Talk Dirty to Me (1980)

Universally acclaimed as late lamented fornication filmmaker Sam “Anthony Spinelli” Weston’s crowning achievement, Talk Dirty to Me ranks in my personal top 5 for the director, vehemently vying for top spot with the likes of Sex WorldNothing to HideEasy and The Dancers. Unusual for taking a male buddy relationship as its focus, clearly patterned after John Steinbeck’s oft-adapted Of Mice and Men (sans tragic dénouement), Talk inspired a ton of sequels as well as spin-offs. Producer Jerry Ross owned the rights to the title and therefore instigated the official series, ultimately to encompass over a dozen entries of exponentially eroding effectiveness, as Weston delivered his own follow-up with the possibly superior Nothing to Hide giving full weight to the character of slightly retarded sidekick Lenny, indelibly portrayed by the terrific and justifiably award-showered Richard Pacheco. Weston was to return to the fold late in the day, rejoining forces with Ross for the shot on video Talk Dirty to Me One More Time…and its inevitable sequel !

Womanizing main character Jack, perfectly portrayed by the inimitable John Leslie in his signature career performance, remained the one constant throughout each successive film, his slow-witted friend soon falling by the wayside until Leslie eased himself into early retirement, shifting from performing to directing with great success, and the uptight radio sex therapist initiated by Talk 2‘s Bridgette Monet (subsequently essayed by the likes of Tracey Adams, Ashlyn Gere and Kylie Ireland) took over center stage. Chasing chicks for kicks, it’s obvious that Jack has the adoring Lenny’s best interests at heart, rarely allowing any woman to come between them. This doesn’t deter him from making a play for prim ‘n proper lady doctor Cris Cassidy however after she has dutifully bandaged the twisted ankle Lenny got in a heated altercation with trashy trailer park waitress Holly McCall, a character that came into its own in Nothing to Hide which garnered the actress a Best Support nod from the AFAA. If the doc’s downfall is just for fun, then Jack’s expert seduction of real estate agent Juliet Anderson falls into the category of necessity.  She has to be diverted from guiding prospective buyer Carl Regal, best remembered as the befuddled gym coach from Maria “Joanna Williams” Lease’s schoolgirl classic Little Girls Blue,  around the property the guys have temporarily crashed as Jack’s in singleminded pursuit of across the street neighbour Marlene. Sensitively brought to life by talented Jesie St. James, she’s a lonely married lady whose priggish husband Aaron Stuart, Lord of the manor in Bill Milling’s delightful Delicious, can’t bring himself to employ the explicit language she craves as the title implies. While Jack tentatively tempts her with a master’s hand, neglected Girl Friday Rose (the always welcome Sharon Kane) retaliates by popping Lenny’s cherry in a tender encounter.

Intelligent screenplay with plausible dialogue was the handiwork of the “Spinelli” father and son team, along with their esteemed regular contributor Dean Rogers. The story may be centered around the male characters but this doesn’t mean that the women are reduced to mere cyphers. Marlene proves considerably more than a textbook dissatisfied housewife as she finds her bedroom needs conflicting with the genuine love she feels for her husband. Initially resentful of Jack’s absence, Rose still displays honest affection as she patiently initiates lovemaking with the inexperienced Lenny. Even the doctor’s reluctance to breach the doctor/patient relationship adds a layer of subtlety to what could have merely been a single scene character. Late genre critic Jim Holliday, in his groundbreaking 1986 book Only the Best, selected Talk as the adult film with the best acting by an ensemble cast, each performance contributing to the effectiveness of the entire movie. With a roster consisting of superstars and unsung cult favorites, it would stand to reason that the sex sizzles from start to finish, be it Jack’s wham bam specials with the captivating Cassidy or the alluring Anderson (ever the delightfully dirty dynamo) or his passionate tryst with Jesie, a volatile combination Weston would repeat in both Hotline and Vista Valley PTA.

Ace camera man and future filmmaker (The Mistress, L’AmourGirls on Fire, etc.) Jack Remy contributes his customary bang up job, assuring the flick looks as good as most of what mainstream could achieve at the time and at just a fraction of the budget to boot. In retrospect, Talk may very well be considered emblematic of adult’s Golden Age’s high watermark, a beautifully crafted marriage of head, heart and hard-on. As the dirty movie house lost ground to home screenings on tape and disc, porn pretty much abandoned the notion of presenting itself as cinema and resorted to its secular status as masturbation fodder rather than the more complete form of entertainment it had effectively evolved towards at the time the film was created. Sadly for adventurous adult movie lovers everywhere, a promising genre was all but nipped in the bud, ironically through technological advances, assuring that it was all downhill from here.

Directed by Sam Weston (as Anthony Spinelli). Written by Weston, Mitchell Weinstein (aka Mitch Spinelli, as Michael Ellis) & Dean Rogers. Produced by Jerry Ross for Four Rivers Productions. Photographed by Jack Remy. Edited by Tim McDonald. Starring Jesie St. James (Marlene), John Leslie (Jack), Richard Pacheco (Lenny), Juliet Anderson (Helen, the Real Estate Agent), Cris Cassidy (Doctor), Sharon Kane (as Shirley Woods) (Rose), Dorothy LeMay (Jill), Holly McCall (Patty, the Waitress), Aaron Stuart (Frank, Marlene’s Husband), Carl Regal (Robert, Helen’s Client) & Sam Weston (as George Spelvin) (Herbie, the Food Truck Proprietor). Running time : 78 minutes.

Classy Juliet “Aunt Peg” Anderson, who passed away in the early days of 2010 under circumstances shrouded in mystery, always added allure to adult

By Dries Vermeulen

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