Careful, He May Be Watching (1987)

Respected adult actor Richard Pacheco’s single stab at directing, this cute carnal confection’s enough to make one wonder why he failed to pursue this new source of employment now that he was getting a bit long in the tooth to drop trou on camera.  Just kidding, Howie !  He knows I love him.  At the risk of damning with faint praise, Careful, He May Be Watching (incidentally “borrowing” its title if little else from 1983 Australian arthouse favorite Careful, He Might Hear You) can hold its head high as the finest of platinum blonde superstar Seka’s mid-decade comeback efforts, head and shoulders above Tim McDonald’s dire Blonde Heat and its patchwork quilt companion piece Beyond Desire.  Longtime friend and colleague Veronica Hart was to coax her out of premature porn retirement once more in the early ’90s for VCA‘s American Garter, an affectionate carnal kaleidoscope detailing the daily routine at 1960s lingerie company.

Suggested by Seka herself, the clever plot casts her as comfortably off housewife Jane Smith, loving wife of frequently gadabout airline pilot Mike Horner.  Unbeknownst to him, she’s also America’s latest adult sensation Molly Flame during his absence.  All it takes is a seriously fetching strawberry blonde wig and no one’s the wiser.  Husband barely out of the door, she’s already on the phone with kvetching money man Harry (Irresistible‘s Miracle Meyer, first rate character actor Misha Garr) to set up her next nude epic right in the old homestead.  Meanwhile, Mike’s distracted by the obvious attractions of seductive stewardess Shanna McCullough who takes center stage in his (midflight !) fantasies and prime contender to participate in a threesome with his spouse, should she agree.  Oh, go on, take a wild guess !

The star’s legion of fans should be well pleased by her extensive exposure here, taking part in four full sex scenes, not counting a discreet outdoors hot tub solo that shows off her still stunning physique to great effect.  Golden Age aficionados will get more than a little misty-eyed over the meeting between legendary ladies of lust Seka and classy Kay Parker, the latter brought in as a lure to convince Molly to broaden her repertoire by breaking down her resistance to same sex coupling.  Sexually speaking, the best part’s provided by convincing chemistry between Seka and Mike, revealed as one of her favorite partners in “scene specific commentary” inexplicably downplayed on the excellent Video-X-Pix DVD containing enough star-related extras (including an interview as well as extensive 2006 footage from her website) to qualify as a bona fide “special edition“.

Pacheco’s past as a performer assures that the acting would be the one aspect to stand out.  An area in which she was usually found wanting, Seka displays deftness with dialogue and a hitherto unexpected warmth, making a clean break with the carefully constructed ice princess persona that catapulted her into the public eye.  Adding allure, not the easiest assignment considering her costume consists of a leopard skin bikini and shark tooth necklce, the ever captivating Kay came out of semi-retirement as a favor to friends Seka and Pacheco.  Horner on the hand progressed from lightweight stud duties since the late ’70s to solid leading man status, cemented by sterling work on Ron Dorfman’s underrated Sexually Altered States.  As on many other porn projects, he’s partnered by Shanna McCullough, making similar strides in the thespian department.  Although never an “item“, they were extremely affectionate friends and co-workers, even carpooling to shared sets in the mornings, as recalled by Jerry Butler in his much-maligned autobiography Raw Talent.  Cast’s sole weak link proves seldom seen Toni Brooks, also appearing in de Renzy’s Passions and Anthony Spinelli’s Spectators, performing a brief blah number on Shanna even though both look adorable in their stewardess garb.

The already frequently referenced de Renzy fortunately did not consider it beneath his awesome adult industry reputation to come on board as DoP, Pacheco’s connections paying off handsomely, with yet another acclaimed filmmaker, Jack of all trades Michael Zen, to handle the expert editing, just one of many disciplines he excelled in.  Perhaps as a sign of the times, with adult theaters rapidly going out of business all across the country and porn producers progressively cutting corners to safeguard their profits, the cheesy muzak’s just about the one area of artistry to come up short as proper soundtracks (which as we all know can elevate a sex scene from decent to outstanding all by its lonesome) were no longer viewed as a priority now that home video would increasingly corner the carnal marketplace.

Directed by Richard Pacheco. Written by Pacheco & Seka. Produced by John Seeman for Caballero Control Corporation. Photographed by Alex de Renzy. Music by Jadon Charles & Zok Richards. Edited by Michael Zen & Phil Turk. Starring Seka (Jane Smith/Molly Flame), Mike Horner (Bill Smith), Kay Parker (Annie), Shanna McCullough (Miss Cummings), Jon Martin (Porn Stud), Toni Brooks (Stewardess) & Misha Garr (Harry). Running time : 76 minutes.

By Dries Vermeulen

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