Judge Brendan Babish needs to take a shower after watching this.
Sex! Death! Freedom!
Hoping to make revive the slumping B-movie market, TLA releasing brings us Pervert!, a wacky and vulgar movie starring the classy, former gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey. Sure, her acting skills leave much to be desired, but Meryl Streep's got nothing on her in the T & A department.
Facts of the Case
James (Sean Andrews) is a shy college student who, between semesters, has decided to return to his father's (Darrell Sandeen) ramshackle home. James is surprised to find that his aged father has recently married the young, zaftig Cheryl (Carey), a former stripper from Texas. Though James's father seems to have no trouble pleasuring Cheryl, she still pursues the hunky James for additional sexual gratification. But unfortunately, shortly after James and Cheryl are caught in a compromising position, she is brutally murdered.
Undeterred, the old man drives into the city and brings home another ex-stripper, Alisha (Sally Jean). Alisha also shows an interest in young James, but sadly she is also butchered within a matter of days. Fearing that his demented father is the one killing off these young, buxom women, James hires a buxom young nurse, Patty (Juliette Clark), to restrain and medicate the kook. James and Patty soon fall in love, but their budding romance is threatened by the true perpetrator of the crimes, an impish little creature reminiscent of the protagonist of the old Japanese anime series Mr. Happy.
Yeah, okay, it probably doesn't need to be said, but Pervert! is ridiculous. The film is clearly a self-aware B-movie, and it revels in the debaucherous and outrageous nature of the genre. The first line on the DVD's back cover is: "Russ Meyer would be proud!" And maybe he would; maybe the absolute only criterion for a B-movie's quality is the size of the actresses' busts. If that's the case, then Pervert! is clearly a success. But by most other standards it's pretty lacking.
That said, I am aware that I might be overly critical of the movie. I know Pervert! has no pretensions of great drama, pathos, or even suspense (despite the high body count). And the film does deliver the requisite nudity and sexual situations. So certainly if you rent or buy Pervert! you have no standing to demand a refund. Additionally, if you are a male in the throws of puberty, this film should provide at least a modest, temporary relief of your omnipresent urgings.
Pervert! should also be credited with having a rather ambitious plot for a movie of its nature. There is character development, character arcs, and a baffling whodunit that reveals a surprising ending. Sure, this is a far cry from an Agatha Christie mystery, it's even well below the intricacies of your average game of Clue, but the screenplay is a notch or two above contemporary B-movie tripe.
However, let's not kid ourselves, Pervert's plot is no substitute for even the weaker Hollywood fare. And in what the movie intends to do—titillate its audience, and perhaps deliver a few laughs along the way—it disappoints. Sure, the women are busty, but the odd sexual situations are rather off-putting and, to paraphrase the Woody Allen joke from Annie Hall, far too brief. The crazy old man is fine for comic relief, but I certainly didn't enjoy seeing him mount Ms. Carey from behind. I also didn't appreciate the frequent cutaways to the old man while other characters are in mid-coitus. And frankly, considering that the female leads are all experienced adult performers, they turn in rather tame performances.
I also could have done without all the shots of raw and bloody animal flesh (one of the father's hobbies is constructing mannequins of adult females out of animal parts—I'm sure Pamela Anderson would find that hilarious).
As for the humor, I think how funny you find this movie will be entirely dependent on your standing on sound effects in live-action comedy. Nearly every joke in Pervert! is either dependant on, or punctuated by, some sort of daffy sound effect. From the boing boing of Mary Carey's jiggling juggs, to the riiippppp of the old man's midnight flatulence, I highly suspect director Jonathan Yudis used every single effect button at his disposal (this isn't so surprising when one learns that Yudis cut his directorial teeth on Ren & Stimpy).
In the documentary The Curse of Debbie Does Dallas, one of the crewmembers of that seminal adult feature wistfully recounts how the porn films of the 1970s and 80s were scripted so that, even if one excised the sex scenes, a cohesive plot would remain. Pervert! is comparable to those blue movies of yesteryear in that it also aims for arousal in the context of outrageous storylines. This isn't to say that anyone would watch Debbie Does Dallas, or Pervert! for that matter, for its engaging plot. However, I can assume that Debbie Does Dallas (which I have never seen), and others of its ilk, does a far superior job delivering the goods than this B B-movie.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the feature, I have to admire the exhaustive DVD package TLA has put together for Pervert. There are not one, but two commentary tracks, one featuring the writer and director, and another featuring the director and assorted crew members. In addition there is a deleted scene, an extended scene, a music video, and a featurette. Though this is probably overkill, it is interesting to learn how a low-budget exploitation movie is put together (apparently, water was a large, unforeseen expenditure).
If you're flipping through the channels and come across Pervert! I suppose you could be forgiven for being drawn in by its curvaceous cast. But I don't think it's worth searching out. Unless of course you're a teenage male, but even then I'm certain there are films out there that can provide far more satisfying satiation.
Guilty. You know what you did. Don't make me repeat it.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: TLA Releasing
• Two Commentary Tracks with Director Jonathan Yudis and Cast and Crew
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