Review by AbsolutAustin
I’ve reviewed restaurants, bars, shops, concerts, banks, my doctor, my dentist, the Royal Wedding, a bathhouse, a bridal shower, and even a cemetery. As I popped in my first assignment from Dr. Chauntelle, I asked myself if I was really about to review pornography. And the answer was yes; yes I was.
So, Wicked Pictures’ Peepshow (2011). On the box: “Karen (Alektra Blue) spends her days seeing an endless parade of horny guys from her little peepshow booth. When down-and-out ex-stockbroker Ryan (Dale DaBone) shows up on the other side of the glass, the unlikely pair decide to give love a shot with hilarious results. Great acting, great sex, and a great story make Peepshow a must see. Put your money in the slot, wait for the curtain to rise…the show is about to begin! ”
Alright, so there we have it. Love? Hilarious? Stockbroker? These are words I wouldn’t normally associate with porn. It’s also billed as an X-rated dramatic comedy, so for a brief instance I thought “tragedy-comedy” theatre masks. But splattered in cum.
Overall, the movie is quite typical. The backdrop for the majority of it is a sleazy XXX store with peepshow viewing booths in the back. I honestly didn’t even know these things existed. I knew guys whacked off to porn in video rooms, but a real woman behind a pane of glass? Yuck.
It would appear this guy Ryan has been coming in just to talk to the woman behind the glass, and Karen adamantly wants to know why he doesn’t jerk off for her. I’ll allow the question.
He responds by lighting up a joint and telling her he’s a drug dealer to make ends meet after he lost everything – EVERYTHING!!! he emphasizes a dozen times – during the recent financial crisis. Oooo, how topical. Someone should make a porno about how Wall Street has been screwing the country for decades. It would be mostly anal.
Flashback to his big shot days, where being a “big shot” meant having an apartment that oddly resembled a porn set with one of those fake laptop props you’d find at The Roomstore. It also meant your girlfriend was an attractive blonde just slightly ragged around the edges…
I like this Dale DaBone fellow (except for his tattoo sleeve). He’s handsome, and I like the big, masculine watch he wears. Yeah, I notice crap like that. He has fairly unremarkable textbook sex with the blonde until he discovers, seconds after shooting his wad, that the markets crashed and he lost everything. Talk about literally going out with a bang.
(pictured: Alektra and Dale)
[Note: I simply adore how in porn, people who are ostensibly respected professionals – such as bankers, doctors, or lawyers – always seem to have these gnarly tattoos or vicious piercings once their clothes come off. In this case, it also doesn’t help that our big lug Dale DaBone looks about as “aware” as a wilted houseplant for much of this silliness. Stockbroker? I wouldn’t trust this guy with money for shit]
So Karen was listening intently through all this, but the screen lowered. When it popped up, Ryan had gone and a gentleman named Mike sat down with a suction cup dildo and asked her to treat him like a naughty whore. Disappointed, she asks why she always gets all the whack jobs. I miss Ryan too, sweetie.
Ryan is warned several times not to fall in love with a booth girl by the cashier dude (Xander Corvus) before it jumps right into the next scene. Two un-introduced ladies (Asa Akira and Madison Ivy) and a hideous male performer resembling Larry the Cable Guy with a bad Russian accent immediately get down to business. A MFF threesome ensued; and while the chicks were clearly into this, I couldn’t get past how gross the guy was. It probably didn’t help that I could swear I saw the shirt he was wearing on the 75% off clearance rack in the young men’s department of Macy’s. Through osmosis, I figured out he was the boss who ran the joint, and these were just a couple of his employees in between clients… or perhaps on their lunch break. He calls them bitches, and they leave.
Cut to Ryan’s apartment. Karen shows up uninvited in an awkward scene where they both tell each other how hot they are while getting high from this massive amount of weed on his coffee table. They both intend on fucking, but he falls asleep. She kisses him on the forehead and coos “Good night, sweet prince”… which seems awfully endearing for an unemployed man who didn’t have sex with you because he passed out from smoking too much dope. Then she swipes some weed.
Another nonexistent segue, and we see Karen randomly getting it on with Danny Mountain. This guy is handsome and his hands look amazing (I notice hands, sorry). Oh yeah, her: fishnets and a rhinestone dog collar. I suppose I can see how straight guys would find her attractive; but for me, I can’t get passed her ridiculous duck lips and this obnoxious alternating black and white fingernail polish thing she has going on. This guy’s cumshot was the best out of the four; and then he just up and leaves, while she says “Clean up in Booth 9.” Honestly, that’s kind of hot.
(pictured: Alektra and Danny)
Ryan returns and asks Karen on a date through the glass, and she plays hard to get… if you define “playing hard to get” as furiously masturbating while wrapped up in the booth’s telephone cord, that is. They set a date. Then, of course, as any woman would, she teams up with two other booth chicks and rewards the cashier guy with a cupcake for having worked there six months… that is, if you define “cupcake” as all three of them licking up and down his penis until he blows a wad. Listen up any of you HR types: this is called an incentive program.
There’s a twist ending I won’t spoil. They never show their date, but the last scene is of them in a bed, musing about what occupations they’d be good at. “Security guard” and “car wash girl” are thrown around, but we all know that the only acceptable answer is “porn stars.” Ryan and Karen finally have sex. Ugh, finally.
Final thoughts on the movie itself: Nothing revolutionary, mostly standard fare sucking and fucking. It’s interesting to see that all the male performers wore condoms – that’s setting a good example, right? So, using their words on the box: “…The unlikely pair decide to give love a shot with hilarious results (kindly define “hilarious”). Great acting (are you serious?), great sex (meh), and a great story (hardly) make Peepshow a must see…” Honey, if this movie were a peepshow, I wouldn’t feed that slot after the first five minutes.
The Larger Picture
You can, however, learn something from everything. For instance, Peepshow gave me a glimpse into a world where girls writhe around in a box, and guys splatter their jizz on panes of glass (that people are paid to clean). It’s interesting to wonder who gets what out of the experience. Obviously, the men get to see naked women doing things live, in person, and specifically for them. I’m not sure how real peepshows are set up, but I would think one would just stare at nude women dancing around here and there. In the film however, there’s all sorts of nasty things they can do and say to each other… but they never actually touch. It’s an interesting stop on a wider sex trajectory, one just shy of actual physical contact/penetration.
(pictured: Asa… she’s totally taking you seriously)
And wouldn’t the guys know that the women were bullshitting them? I refuse to put dollar bills in a go-go boy’s thong, even when he is verbally buttering me up and shaking his package in my face. Unless he’s going to let me play with it, I don’t see the economic sense in giving money to people who provide what I believe to be nothing but a mix of sexual frustration and lies. If I wanted that, I’d be in a committed relationship.
Several times throughout the film, the ladies comment how a certain customer seems creepy. “Aren’t they all?” one responds. This touches on something else I noticed: guys from the Dale DaBone School of Looks wouldn’t ever have to be in a peepshow establishment to begin with. Instead of feeding money into a box and jacking off, they could always use their cash to buy a woman in a bar some drinks and quite possibly get laid. I feel the real life versions of the patrons would be exactly at what was hinted at by the peepshow dancers: creepy, socially inept men who would have no other sexual options available to them. I doubt handsome, muscular, confident studs are lining the halls to get to the booth girls. Because if they were, I’d be there to pick a few off.
As mentioned above, another aspect that surprised me in the film’s billing was the mere mention of two people finding love. While the weak writing and non-existent character development weren’t surprising, certain token gestures were made to paint the characters as more than just sex objects. It only lasted a minute, but there’s a mini-montage of a nervous Ryan trying to select just the right shirt for his date. It’s sweet, in that that’s maybe what some guys really would do before a real date. It’s ludicrous when you juxtapose it with the fact that he had previously ejaculated on the pane of glass during Karen’s intense masturbation session. Is there really any reason to be nervous going into something like that? I mean, the jig is up with you two.
[Incidentally, her “date” outfit was predictably hideous, but he still tells her how amazing she looks. “Amazing” if she were one of Julia Robert’s cheap streetwalking pals in Pretty Woman, maybe]
Would someone like Karen really ever be open to love? The cashier guy was absolutely right – booth girls will break your heart. Even with the slight connection she’s built with Ryan, she’s still banging strangers and sucking off the help mere moments before and after any sort of meaningful contact with the guy she supposedly likes. I know that’s all part of a porno, but something tells me this might mirror real life more than we would like to admit.
(pictured: Misty, Xander, and Alektra with Asa up from below)
Peepshow was an unremarkable film, and I couldn’t help feeling more depressed than aroused. Depressed knowing places like this exist; depressed thinking of the real life men who do form bonds with girls who will never reciprocate these feelings; and depressed for the women behind the glass, especially if they are subject to abuse or unfair work practices that they have little to no control over. It’s all fun and games in the movies, but even the character Vlad, who owns the shop, propositions Karen in a brief scene near the end. He is rebuffed by her so she could go on her date with Ryan. Sure, Karen gets to walk away in the scene unscathed; but how many women out there aren’t allowed to give “no” for an answer? Exploitation can work both ways.
On a lighter note, I am now a lukewarm fan of two new male pornstars. In fact, I’ve added both Dale DaBone and Danny Mountain on Facebook. Does this mean I’ll have to start a new list called “Porn Stars I Discovered While Writing A Review and Now Marginally Think Are Hot”? Fingers crossed everyone. I’ll let you know if they accept my friend request.
If they do, that will be the best part about Peepshow.
Girls: Alektra Blue, Asa Akira, Misty Stone, Cassandra Cruz, Madison Ivy, and Skylar Price
Guys: Dale DaBone, Tommy Gunn, Brad Armstrong, Danny Mountain, Michael Vegas, and Xander Corvus
Directed by Brad Armstrong for Wicked Pictures. Peepshow released in September, 2011. Buy yours here.
Images courtesy of Wicked Pictures.
AbsolutAustin – AbsolutAustin is a denizen of the very same Texas capital for which he is named. He survives mostly on exceptional cuisine, dirty martinis, and constant compliments. His interests run the spectrum – from discussing politics and freelance writing to indulging in his socialite ways. A college graduate with a tendency for sass, snark, and sex, he has much to say… especially about the adult industry and its place in the wider social world. Follow Austin on Twitter at @Absolut_Austin and/or email him here.