John Bruni reviews Porno Holocaust

Porno Holocaust 113 min., 1981
Written by Tom Salina
Directed by Joe D’Amato
Language: Italian
My rating: ★★

Wanna watch some really badly choreographed porn? (Hint: no, you don’t.)

* * *

There have been strange, mysterious happenings on an island off the coast of Italy where they used to test nuclear weapons back in the ‘Fifties. The radiation levels have gone significantly down, so a group of scientists sail to the island with the help of a sexy stud of a captain, and before they know it they’re being hunted. By zombies. Sort of.

That sounds par for the course for a spaghetti horror film made in the early ‘Eighties . . . but these filmmakers didn’t set out to make a scary motion picture. No, they wanted to make a porno movie. No kidding. There are a lot of poorly shot scenes of actual dick sucking and vaginal penetration and pussy licking with a dash of ass eating, but that last one isn’t very explicit. It’s suggested.

This movie really makes you appreciate the pornographers of today’s world. They make the act not only look clear, but they also make it look sexy. Director Joe D’Amato is the Tommy Wiseau of porn. If there’s something you want to see, he will shoot into the sun, making sure that all the good stuff is hidden in shadows. Or maybe he’ll have the actor lift his leg and cover up the act. Or he just gets lazy and lets the camera drop so a juicy blowjob will be obfuscated by a tit. He has no problem with showing actual sex onscreen, but for some reason he wants it to be challenging for a viewer to enjoy it. It is virtually impossible to jerk off to this movie even though he gets people you’d actually want to see naked, like the aforementioned captain. He looks like what would happen if Sharlto Copley had a kid with Magnum, PI. He’s got a decent dick on him, too, which is unusual of horror porn movies of the time. Best of all, he makes the best, pants-shittingly funny faces when he cums. He looks like he just invented the orgasm and had to show the world how happy he is. Simone (Dirce Funari) and Contessa (Annj Goren) are breathtakingly gorgeous. Oddly enough the only actor who doesn’t get laid in this movie is George Eastman, the screenplay writer. Usually when a movie like this is made, the creators use it as an excuse to get their dicks wet. (“Dicks” because they are almost universally men.) Eastman plays scientist Lemoir, who is probably the most useful character in the story aside from Captain O’Day.

(Incidentally there was a lot of pubic hair in this movie. It was, however, 1981, so let’s give them a pass. That shit was hot back then.)

The sex takes over the entire movie. It’s about 75 minutes before we get to the zombies (of which there are only two, unless they didn’t show us the rest of them). That’s kind of long for a horror porno. Also they’re not worth much. The makeup is good, but they’re threatening only because of the weak reactions of the living characters. It’s silly, really. When O’Day sees that shooting a zombie with a spear hasn’t achieved much, he falls down like a damsel in distress, waiting for either a white knight to rescue him or death’s grim embrace. Interestingly enough it’s a woman who saves his life. It’s tempting to make some comment about this movie making a feminist statement in that, but it’s almost certainly a coincidence.

Especially when you consider the fact that one of the zombies literally chokes a woman to death with his enormous cock.

There is one really effective scene near the end of the movie, though. If horror porn were really serious about doing something artful, they would do more of this kind of thing. There is a scene when a skinny-dipping woman comes back to the beach to be confronted by one of the zombies. He beats her head in and proceeds to have sex with her corpse. The way it’s shot is really disturbing. The way her lifeless body flops, and the way he puts her on top while we see a close up of his huge dick entering her. Wow. That’s what the one star is for, by the way.

There is something else about this movie that needs to be addressed, but it’s kind of a spoiler. The villains in this movie are not actually zombies. They’re alive, but they’re fucked up. Their parents didn’t make it off the island in time, so they’re the way they are due to radiation poisoning. So technically this is not a zombie apocalypse movie (in which case the title doesn’t make much sense). Make of that what you will. Also: what the fuck happened to the other zombie? The pig-faced one?

It may be tempting to watch this movie just for the porn, but really it’s not. There’s got to be something better out there to get you off. Try Pornhub or something.

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About John Bruni

John Bruni is the author of DONG OF FRANKENSTEIN (New Kink), POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS and TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE (StrangeHouse) and STRIP (Riot Forge). His short work has appeared in anthologies like A HACKED-UP HOLIDAY MASSACRE (Pill Hill), ZOMBIE! ZOMBIE! BRAIN BANG! (StrangeHouse) and the critically acclaimed VILE THINGS (Comet). He edited STRANGE SEX 3 for StrangeHouse, and he was the editor and publisher of TABARD INN: TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE. Find out more at www.talesofquestionabletaste.com and www.talesofunspeakabletaste.blogspot.com.
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One Response to John Bruni reviews Porno Holocaust

  1. Pingback: My thoughts on PORNO HOLOCAUST | Tabard Inn: Tales of Questionable Taste

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