Back in the early ‘80s, when AVN (Adult Video News) was just up and running, they announced the first winner of their Best Film Award – Cecil Howard’s Scoundrels! This plot-heavy, dramatic porno was unlike anything they had seen up until that point, bringing sensitive topics, like infidelity, to the table, yet treating them with the same overt desire and sensuality as the sexy subjects. Howard, along with screenwriter Anne Randal – that’s right, a woman wrote this movie – even found a way to take the slapstick humor out of Ron Jeremy and cast him in a subdued, real way.
Scoundrels follows psychiatrist (Jeremy) and his family during their growth apart and subsequent extra marital affairs and deception, which in turn become the glue that holds the family together, as well as tears them apart. And by family, I’m talking about Dad, Mom and daughter – all who suck, fuck and screw more folks than I can keep track of. I seriously needed a guide to help me remember who’s fucking who and which characters are related! Usually I would call liars and cheating spouses “scoundrels,” but in this case I think that would be considered a good thing!
Each character takes on a whole host of sex partners – from mom fucking her husband’s best friend and her daughter’s boyfriend, to dad screwing his secretary and visiting the Madame down the street for some action; and as the film goes on the tension rises as everyone starts to figure out that not all is copacetic. While I can only imagine how shocking that type of porn would have been during the time it was released, I’m guessing that bringing anxiety and numbly realized pain into a dirty movie during any era would be surprising and considered avant-garde and edgy.
There were a ton of really awesome things about this movie – starting with all the insanely hot sex! Seriously hot! Especially scene 9, with the wife and her husband’s secretary, as well as when he joins in after finding them in his office. There is something so risqué about apologetic sex, especially with the spouse of your torrid affair.
That said, there are also a bunch of things that I had a hard time figuring out about this classic flick. Like, first of all, what’s with the Greek Chorus looking mimes of the family members? They return at points during the movie as well and, really, I have absolutely no clue. Also, the white light scenes – what is that? Maybe I’ve missed something, but at some points Scoundrels gets a little too artsy and confusing, even for me.
But all in all, this movie is a total gem that you should watch while we have it (which is only for a limited time, until July 22)! You’ll be sorry if you miss such an awesome piece of porno history.