’s the 3D fad, reboots of popular 80’s television shows, or just something with a sexy vampire, the moment one of them shows a small amount of commercial success, everybody falls in line and follows suit.

It’s the blind leading the blind and, in the case of porn, horny. It’s lazy because the script is essentially written for you already… right?

So parody porn is simply the latest thing that will keep going until it has run its course, and then it’ll be on to the next “big thing.” When it does die out – and it will – I can say: “I was already not into that long before it was cool to not be into it.”

(This is my shining moment. Allow me to bask…)

Now, it is and has always been too easy to take cheap shots at the “acting” of the talent in adult movies. Granted, there are few in the industry that could conceivably make it as a mainstream* actor, but big dicks and fake tits do not an actor make. I’d say most, if not all, get into porn because they have other talents; the acting comes second.

But as I’ve started turning the corner on porn parodies, the following thought has occurred to me: it’s much easier for somebody who is not as talented an actor to portray a role that somebody has done before. They’re not so much playing the character as they are playing the actor who is playing the character who is playing the role. The heavy lifting has already been done for them.

But don’t get me wrong! This is certainly not intended as a knock against anyone. We are all “guilty” of perfect (better than we would be ordinarily) parody performance. For instance, I am much better at dancing naked in front of a mirror along with Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” than I am dancing on my own. It’s that simple really – imitation, flattery, and what not.

[*I understand that it is not entirely fair for me to compare the apples of adult entertainers to the oranges of mainstream Hollywood types. My only point here is that acting doesn’t seem to be the first priority of talent in adult movies. (In this analogy, apples and oranges are used as a metaphor rather than a euphemism)]

For my latest review, I was given the opportunity to check out New SensationsThe Big Lebowski: A XXX Parody (2010). I had serious reservations about this going in based on what I stated previously about source material. Although it won’t make many lists of greatest movies ever, The Big Lebowski (1998) stands out as a favorite to a lot of people (including myself) because it has very recognizable and memorable characters. Maybe as a result of the Coen Brothers’ casting, maybe simply because the story that lends itself to the actors having very specific intricacies. Either way, as a fan of most of the Coen’s work, I was hesitant. I enjoy re-watching Lebowski occasionally, and I don’t want to be thinking about Tom Byron as The Dude the next time I throw it on. Regardless, for the sake of PVV and Dr. Chauntelle and all of you, I decided to give it a go…

“This isn’t Amsterdam. There are rules for porn!”

From pretty early on, it’s apparent that director Lee Roy Meyers and the others involved in making this movie had an affinity for the original. Subtle little things pay homage to the original. New Sensations has quickly become my favorite little* production company, and they definitely come through here with some clever writing (I know, I know…it’s a parody, what is there to “write”? I am now arguing against myself).

The fact of the matter is, it’s well done… and not just “for a parody” – as a standalone movie.  Never trying to take themselves too seriously, New Sensations continues to impress with plenty of humor and just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek snark to keep you interested. I would go so far as to say that, even if I wasn’t required to watch the entire movie for review purposes, I might not fast forward through all the talky parts.

[*I realize they are not “little”… it just sounded cuter this way]

Don’t believe me? Well then, check out the trailer for starters…

“An Oriental splooged on my porno tapes”

Honestly, I thought I had the whole thing figured out from the start of the first sex scene (special shout out to my boss, Dr. Chauntelle, and her favorite favorite, Keni Styles… said “Oriental” in this scene). I immediately assumed the entire story would center on a “He came on my rug”-type story.

But not only is that not the case, New Sensations and Lee Roy Mayers make the storyline pretty damned funny. The tone is set early on with plenty of twists and turns to keep it interesting, sticking very close to the original yet veering off from the predictable enough to keep the viewer engaged.

“Those tapes really tied my porno collection together”

The tapes in question (way to give some love to VHS, by the way) get worked into the movie and essentially form the basis of the plot. They are “the rug” in the original Lebowski film. The flashback-type sequences show some old school-inspired porn complete with “I’m here to fix your cable”- and “That’s my friend, she just came over to use the shower”-type of dialogue. There is also great little semi-political number with the characters Saddam Who Came* and George Loves Bush* in a three-way. “I challenge you to a gulp war!” – pretty funny stuff.

And I’m now hooked on multiple levels. You reel me in with the Lebowski flick, New Sensations and keep me entertained with all the love for the videocassette. For this reason, Tom Byron is perfect for the lead role of The Dude, as he appeared in nearly every VHS tape I saw/owned in the late 80’s.

[*In retrospect, the plays on the names of Saddam Hussein and George H. W. Bush don’t necessarily translate into print as well as they do in the movie.]

“’Hooker’ is not the preferred nomenclature”

Speaking of perfect for the role, I feel I have to give special mention to a couple of actors. The roles of Walter and Donny, played by Peter O’Tool and Eddie Adams respectively, (neither of whom have a sex scene incidentally, but the film could not survive without these characters) are played as well as could be expected, if not better. John Goodman as Walter in the original is a masterful character and recreating that in a parody could be difficult, if not downright embarrassing; but O’Tool does it justice and then some.

Adams’ Donny, although not a real wordy character, does a more than passable job portraying my favorite loveable loser-type. James Deen as Jesus is pretty good. Again, a very unique character from the original movie that would be very hard to pull off, is played more that satisfactorily by Deen.

“Are you employed?” “Does watching porn and bowling count?”

Another scene from the original that they couldn’t not do is the whole dream sequence to dance number thing. It is done very interestingly. Parts of it are a dead-on recreation while other parts are just twisted enough to steer away from that boring, predictability trap other parodies sometimes fall into.  I won’t spoil a couple of things that are really quite funny, but I will say that it’s possible Tom Byron is a better dancer than he is an actor (he is a terrible dancer). I really like where this scene ends up going, and I think you will too.

The payoff, I suppose, is the final sex scene of the movie; and the Dude finally gets in on the action. As a personal note, for all the video I saw of Byron in the late 80’s that I mentioned earlier, I don’t think I’ve actually seen him perform since he was rocking long hair and pierced nipples in the mid-90s (who wasn’t though, right?… right?). Crazy wannabe yoga style sex poses and ridiculous banter aside (“It’s like a beautiful, dirty canvas. Do you have some paint for me?”), it’s good to see the old man in action again.

Even the conclusion scene is pretty well done. They poke fun at themselves for not covering some of the original movie, which incidentally left a bit of a plot gap that would have hardly been noticeable but for the absolute die-hard Lebowski fan.

“That’s right, head on home to more of your unemployed rituals like jacking off to parody porn perhaps”

A few random notes:

*Bunny Lebowski’s (Briana Blair) offer to “blow [The Dude] like a French whore” goes unfulfilled. Although I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen an actual French whore perform fellatio, for all the press they get, I’d assume they would be better at it than this. Also, it sounded like there was a microphone in the waistband of The Dude’s boxer shorts.

*I was absolutely convinced that somebody would make the connection between the significance of bowling balls (which are integral in the source material) and the fact that Evan Stone’s balls are the size of actual bowling balls. Opportunity missed, I guess.

*Sam Elliot works.

*As a general observation, as I know it is not specific to this movie, there is too much spitting in porn.

There, I said it.

“Thanks for playing… enjoy your masturbation”

 

Recommended for: Who is this movie for? Pretty much anybody, I suppose. If you liked the original, you will most likely enjoy the parody here. If you love the original, I’m sure there is enough that you can find wrong with it to dislike. The action (read: sexy time) is quite good with enough variation to please most palates.

Notables

Girls: Kristina Rose, Kimberly Kane, Bobbi Starr, London Keyes, Celeste Star, Andy San Dimas, Carla Cox, Briana Blair, Ashley Gracie, and Jackie Daniels

Guys: James Deen, Steve Holmes, Tom Byron (2011 AVN Best Actor), Anthony Rosano, Rocco Reed, and Keni Styles

Directed by Lee Roy Meyers for New Sensations.

Released in May, 2010. Get a copy of The Big Lebowski: A XXX Parody here and/or here.

BTS: I have made no bones about the fact that I don’t care for most behind the scenes content. In fact, I think I’ve mentioned it in some respect in each of my reviews to this point.

Lebowski XXX’s BTS gets off to a terrible start when it is clear that the cameraman/interviewer is a total fanboy, geeking out over the fact that he is talking to Tom Byron. I’m sure people such as Byron really appreciate it when people say “I remember watching you when I was a kid.” Granted he’s been in the game for a long time so the young bucks working on set probably did grow up on (with?) him… but that’s beside the point.

Other fun facts: Tom Byron has been in approximately 2500 movies, averaging 1.7 scenes per movie.

Other than that, it’s all pretty typical fair here. The rest of the talent has little of significance to say (exception here is the always entertaining Evan Stone – his part is amusing). There is also a bonus scene that has nothing whatsoever to do with the movie, cumshot recap, photo gallery… nothing you couldn’t live without seeing. My BTS disc will never see the light of day after this initial viewing. Take that for what it’s worth.

“Fuck it, let’s go bowling.”

– Hank Fontaine

Hank FontaineHank Fontaine is an extreme swinger, cold cereal killer, part-time public nudist/exhibitionist, and burgeoning writer trapped in the mind and body of a near illiterate. He is not a porn aficionado, nor is he a porn connoisseur… just a married guy in his early forties who likes to get his freak on. If these things interest you, maybe y’all can be friends? Follow Hank on Twitter at @HankFontaineEsq and/or email him here.

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