Judge Brett Cullum wonders if making porn is really this boring.
Violated. Victimized. Exploited.
Exploited is a movie that lives up to it's title. It is a mockumentary following aspiring model and actress Mercedes (an actress playing herself) as she tries to make it in show business. She spends all of her unemployment money on cheap motels and even cheaper outfits to pose in for gigs. She of course meets a porn producer who decides her path to fame should take a detour. Soon she is starring in a lurid movie with her costar Ron Jeremy (a porn legend playing himself). It's an all-too-familiar story, and this one is not shocking other than this alternative chick deluding herself into thinking she could be fashion model material. She isn't thin, she has tattoos, she has piercings, and she has skin problems. Any agency would tell her to alter herself to fit the right mold, and yet she seems immune to good advice. The one thing Mercedes does have though is a daring nature and a certain charisma which helps her at least carry this low budget feature about a downward spiral from a dream.
Curiously once the starlet descends into porn a censor bar pops up to prevent showing any male anatomy or penetration. For some reason it is okay to show every inch of Mercedes in every position imaginable, but they can't show Ron Jeremy's penis which is more famous than anybody else in this movie? I am hoping that the real reason is that the sex acts were all simulated, so they don't want to ruin the illusion. Still, it feels silly to show full frontal female nudity and then save the men from any of the exploitation found in the title. There's way too strong a double standard working here.
The transfer looks rough, but I imagine that is more a stylistic choice of the mockumentary genre. The colors look washed out, there is a lot of grain, and the black levels are often off kilter. But it's a low rent production and I suppose the goal is to look beyond cheap. It looks less than porn in quality. Extras include deleted scenes that add very little to the experience, and some cut censored footage of Ron Jeremy doing a magic trick with his penis which remains safely behind a black bar. A photo slideshow is also included.
Exploited made me a little uncomfortable, because I imagine in the real world this is an all-too-common story. Girl goes to LA with big dreams, and ends up rolling around the gutter doing desperate things just to survive. It's not pretty and it's not fun. What's more is that it cheats itself by censoring the hardcore material. In the end there is supposed to be a moral to this whole ordeal, as if it took this journey to make Mercedes realize who she is. The problem is by the time she gets to that point the audience may wish to forget who she was. Ron Jeremy has what amounts to an amusing cameo in the film, but even he can't save it with some good humor. Overall this is a dark ride that goes nowhere good. It takes all the fun out of pornography.
Violated. Victimized. Exploited. And that's just the audience. Guilty!
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Studio: Alternative Cinema
• Deleted Scenes
Review content copyright © 2011 Brett Cullum; Site design and review layout copyright © 2013 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.