Tag Archives: Porn

Linda Lovelace & Her Loops

11 Sep

For many, it started with one film, the film. Linda Lovelace was a no-one before Deep Throat, but upon its release, the whole world knew who she was. Yet what many don’t know is that Lovelace had quite a prolific career and gained a significant amount of notoriety by starring in a number of 8mm loops before going on to do the infamous feature. Shot in dirty motel rooms and sold underground or on the streets of New York, this is where her career in pornography, or her private hell as she referred to it later on in her life, began…

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The start of Linda’s pornographic career begins on a sunny Florida day in 1970. Linda Boreman (her real name) was staying at her parents, recovering from a bad car accident (which included a lacerated liver and a broken jaw, the scars of which were always cleverly hidden or as best as in her films and pictorials). Lounging outside the house in her bikini, Boreman was spotted by Chuck Traynor, a then bar owner and pimp who was driving past her family house. Approaching her, he offered her a joint and a ride in his car, and that was it. They became an inseparable couple and within a few weeks they had moved in together. She, by admission (a lot of which is in her first book Inside Linda Lovelace), knew nothing about sex, whilst Traynor was physically possessive, very rough and promised to use hypnotherapy on her to help her deep throat, a technique he’d taught her after studying it whilst in the Army. It seemed to ‘work’ and eventually Traynor was pimping Boreman out to customers in one of his clubs. In 1971, the couple married.

That year Traynor had an idea; he’d move them to New York City where he would try to sell Boreman’s skills and services to Xaveria Hollander, the famous author of The Happy Hooker and a successful call girl and brothel owner. After moving to New Jersey, Hollander turned her down, and so Traynor moved on to plan number two; loops.  Loops, also known as stag films or peeps, were short films shot on 8mm film cameras that were illegal and sometimes funded by the Mafia. They’d be shot in dingey, dirty apartments with an ‘anonymous’ cast and crew and were then usually sold privately or shown in peepshows.

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Above image courtesy of Eric Danville at The Complete Linda Lovelace

Chuck ended up meeting Bob Wolfe, a successful 8mm producer, and eventually introduced him to Linda. They started working together, using an apartment on 48th Street and a guy named Rob Everett as Linda’s partner, and Wolfe would wind up directing five of the eight loops she filmed (another one directed by Gerard Damiano and the other two by Traynor). The loops they shot are pretty impressive, and its very clear to see Boreman’s appeal. Not overly stunning but naturally pretty in a girl-next-door way, Boreman has charm and, more importantly, is really up for it. You can tell in her face and the way she moves that she’s enjoying what she’s doing and the girl really does have talent. after watching a few of them, it seems hardly surprising that Deep Throat happened when it did. If the film was never made, I think Linda would have eventually become famous anyway from escalating projects off the success of the loops. Initially the short films started out as basic hardcore loops, with Linda doing lesbian scenes and getting involved in a threesome. After a while, the content of the hardcore loops started to cater for more select fetishes. In one loop Traynor had Linda quite literally fuck a foot (which is actually rather impressive to watch and quite easy to find on the internet if you’re interested), whilst another was entitled Piss Orgy and the most infamous one involved a session between Linda and a dog, cryptically named D-1 and D-2 (but also known as the more convenient Dog Fucker and Dogorama). Need I say anymore. All were successful on the Manhattan 8mm scene with Dogorama released into some ‘raincoat theatres’ (porno cinemas) whilst the other loops were eventually released in cinemas as poorly edited compilations with titles such as The Confessions of Linda Lovelace and Linda Lovelace Meets Miss Jones (a film which spliced together scenes from another famous porno The Devil in Miss Jones).

In later years, Linda would completely denounce her career, saying she was forced into prostitution and pornography by Traynor and was, on occasions, held at gunpoint until she finished her work (the bestiality loop being one instance). On the other hand, Traynor has always said that he never forced her into anything, and that she was free to leave at any time. Even Everett and other people she had worked with in the past have said that she ‘loved’ what she did and was always willing to do anything (even Dogorama, with some internet rumours purporting that more than one bestiality loop was made) with none of them seeing any violence against her. It’s a very difficult side of the story to navigate, one that I might explore at another time…

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If vintage erotica interests you, or you’ve never seen Lovelace in anything prior to Deep Throat, her loops are well worth checking out. They’re available on most porn websites and are pretty much stag quality, i.e. grainy picture, jump cuts, blurry from wear on the film itself, however most videos seem to be a compilation of different scenes from different loops cut together (which tend to have an added soundtrack of 70s music so if you hear that you should instantly know you’ve got yourself a mixed video) so if you’re wanting to see a certain loop in its entirety, you may have to visit a few websites. That said, I’ve never seen D-1 or D-2 and don’t intend to so don’t ask for any advice one that one (The Foot or Open Pussy, Insert Foot isn’t that bad).

Traynor and Boreman would wind up meeting with loop director Gerard Damiano, who was at the time shooting a picture called Changes, through Linda’s loops. Damiano had seen a few and eventually directed Linda in one, which also starred future Deep Throat co-star Harry Reems. Damiano was already quite taken with Linda when they met and was also impressed by her skills and ended up writing a script for her. That script would go on to become Deep Throat and the rest, as they say, is history…

Schools Out – Paul Glickler’s ‘The Cheerleaders’ (1973)

3 Feb

Think of porn and one of the clichés that might enter your mind could be cheerleaders. And I wouldn’t blame you, because The Cheerleaders does for promiscuous, overtly sexual cheerleaders what lemons do for lemonade. This softcore porno is exactly what your mind would expect its tin to say, a bunch of cheerleaders flirting and fucking their way though the football team… and a few others.

And that’s essentially the plot of the film. The aim of the girls is to sleep with the entire opposing football team so that their own team, Amorosa High, can win the match. Except that they also need to find a new girl to join them (one cheerleader ended up in the maternity ward…). But the only candidate is a virgin whose virginity the rest of them are keen to get rid of. After much educating and bonking, they end up sleeping with their own team by accident anyway. But that doesn’t matter, because they win the match anyway thanks to newly recruited cheerleader Jeannie (Stephanie Fondue) and the virginal general-all-rounder Norm who scores the much-needed last point.

Like plot mattered anyway. The feature went on to have three sequels over the next six years and was a huge Drive-in & theatre hit in America. Played by a cast of no-name actresses and a real life high school football team, the film did court some controversy for the amount of sex that the girls have and the fact that their powers of seduction extend to the football team Coach, the female gym teacher (the MPAA cut this scene in particular because they felt the actress playing the teacher was suggesting too much of a sex act, apparently she was only trying to hide the other actresses privates because she didn’t want them to appear on-screen…) and their friends family members to name a few. Also a sore spot was the idea that some of the cheerleaders kidnap and rape some players of the opposite team the night before. Because of the issue in some States about what constituted as statutory rape, the film was re-named The Eighteen Year Old Schoolgirls for some of its re-releases so as to make the grey area somewhat clearer.

Whilst not a bad film, it isn’t brilliant and yet it does have quite a sweet charm to it. The first movie of its kind, it went on to spawn many imitations, including porn classic Debbie Does Dallas and in some capacity, Porky‘s. Slightly dated in its dialogue, The Cheerleaders is a semi-decent porno worth checking out, with a few scenes that’ll either make you laugh or exclaim ‘what the fuck’ in bizarre shock induced curiosity.

About Sex, But Not – ‘The Black Cauldron’ (1985)

4 Aug

ON THE SURFACE – A young boy, Taran, tries to stop the evil Horned King from finding and using the magical Black Cauldron.

SCRAPING THE BARREL – A teenage boy, Taran, tries to stop his evil peer the Horned King from finding the greatest porno video ever. As far as I’m concerned, Disney films are never really about what the company says they’re about, and The Black Cauldron is no different. The feature is essentially the story of two classmates trying to out-do each other and find the best porno video to become the most popular kid in their class (become King, rule the world). Taran is fed up of playing second fiddle to the Horned King (‘Henry, Henry, it’s always Henry’) and wants his time to shine (‘I’m not a little boy anymore, I should be doing heroic deeds’) amongst his friends. Cue going on an epic internet quest to find the greatest piece of pornographic videography that will secure his place as kid popular and reduce Horned King’s class status. Now, anyone could tell poor Taran that trolling the internet for porn wasn’t always going to be an easy task and that he’d come up against all manner of different acts; midget porn (the Fair Folk), tit wanks (the frog in the witches chest), bondage (Fflewddur Fflam tied up in the dungeons), bestiality (he won’t leave that damn pig alone…), necrophilia (the undead army)… And at the end of the day, the quest pays off. Taran finds the video (the Black Cauldron), becomes kid popular (defeats the Horned King) and manages to bag a girlfriend kinky enough to watch the videos with him (Princess Eilonwy). I wonder what she thought of Two Girls/One Cup

Another Girl Another Planet – Michael Benveniste & Howard Ziehm’s ‘Flesh Gordon’ (1974)

13 Jun

Sometimes you really can’t beat a good sex parody, and that’s just what 1974 release Flesh Gordon is. Written by Michael Benveniste who went on to co-direct with Howard Ziehm, Flesh Gordon is a porno inspired by the 1930s Flash Gordon serial films and comics (that feature film that we all remember wasn’t released until 1980…) which begins perfectly with a small introduction, and disclaimer, which highlights the Depression of the 30s and assures us that this film has nothing to do with the original comics or their writers. As if they’d want to have anything to do with a film like this…

The film is effectively your typical Flash Gordon fare with an added incredibly camp sexual twist. Earth has become under threat from an evil sex ray that is being beamed from another planet, causing people to become sexually hysterical in a ‘total degradation that has overcome the masses’. Professor Gordon decides that his son Flesh (that’s right, every name is a sexual-like pun on the original characters name) is the only one who can stop it, and after seeing first hand what the sex ray can do (in a scene that turns a normal flight into a plane orgy and then see’s Flesh get a mid-air blowjob whilst parachuting down to land), Flesh sets out to destroy the evil device.

Teaming up with Dr Flexi Jerkoff (aka Dr Alexis Zarkov) and love interest Dale Ardor (aka Dale Arden), Flesh makes his way to planet Porno (aka Mongo, in a spaceship that looks a lot like a vibrating dildo) to bring down the tyrannous Emperor Wang the Perverted (aka Ming the Merciless… you get the idea right?) and together they encounter all manner of Porno inhabitants, including a number of animated penisaurus, an underground group of lesbian Amazonian’s, hermaphrodite wrestling monsters and, lets not forget, the rapist robots with twirling, screwdriver-like dicks.

Originally released with an X certificate, it was re-edited and eventually received an R rating, whilst later releases included both gay and straight hardcore shots that had been supposedly cut out. However, even with these shots included, the film isn’t that much different. The sex scenes are well choreographed so that you don’t really see anything and the hardcore shots don’t fare any better, in fact they look exactly the same. Still, at least the mass orgies, of which there are a few, allude to a lot of good stuff! Aside from the obvious draw of sex, the other fantastic reason to see the film are the somewhat terrible but inventive effects, all done by artists who would go on to later have big special effects careers in cinema (Rick Baker, Doug BeswickMick Minor, Dave Allen, Jim Danforth and Dennis Muren!). The sex ray looks nothing more than red exploding cupcake sprinkles and some of the models are rather obviously shoddy but all have their charm. Also included are scenes using stop motion animation (a personal favourite of mine) which wonderfully evoke the talents of animation legend Ray Harryhausen. The climatic monster The Great God Porno at the end of the film, voiced by an uncredited Craig T Nelson, especially looks like he could have stepped out of Harryhausen’s greek myth features and the beautiful Beetleman who could have easily appeared in one of Ray’s sci-fi pictures.

Flesh Gordon is not the best film you will ever see, but I defy you to other sex parodies out there that really encompass the charm and feel of the properties they are piss-taking. There’s awful acting, bad one liners and some really dire day-for-night shots but the film has a great script and a good narrative that holds the whole picture together. The sex fits into the story perfectly, and whilst it is obviously gratuitous (it’s a porno for God’s sake!), it doesn’t feel out-of-place. My only qualm is that nearly all of the scenes feel very frantic which sadly means you don’t get to glimpse an awful lot. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of 70s muff, hairy chests, bad facial hair and flesh in all shapes and sizes! If you can track this film down it’s well worth a watch, a terrific slice of kitsch, sexy parody with a heart full of charm. A glorious cult classic.   

MEYER MONTH – Russ Meyer’s ‘The Immoral Mr. Teas’ (1959)

2 Mar

Who would have thought that the advent of modern-day pornography, the exploitation of the female form and the first instance of really using women in film as sexual objects would arise from a little live-action cartoon-esque sex picture called The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959)? Before the release of director Russ Meyer’s first feature, extensive nudity in film was only seen in underground pornography (which had to be covertly produced and distributed, usually illegally) or in naturist pictures, where nudity was allowed under the guise of naturist films being documentaries on nudist camps and, therefore, somewhat legitimately educational. Meyer broke boundaries by making Mr. Teas the first film since early Pre-Code sound pictures to feature nudity without the pretext of naturism. Arguably the first popular and successful film of its kind, it went on to start the short-lived nudie-cutie genre and kick-started the sexploitation genre which Meyer would dominate throughout the 1960s.

The Immoral Mr. Teas is an incredibly simple picture. Mr. Teas (played by Meyer’s combat buddy Bill Teas, an alcoholic who was drunk for most of the shoot) is your average American Joe living life in suburbia. Practically ignored by everyone, Teas delivers false teeth as a job and spends most of his time eyeing up the women around  town. After having an injection of painkillers for a tooth extraction, Teas starts seeing women everywhere topless, even when the injection has worn off. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Padding out the rest of the cast are a bevy of beautiful ladies; a mixture of pin-up models and burlesque dancers that both Meyer and producer Pete DeCenzie knew and a few bought in from elsewhere. The cherry on top of the casting ice cream is the gorgeous model June Wilkinson whom Meyer knew from his photographic career. Don’t remember seeing her name in the credits? That’s because she gave Meyer an uncredited cameo… Of her breasts only.

Unsurprisingly, Meyer had difficulties when trying to distribute the film upon its completion (ten years later he would encounter more legal problems when trying to distribute Vixen!). Simply put, there had never been a film like Mr. Teas before and theatre owners were scared to show it. When the film eventually had its premiere in San Diego in 1959 it was shut down by the police only twenty minutes in. Rumour has it that DeCenzie hadn’t paid the local authorities the necessary bribe and it would be a year before him and Meyer would get the print back.

Meyer needn’t have worried at the time. The Immoral Mr. Teas was hugely successful. Re-opening in Seattle in 1960, the film played for nine months. It ran for three years in Los Angeles. Made on a budget of $24,000, the film made between an estimated $1 and $3 million. Fourteen years after it was first released, it was still making money through theatrical bookings despite more explicit films being shown in cinemas and a far greater increase in sexuality and nudity being depicted in western cinema. The picture itself spawned over 150 imitations.

Watching it now, Mr. Teas feels very innocent, almost to the point of wondering what all the fuss was about. But for 1959, Meyer was teetering on the edge of what was considered legal to show in theatres. Even filming on Kodak Eastman stock was potentially a problem for production as Kodak could refuse to develop the negatives if they deemed the content obscene in any way. Its slight innocence aside, the film is all about the art of the tease and tease it certainly does. The picture is only sixty-two minutes long and the audience has to wait a full twenty-eight minutes before seeing any hint of the nude female form. Drawing from his photographic career, Meyer successfully keeps the tease up (excuse the pun) and going for the whole feature’s duration, each woman staying attractively untouched, poised on the moment of perfection until the very end. The isn’t just a film about Mr. Teas’s naughty daydreams, they also belong to the audience and the relationship between the female models and the viewers is held throughout by the distinct lack of physical contact between Teas and any of the women. In fact he seems almost terrified of what they might do to him, at one point jumping into a river to escape being near a topless sunbather.

What’s so telling about The Immoral Mr. Teas is the number of Meyer hallmarks that are abundant in it, foreshadowing future films and sequences from his later career. It’s opening montage of cars, nature and cities would be an effect used again and again (no doubt an influence from his early career doing industrial films), most notably in Mondo Topless  (1966) and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), whilst the innuendo filled and often irrelevant narration used crops up in at least another five of his features. What is incredibly obvious in Mr. Teas and didn’t change at all throughout the rest of his career is Meyer’s natural ability to make any woman look beautiful through his lens. A talented photographer for over a decade before moving into film, Mr. Teas has often been described as a’year’s subscription to Playboy’, a moving image version of a themed photo shoot.

The only sad irony about The Immoral Mr. Teas is that the world it helped to create, Meyer found himself no longer a part of by the mid 1970s. Whilst the film birthed the beginnings of the adult film industry and helped to unleash sexual freedom on the big screen, Meyer found himself left on the sidelines when his lack of interest in including hardcore shots and the sex act itself meant that his films became overshadowed by pictures likeDeep Throat(1972). Still, I bet he never thought that a quaint little film about a man in a straw hat would be the catalyst to begin it all…

Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Should’nt’ve – Jonathan Yudis’s ‘Pervert!’ (2005)

29 Feb

I bloody love Amazon. It recommends me all sorts of exploitation goodness and sexy stuff thanks to what I buy every month. Sometimes Amazon gets it completely wrong and sometimes Amazon hits the nail on the head so perfectly I want it in plush form so I can give it some massive cuddle. The latest gem it pointed out to me was the 2005 Russ Meyer tribute Pervert! directed by Jonathan Yudis.

The film see’s college student James (Sean Andrews) return to his family’s desert ranch to help out his father, Hezekiah (Darrell Sandeen), for the summer. James finds that Hezekiah has gotten remarried to the rather busty Cheryl (porn star Mary Carey) but it doesn’t take long for Cheryl and James to hook up, only for Hezekiah to find out and fight with his wife over it. Then Cheryl disappears… Old man Hezekiah returns home from town with another voluptuous broad attached to his arm, Alisha, who also quickly falls for James. Then one night Cheryl turns up and dies in front of James, the same night that Hezekiah finds Alisha dead. What follows is a bizarre romp including bouncing breasts, a witch doctor, sculptures made of meat and a homicidal penis.

Pervert! is a horror-comedy-sexploitation film that Film Threat is quoted as saying ‘Smells like Russ Meyer’. Except that it doesn’t just smell of Meyer, the film reeks of it and for all the best reasons. For the seasoned Meyer fan, the film is full of references that will make you squeal with delight. The film opens with a mad preacher introducing the story that reminds you of Mudhoney (1965) and the evangelical preacher of Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979). Then there’s the desert ranch itself, a near copycat of the ranch in Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965), complete with its own water tank (and, yes, Yudis even includes a scene of his leading lady washing by it that is shot exactly like Meyer’s shots of Lori Williams and Tura Satana doing the same). Mary Carey even has a scene which completely takes Satana’s corn on the cob eating scene from Faster Pussycat! and raises the bar a good fifty miles in the air. Not content with keeping the Meyer references at that, Yudis includes desert shots that look like they could have been lifted from Cherry, Harry & Raquel! (1969) and Supervixens (1975) and a rattlesnake gag and cool pick up truck that wouldn’t be out-of-place in Motorpsycho (1965). Those were just the really obvious references, I couldn’t be bothered to list all of them when making notes!

It’s not just the very well done references to Meyer’s films that make the film so successful but the realised grindhouse/exploitation tone of the whole piece. The script is great, full of one liners and innuendo that are found across the sex comedy and sexploitation genre’s in general; ‘I’ve handled a lot of fruit in my time. It’s one thing I’ve never minded, it’s a little bruises and spots’ (Hezekiah when spanking Cheryl), ‘You’re a rotten constitution in the court of man!’. There is, of course, plenty of nudity with female forms that hark back to a time when stick thin wasn’t the ‘in thing’ and breasts that Meyer would obviously stamp with a seal of approval. In other words, beautiful, bouncy and big. Even the film’s opening, with the grainy and faded logo for production company Stag Films and campy Horny-14 (‘Approved for all perverts by the director of this film. Pregnant women and men with an erection at this point in the film should leave now.’) feels legitimately vintage in exploitation glory.

Let’s not forget to mention the acting which is tongue-in-cheek in all the right places. Andrews as Sean is fantastic playing the naive and possibly cursed (?) role that so many cute boys played in 60s/70s sex-horror films, all puppy dog eyes and innocence craving life experience. Carey is great as the spunky (excuse the pun) and sex-fuelled Cheryl, pulling the innocent girl next door card when necessary and who would have been a perfect Meyer candidate if we were still in the 70s. The rest of the female cast are also terrific, their slightly wooden delivery perfect for a film of this ilk with special mention going to Lucia whose role as the Uschi Digard/Kitten Natividad montage girl is nailed perfectly. Best of all is Sandeen as Hezekiah who is clearly channeling Stuart Lancaster’s role as The Old Man in Faster Pussycat! but still manages to put his own memorable spin on it.

The real star of the show, however, has to be the stop-motion murderous penis who wrecks havoc in the last half of the feature. This is definitely where Yudis’s previous experience working in comedy and animation really come to shine, the penis animated with much personality and a rough and ready style that suits the spirit and tone of the picture.All in all, a fabulous homage to the B-movies of sexploitation and horror and a wonderful tribute to the ‘King of the Nudies’ Russ Meyer, Pervert! is a must watch for any fan who enjoys what exploitation and grindhouse cinema used to bring to the big (and small) screen!

Robinson Devor’s ‘Zoo’ (2007)

26 Jan

Having a deep interest in human sexuality, Robinson Devor’s documentary Zoo has been a film I’ve wanted to see since its release a few years ago. Praised in every magazine review I’d read, I was really excited and desperate to see the character study of an individual who came to be defined by his sexuality upon his death. Chances are you’ve heard about Zoo yourself, it’s selection to be played at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals in 2007 was met with mixed reactions. Some thought it was a well judged piece, others thought it was nothing more than proof that some filmmakers were sinking to new depths in a bid for their work to be considered ‘art’. Needless to say the film is one that will stay with you after viewing, it’s ability to make you question your own opinions and feelings so strongly as disturbing as some people would find the content of the subject. Zoo is the life and death story of Kenneth Pinyan, an American who became infamous for dying from injuries he sustained after having sex with a horse. Devor uses the documentary as an attempt to explore the life of Pinyan and the community he not only belonged to in America but the community for which he also became permanently associated with.

It’s a testament to Devor’s talent as a filmmaker that the documentary remains impartial throughout the entire duration of the study. He neither condones nor condemns what actually happened or the people involved and their feelings. What the audience are left with is a very insightful and sympathetic piece that includes stories and opinions from the various people involved in the 2005 Enumclaw horse sex case. You hear from representatives of the animal charity who were drafted in to take the horses from the farm they were on in King County, Washington to their animal shelter. Neighbours and friends who knew Pinyan tell stories of their times together and what they knew of him. Actors hired to play characters in the documentary’s dramatisation of events express their views on what they learnt doing research for their roles. Fellow zoophiles talk about how well they knew Pinyan and try to explain their sexual orientation and feelings. The importance and revolution of the internet is highlighted and discussed as a platform that these people could and can meet each other through, finding like-minded people worldwide. The documentary is keen to point out that this isn’t something that happens in your stereotypical hillbilly backwards farm towns across the States, it’s a sexual orientation that crosses countries (Germany, Poland, America, even ‘Soldiers in Iraq’) and races (caucasian, black, hispanic).

After viewing, what you are left with is an overwhelming feeling of mixed emotions; disgust and anger, sympathy and confusion. This is an unbiased portrait that really challenges you to consider your immediate feelings and opinions on something and then re-evaluate them once you’re told more of the story. Zoophilia is something I neither support nor judge people for. It’s brave that those in the documentary try to explain to the audience how they feel and why they feel the way they do, especially hard for a sexual minority which is viewed with such repulsion and hatred by the public. They are only human, the film emphasising this as they talk about how hard they have found living with their feelings and how, for some people involved in the incident, their lives have been completely destroyed. It’s especially hard to hear when you see actual footage of the horses in question. They look well, are loved and looked after, fed and have large amounts of land to roam wild in. Although deemed animal abuse, it’s very hard to see signs of injuries or serious neglect that is immediately connected with such an issue. Sexual interaction aside, all men involved admitted to never once hurting the animals; ‘Do they look neglected? No. You love your wife and your kids. It’s the same thing. I took better care of my animals then I ever did care for myself’.

At the centre of it all you have Kenneth Pinyan himself, who will forever go down in pop culture as ‘the guy who died from fucking a horse’. Take a look on YouTube, you’ll find dozens of reaction videos of people watching the video his friend shot of him and the horse in question. Not just any incident, but the one from which he died a few hours later. Search pretty hard and you might even find the video itself. Some of you will even think that he deserved to die after what he did. At the end of the day we have to remember that he was a person too and that there was more to him than just what he is remembered mostly for (again, I will add  that I personally neither condone nor condemn what happened and who these people are). Pinyan was a devoted father desperate to get his life back on track and move his family into a bigger home, a very hard worker for Boeing in America, a son and brother, friend to many people and incredibly close to his ex-wife who he looked after. His role as ‘Mr Hands’ (the name he distributed bestiality pornography under) was just another side to him, something he explored when he found a community of like-minded people he didn’t feel alienated from. In the King County he was respected and liked, he was Kenneth. An actor who played a Cop in the documentary highlights how he felt after doing research for the role by trying to imagine and describe how Pinyan must have been feeling knowing he was dying. Was he scared and fearful at how he’d be treated after telling hospital staff what happened? Was he thinking about his son and what he could say to him to try to explain who he was as a person? All we know is he died a very slow and painful death through blood loss, refusing to listen to friends who said he should seek medical help until it was too late. It must have been terrifying.

Zoo is a sad portrait of a man and a community who will probably never be understood or accepted by anyone outside of the world that they know. This is a film that is well worth a watch if you liked to be challenged or like watching things that make you think. Underneath it all, it poses a serious question; how well do we know the people we think we know? Everyone has something they’re holding back from other people, a secret they’ll never tell. Maybe society has made us all far too judgemental on initial appearances. Needless to say, not everything is as black and white as it seems and Zoo really does try to paint the spectrum in between.