What’s that at Images? Oh my, it’s 3-D Porn!

This weekend, a large segment of the Williams College population flocked to Images Cinema. All night, Friday and Saturday, there were lines out the door into the street, where it was colder than it has been all year. Showings were sold out. The demand to get in was so high, in fact, that an extra showing was added late Friday and Saturday nights. The excitement and anticipation that filled the air was electrifying, to say the least. “I’m psyched for it and I’m not even sober,” said one girl. Even for a small campus, it was amazing to see how everyone was coming together and having a great time. So what was Images showing, anyway? A little film from 1979 called Disco Dolls in Hot Skin. It was…well, Matt Haldeman ’02 explains it best: “It’s 3-D and it’s porn.”

Standing out in the cold waiting to get in, I had a chance to talk to some of the individuals who were looking forward to “the multimedia extravaganza that is Disco Dolls in 3-D,” as Paul DiBlasi ’02 put it. Armed with my trusty tape recorder in one hand and my own ticket in the other, I dove into the crowd to get some pre-porn reaction. “I anticipate a money shot,” said Brendan Kinnell ’02. His friend, John Magary ’00, was slightly worried: “I anticipate being frightened and having to move my head a lot, worried that I will be hit by things coming from the screen,” he told me. Some people were guardedly confident, such as Brendan Reid ’02, who said, “I hope I can take it.” He also hoped he could “get a lot out of it.” Others welcomed the 3-D effect, including a woman who was visiting a friend on campus who said, “I’m looking forward to having [something] stuck in my eye.”

People had all sorts of reasons for going. A good number just wanted to see their first adult film. “This is my first porn!” said a very excited Elizabeth Baker ’00. Remember Matt Haldeman, who described Disco Dolls to us? Well, I think it was his first time too. He told me that he was “anticipating some wholesome entertainment. A family story. Something I can bring my little sister to.” Sergio Espinosa ’02 clearly knew what he was in for. A self-proclaimed fan of the star, John Holmes, he was “quite excited to see John Holmes in all of his glory.”

He wasn’t the only one there to see this well-known star of adult films. “I’m very excited to see John Holmes for the first time,” said Channing Powell ’01. “I’ve heard many things about his career. I want to see the man in person. See if he really lives up to his reputation.” It appears that Nelson Hioe ’00 had also heard of Mr. Holmes’ reputation because he told me he was “looking forward to seeing a thirteen inch [phenomenon].”

Everyone waiting on that line, however, had one thing in common. Like Paul DiBlasi, they were “in it for the Williams spectacle.” And they were having a great time. Adam Nesbit ’97 put it best: “I don’t care. I’m having the best time of my life and so far all I’ve done is stand out in the cold.”

The time finally came, and we were all herded into the theater and sat down for the greatest cinematic experience of our lives. One person, who wished to remain anonymous, said “No plot. It was just pure sex.” This was a gross exaggeration. There was indeed plenty of plot to keep the pure sex going. But, hell, who went to see it for the plot anyway? We went to see it for all the experience of seeing a real ’70s porn in 3-D.

The fact is that the audience spent the whole time living up to a dead-on prediction by Rob Trumbull ’00: “I anticipate a plethora of really sarcastic comments from the audience.” At all points someone somewhere in the theater could be heard yelling up at the screen and having a great time with this unique experience. As the theatergoers poured out, this reporter was once again there, this time with a grin on his face and his trusty tape recorder in hand to get post-porn reactions. It is interesting that, unlike with pre-porn reactions, most people wanted to remain anonymous. There’s nothing quite like post-porn guilt and shame to convince people to hide their identities.

“Kickass!” “Stupefied.” “Speechless.” “Porn! Porn! Porn!” These were just some of the terms used to describe Disco Dolls In Hot Skin and viewers’ feelings about the film. Other popular descriptions were “It was horrendous,” and “It was not good.” Other moviegoers, however, had the complete opposite reaction. “A cinematic triumph!” one proclaimed. George Anthes ’00 felt that “this was absolutely excellent. It was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in Images since weeks.” I think some people were left in complete and utter shock, unable to decide what it was they felt, as is evident from the one person who described it as “Disturbing. Good. Good, good, good, good.”

Complete disgust was a common reaction from the crowd as well. One girl was so shocked she pleaded, “please don’t talk to me about it!” “It was pretty revolting, dude,” said someone else. “That was incredibly, incredibly disgusting” said yet another audience member. But every coin has its other side. Dorothy Gambrell ’00 thought it was not disgusting enough. “It wasn’t nearly the most disgusting movie I’ve seen. I was disappointed.” One woman told me “I never want to have sex again.” Luis Taboada ’02 was “grateful that real life is not like that.” I guess director Norm de Plume didn’t quite accomplish his goal. A common reaction from many people was “I’m traumatized.” None, however, were more traumatized than one unnamed sophomore who was so freaked out that he screamed, “Only I touch my [self] from now on. Only man – only being – who touches my [self]!”

What does this reporter and film critic think of Disco Dolls in Hot Skin? It had no artistic value whatsoever. Just your classic ’70s porn in 3-D. But, as Jon Kallay ’00 said, “The ’70s were cool.” Boy, were they ever. I had a genuinely good time because I knew what it was: a bad movie with lots and lots of sex in 3-D. Is this a new cult classic? Let me just say that a day hasn’t gone by when I haven’t heard someone utter the lead character’s catch phrase, “Harry Balls anyone he can.” So yes, I say, expect this to start making the rounds as the midnight showing cult classic for college students in the upcoming years and be proud that we were among the first to get it. You’ll have a good time, as Brendan Reid can very well tell you: “I was entertained.”

As were we all, Brendan, as were we all.

One comment

  1. I wrote this! Here’s a correction that’s almost 16 years late: I incorrectly attributed quotes from Paul LaRosa ’02 to Paul DiBlasi ’02. My bad.

    -Rolando Garcia ’02

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