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Arrow Video FrightFest 2019: Porno review

A group of teenage cinema workers accidentally unleash a sex demon.

Porno
Credit: Evoke

Abe (Evan Davies), Todd (Larry Saperstein), Ricky (Glenn Stott), Chaz (Jillian Mueller) and Heavy Metal Jeff (Robbie Tann) work in the cinema in a Christian town. One night their boss tells them they can watch whatever film they want after hours and when the group finds a secret basement with a racy film, they choose that one. Watching the film unleashes a succubus and each member of the group is taken to the dark side by a sex demon they’ve accidentally unleashed.

Porno sounds like it’s going to be an absolute hoot and it’s one of the films I was really looking forward to seeing at Arrow Video FrightFest. Director Keola Racela’s sex-focused horror comedy should have been a real gem but unfortunately it didn’t make me feel anything other than bored. When the premise of a film includes a sex demon, you’d expect it to make you at least laugh but there’s nothing here worth investing in apart from a few cheap thrills.

The film builds nicely and the discovery of the secret screen, which used to show smut, is one that promises a rollercoaster ride of a film. The writers – Matt Black and Laurence Vannicelli – never full capitalise on the absurdity of the material and aside from a few jabs at Christianity, the films lacks any teeth. It’s a real shame as there was an opportunity here to explore sexuality alongside religion, and that is completely missed. Instead the film goes for some obvious jokes and replaces any real thought for shock factor.

Porno

Credit: Evoke

The most frustrating thing about Porno is that it has a very able cast that are much better than this sloppy material. All of the cast acquit themselves well but Glenn Stott as closet case jock Ricky and projectionist Heavy Metal Jeff (Robbie Tann) are the standouts. They play into the camp of the film well and despite the poor material, they give solid performances.

Porno is sadly not a good film. It could have been a pure camp delight but instead it’s just a mess that tries, and fails, to shock. The premise is a solid one and I had such high expectations but sadly the film didn’t come close to meeting them. While there are some fun moments in the film, once the succubus arrives, it’s all a bit downhill. Porno could have been a guilty pleasure but it honestly it’s barely even watchable.

Cast: Evan Davies, Jillian Mueller, Katelyn Pearce, Bill Phillips, Peter Reznikoff, Larry Saperstein, Glenn Stott, Robbie Tann Director: Keola Racela Writers: Matt Black, Laurence Vannicelli Certificate: TBC Duration: 98 mins Released by: Evoke

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