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Cecil Howard's Babylon Pink Box Cover
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Studio: Command Cinema
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Approximate Running Time: 01:15:53
Released:1979
Custodian of Records
C Recommended For Rental

2007 AVN Award Nominee for Best Clas
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Editor's Review


Cecil Howard remains one of the finest erotic filmmakers ever, with a track record that includes the likes of NEON NIGHTS , SCOUNDRELS and the FIRESTORM trilogy. As a producer and erstwhile video distributor through his company Command Video, whose impressive back catalog is only just now being gradually released onto DVD in exemplary bells 'n' whistles editions, he has always been similarly dedicated to bringing out the best in fellow filmmakers such as Chuck Vincent (HEAVY LOAD), Roberta Findlay (with whom he co-directed FANTASEX) and Henri Pachard. While he had a considerable background in sexploitation with "roughies" like LUST WEEKEND and THE BIZARRE ONES, Sullivan had yet to cross the explicit barrier. Suffice it to say there would be no looking back as he went on to become one of the most talented and enduring directors within the adult industry. On a personal note, the very first porn flick I ever saw was one of his, the wonderful BUDDING OF BRIE, a sharp 'n' sexy send-up of ALL ABOUT EVE. So it only seems right that I should return the favor and review his first (hardcore) film.

More sex-packed and less plot-oriented than Howard's movies usually were at that time (though he would follow suit with PLATINUM PARADISE and FOXTROT) or Sullivan's since for that matter, the showered with awards BABYLON PINK deals with female erotic fantasies. This was something of a revolutionary concept in porn back then, well before Candida Royalle's Femme productions or any pretenders to her throne, and Ron pulls it off with a blend of style and apparent honesty without sacrificing anything in the way of heat. Seven Manhattan women, identified by their stations in life, dream up carnal encounters that run the whole gamut from sweet 'n' tender to downright raunchy yet conspicuously lacking in those male-identified mannerisms which tend to spoil a lot of porn for female viewers. Anyone even slightly versed in the adult classics should recognize most of the superstar cast, with only a couple of cult favorites likely to create confusion. Samantha Fox is the business executive who has a very verbal encounter with prospective buyer Bobby Astyr, her real life friend and lover until his untimely death from lung cancer in 2002. This scene provides a great teaching lesson for couples in need of expressing their sexual thoughts in word as well as deed. Her secretary is played by Merle Michaels who fantasizes about being "approached" by roommate Arcadia Lake and her lawyer boyfriend Eric Edwards (they too were a real life item) in a scorching sequence that stands as one of the film's hottest. The sweltering highlight is provided by Vanessa Del Rio portraying Astyr's downtrodden wife who imagines herself in a sweaty number with Dave Ruby who was always good sex as my "virtual friend" Casey Scott will be the last to deny. Vanessa's teenage daughter is perky Georgette Sanders of DEBBIE DOES DALLAS fame, pressed into duty as cheap labor, serving dinner for her well to do aunt Georgina Spelvin and uncle R. Bolla who are entertaining their tennis pro David Morris and his girlfriend Debbie Revenge, the short-haired blonde also in Gerard Damiano's FOR RICHER, FOR POORER. All these cast members collide in a hot and humorous scenario that justifies Debbie's being billed as "Tonight's Dinner" ! Spelvin and Morris get it on in the bathroom, setting the tone for Sullivan's recurring toilet fetish, with Bob and Georgette bringing up the rear with a deflowering number that's both sensitive and sensual.

A good starter film for both couples and people interested in learning about Golden Age porn, BABYLON PINK was exquisitely photographed by the aforementioned Ms. Findlay, a legend within adult circles herself, even though she continues to downplay her achievements in this field in favor of her far less accomplished but more "respectable" skid row horror flicks like TENEMENT and THE ORACLE. The soft rock soundtrack was provided by a band billed as The Purple Claw who were never heard from again, and for good reason as it's the single element that seriously dates if not deteriorates this high watermark endeavor for its makers. A few weeks before this writing, as the movie's 30th anniversary approaches remember, it was still being shown at the Brussels ABC Theater, presumably the last adult cinema still operational in Europe if not the whole world, screening 35mm film rather than video or DVD. At least part of the audience, including yours truly, watched in rapt attention while their more single-minded brethren were busy cruising for cock, oblivious to the historical occasion they were thus passing up. Clearly their loss. All too soon the lights will be turned on for the very last time and this unique experience will be lost to us forever. Then my memories will be all that is left.

-Review Courtesy of DirtyMovieDevotee