An elevator repairman who meets a gorgeous tenant played by C.J. Laing. The encounter leads to a hardcore sequence of sexual decadence that begins with super hot sluts spreading their legs ... See full summary »
As with so many better-than-average porn films, JUDGEMENT DAY falls short of classic status due to lack of attention to honing the script. It has a great cast, clever premise and sexy execution, but the effective storyline is sacrificed to the need for including overlong sex sequences.
I interviewed Chuck Vincent at the time he made ROOMMATES, his most ambitious effort at bridging the gap between porn and "real" filmmaking. He was well aware of the difficulties involved, and though the film won endless awards from the generally rubber stamp "adult" media, it was not the breakthrough he had hoped for and pretty soon he was merely pumping out R and soft X quickies for video or the Playboy Channel.
Filmmaker Jon Cutaia, who previously wrote another near-classic ANGEL ABOVE - THE DEVIL BELOW, pursues the same fantasy genre here, positing that everyone will have to answer for her or his sexual peccadilloes before St. Peter after death. Episodic structure has St. Peter (very well-played in a non-sex role (thank God!) by Peter Whigham) presenting us flashbacks of each protagonist's sexual encounter that led to his death as the motley group of stiffs congregate atop a hill. The beautiful Morning Star (also in a clothed, non-sex role) is his assistant, reading proclamations from a scroll and adding plenty of class to the movie.
The leading actors are John Leslie and Moira Benson, a couple in love (it turns out to be adulterous) whose sex scenes bookend the film. After their opening romp in the sack, film takes a dark turn as they make good on a suicide pact and kill themselves with gas from their stove. Cutaia makes two mistakes here -the overlong sex scene at the outset delaying the plot from rolling right away, and the withholding of the crucial reason for the pact until way too late in the picture, rendering their suicide far too arbitrary and cryptic a turn of events.
Amongst the other casualties, whose deaths are treated comically rather than tragically, are Turk Lyon dallying acrobatically on a swing set with his new housemaid (Josie Farmer); a black car repairman Jonathan Younger who is (lucky him!) seduced by Mimi Morgan (who turns out to be Leslie's wife); traveling vacuum cleaner salesman John Seeman, caught in flagrante delicto, and overage nerdy virgin Tyler Reynolds (wow, is that miscasting!), killed by too much sex when he is "raped" by two female burglars.
Each burlesque vignette is set up well and amusing, but XXX sex scenes iteratively draw the film to a halt. I know this was an audience prerequisite, but even so it hurts the film, especially when viewed at a distance of 35 years later.
Very well made in every category from photography to sets, JUDGEMENT DAY's greatest strength is in its performances. Leslie is always reliable, though his character is a paper-thin entity this time. Like most of the rest of the cast, Moira Benson is not glamorous or an adult superstar but comes off as a girl-next-door type. I recently saw her coincidentally in the fetish feature MAKE MINE MILK (imbibing, rather than lactating) and although her career went nowhere she has the distinction of crossing over into experimental cinema in the cast of Curt McDowell's inverted-classic THUNDERCRACK! (which I saw as a midnight movie back in the '70s).
Seeman is less annoying and more natural in his comedy here than usual, while Melba Bruce makes a nice impression (her perfect nipple cones don't hurt) opposite him as a southern-fried housewife. I also enjoyed Josie Farmer as a cute Lynn Lowry type, and vets Younger, Lyon and Reynolds are all pro cocksmen.
Mimi Morgan is a turn-on, with her infectious smile, but her character reveals the slipshod nature of Cutaia's scripting. After her selfish riding of Younger (sitting on his face variety) suffocates him to death, her reaction is to get into her Cadillac and masturbate. Cutaia messes up both the revelation of her identity as Leslie's wife and makes her a pointlessly unsympathetic character (apparently St. Peter needs at least one woman to sentence to Hell).
Bottom line is that Cutaia and crew were poised to hit this one out of the ball park, but settled for merely diverting porn.
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