Tag Archives: B.Skow

Daddy’s Girl 95, Part Two: Horny Daddies

by Rich Moreland, September 2015

This is the second segment on Daddy’s Girls 2, a Girlfriends Films production directed by B Skow and written by David Stanley.

*        *          *

The Villain and the Hooker

Is Bob the real deviant in the saga of Daddy’s Girls? His new prostitute Oralee thinks so because she tells him in the concluding scenes, “You’re not the good guy in this story, Robert. You’re the villain. You just don’t know it yet.”

Unlike Marla before her, Oralee dresses for the schoolgirl role with Bob. Knowing the drill to satisfy his fetish, she shows up in pigtails, knee socks, and plaid skirt. She gives him his mask, calls him as “daddy,” and gets him aroused.

Bob's cover

Bob’s cover.

Despite his disdain for Oralee (he refers to her as a receptacle for his manly jollies), Bob knows she is discrete, to be used when convenient.

Unfortunately, he has gotten himself into trouble for physically attacking Quincy’s therapist, Tom, who uses his patient’s father fetish (“you don’t have a father, you have a pimp”) to cajole her into “treatment” for his own pleasure. Of course, Tom validates what Quincy’s remaining intellectual left eye (her blinded right one represents affection) refuses to “see.” Isn’t she also a prostitute of sorts?

After dealing with the police, an emotionally bedraggled Bob calls on Oralee to sneak him back home and she doesn’t let reality go unnoticed, asking him a question with a double meaning. “Do you know where you are right now? In your driveway with your hooker who just picked you up from jail. You’re not father of the year . . .you’re just a bully.”

The gutsy harlot is just getting started, hammering Bob with his daughter is a “grown woman” who just had sex with her doctor and he’s “the one acting like a child.”

Enraged, Bob strikes back. “Don’t talk about her!”

Why? “Because I don’t know her or you don’t have your mask on?”

Oralee

Oralee

When Oralee suggests the truth hurts, Bob dismisses her, arrogantly boasting that he has things she’ll never have. Using insults when logic is muted, Bob retreats into what he is, a bully, while Oralee comes through with gold stars.

Mother and Sister

The other prostitute in Bob’s skewed world is Marla, a character in transition as the story deepens. She stands in as Bob’s wife, is trashy enough to turn him on, and offers what he needs most: a grown woman to look after him. Bob obviously appreciates her efforts to legitimate their relationship but he cannot decouple himself from his hooker fetish because Oralee is always on call.

Marla has a further issue. Beyond a wife in waiting, she performs a dual role for her soon-to-be-stepdaughter—mother and sister. In doing so, she’s the best thing that happens for Quincy, who despite Oralee’s judgment, is not quite a grown woman yet.

The complexity of the Marla/Quincy connection steps forward in the sex scene with Mr. Jeffries who, like Bob, is also bully.

“Old Like Me”

At dinner Jefferies recognizes Quincy as Daddy’sGirl95. Good fortune presents itself because he has a promotion waiting for Bob and knows Marla is flirting with him to secure it, but it’s the daughter he wants, not a pay-for-play trollop.

Finding a convenient moment, Jefferies follows Quincy to the bathroom. Shocking her with “all your horny daddies missed you greatly” in reference to her now defunct webcam, he says he knows what she wants, “old, like me.” When Quincy resists, Jeffries says Bob will be fired if she doesn’t give in. It’s quid pro quo, corporate bedroom style.

Her prostitute denial, now lame and laid bare, undoubtedly taunts Quincy’s mind, but is glossed over with a little psychological manipulation. Jeffries reminds her “people don’t change. You are who you are born to be . . . you’re the worst of yourself.”

The words really apply to everybody in this film except two, Marla and Oralee, who are the best of themselves. The viewer will take either one over the other sad souls in this charade of sordidness.

The threesome.

The Threesome.

Marla responds to Quincy’s invitation to help daddy, bonding with her future stepdaughter for the three-way with Mr. Jefferies. On the wall behind them is a painting of two young women done in the late Victorian period, one undressed; the other partially clothed. They are sister-like in both age and attitude and illustrate the theme of this second film.

Samantha/Quincy, Marla/Quincy, Marla/Oralee? Take your choice from a handful of “sisters” who have serviced “daddies.” They are all daddy’s girls.

A Slice for Everyone

After the sex, everyone returns to the dinner table. Bob is promoted and a peachy pie is served all around. Quincy, who has now been cut into pieces in a clever reintroduction of the knife that once sliced her, is symbolically consumed by the guests.

Marla quietly motions to Quincy that she has a flake of crust on her chin, right where the cum sometimes lands. A sexual covenant links them now and the audience knows that Quincy will mature under Marla’s tutelage.

Sister-Stepmom and daughter ready to roll.

Sisters or Steps, take your pick, ready to roll.

Later when Bob discovers the girls in bed together (there is an earlier fauxcest sex scene between them that reinforces Marla’s status as Quincy’s sister prostitute and a mother substitute), Marla pleads for his understanding. “We can be a family,” she says in an offer that elevates her beyond what Bob deserves.

Still refusing to “see,” Daddy stares at his own failures and blames Quincy. “Until we finally fuck, you’re just going to keep ruining my life, aren’t you.” She smiles with the knowledge that if she bends over, Marla will be there to validate her actions . . . in a sexual romp that is not really among kin.

Just as we see in the first film when Quincy beds Dale, who is the bully now?

In this duel of bullies, Bob blinks and collapses, clutching his heart. A cardiac episode, we assume, because Skow has prepared us with a well placed hint. Bob is a smoker.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Daddy’s Girl 95, Part Two: My Daddy Deserves Better

by Rich Moreland, September 2015

Anyone in the film business knows that sequels are risky investments and often fall short of the original. In the case of B Skow’s Daddy’s Girls 2, we have an exception.

Skow has the devilish habit of leaving his plot lines unresolved, in effect persuading the viewer to reach his own conclusions. This is particularly true for Control and The Gardner, two excellent films previously reviewed on this blog.

With the Daddy’s Girls sequel, Skow fills in the blanks from the opening act and leaves the door ajar for yet another film which I hope he will consider.

*          *          *

SFGF-DaddiesGirls2-frontThe Daddy Complex

Much different from the hopeful, airy beginning of Daddy’s Girls, the sequel begins with the malevolent assault on Quincy. The viewer follows Samantha through the open window and into the violence she creates. Skow’s camera handles the chaos with quick brutal stabs. Right eye bloodied, Quincy is terrorized; the audience is left reeling.

What happens next is the shocker. Gina bursts in to rescue Quincy, leaving Bob alone with Samantha. Instead of fighting the moment, they have a lustful go at each other. The sex is as nasty and sharp as Samantha’s knife and includes anal (a nice follow-up from the cane fetish in the first movie). A willing participant in her own degradation, Samantha is down and dirty, smiling, moaning, and loving every minute of her passion for Bob.

Gina returns unexpectedly . . . and we later learn of the divorce that ensues.

Six months pass and Quincy is away in therapy. Her right eye victimized by an avenger’s slash, she lamely seeks some sort of redemption. But temptation forever looms.

This becomes the central theme of Daddy’s Girls 2.

As Samantha did in the first film, Quincy returns home after her initial treatment. The reaction from dad is unexpected. Bob is withholding his affection, Quincy tells her therapist, and has plans to marry his prostitute turned mistress, Marla.

Samantha

Samantha

A petulant Quincy speaks of her now gone but not forgotten mother in a way that also indicts Marla. Her therapist, Tom, listens.

“He was mine, not hers,” she says angrily.

At this point, Skow manipulates the father issue into an ageism fetish that features other daddies. Quincy will compete with Marla for Bob while older men will pursue her Daddy’sGirl95 persona, complicating the question of just who are daddy’s girls?

Open Legs

Quincy has a thing for “mature” guys; it’s a coping mechanism to battle her self-esteem issues. During her sessions with Doctor Tom, she sits with her legs spread and at one point puts her feet on his chair as they talk. He admits an interest in her and she wears a pouty face that would make every cam girl proud.

What moves the narrative along is the therapy set-up. Though the first film establishes the Freudian “Father Complex,” the treatment session is not psychoanalytical in method where the psychiatrist sits behind the patient so as not to distract her unconscious thoughts. Instead, Tom uses the confrontational style of Albert Ellis’ Rational-Emotive Therapy. The doctor and patient sit opposite each other. Tom demands that Quincy answer rapid fire questions to bring out her true feelings.

As Freud predicted, the doctor becomes a father figure, igniting another version of daddy issues.

Quincy prepares for his load.

Thoughts about her father while working on Allen.

Proof is evident when Quincy talks about Allen, played by Seth Gamble, a boy her own age with whom Bob is encouraging a relationship. The Quincy/Allen pairing isn’t clicking (though Allen and Quincy will have sex later) because, Quincy says, the only way she can “swallow his load” is to think about her father.

While Quincy deals with her therapy, Bob is readying Marla for the family setting. Marla is his new daddy’s girl, clearly noted when she mentions to him that she was quite young when Quincy was born. They are almost the same age, a vital point in the film.

Each time the sessions fill with tension, a bell rings to signal the end of the hour. The build-up is an effective touch because Quincy will take on a special treatment with Tom to scratch the itch of her daddy desires.

Our Father

Skow uses Biblical suggestions to reinforce Quincy’s hope to be “a good girl again.” Of course, her sincerity is questionable. As she reads a Bible, she resists the desire to reach for her crotch in an all too shallow moment. Perhaps, the “Our Father” part got her juices flowing.

The pictures

The Faces

Pardon another Biblical offering here. Remember the faces in Samantha’s bedroom mentioned in the first film? Perhaps in the second drawing, Skow is reminding the audience that nuns are “married” to God, the ultimate Father figure.

On an occasion when Quincy refers to Marla as a prostitute, Tom injects Jesus and Mary Magdalene as an example of forgiveness, but the viewer gets the idea it’s merely a one size fits all comment. It does, however, bring up a critical part of the story: the emergence of Marla.

Once a Whore Always a Whore

Despite her whining and sanctimonious complaints, Quincy is about to get a stepmother who, she insists, is “a whore and my dad deserves better and so do I.” Laughable irony because Quincy’s own self-creation as Daddy’sGirl95 enables her sexual frolics with all her daddies and even her stepmother-in-waiting, as Skow eventually reveals.

Despite her life-threatening attack, Quincy is not tempered and remains instantly judgmental of Bob’s other women.

“Once a whore, always a whore,” she pompously declares of Marla. But the most revealing moment of the film happens when Marla tries to reach out to Quincy.

Marla

Marla

Resisting Marla’s kindness when she knocks on her bedroom door, Quincy asks for Bob. He’s “at the office” Marla replies and Quincy lowers the boom right then.

Chuckling, she fires a barb through the closed door. Bob used those very words on “my mom when he was out cheating with you,” she shouts, then picks up her Bible.

Marla is stunned.

The revelation of the real daddy’s girls is just beginning.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Daddy’s Girl 95, Part One: The Goodneighbor

by Rich Moreland, September 2015

This is the wrap up Daddy’s Girls, a product of Girlfriends Films and director B Skow. As I indicated with the first installment, these posts represent only one interpretation of a film that is far deeper in meaning and imagery than I’ve touched upon here.

*          *          *

Jerk off Babe

Bob’s daughter Quincy uses her Daddy’sGirl95 avatar to promote her webcam identity as a “jerk off babe.” Posing as “barely legal” with her schoolgirl outfits, Quincy is hardly a juvenile and shows a biting nastiness that festers beneath her daughter facade.

Like the film itself, Quincy is hard to pin down. She tells her mother to “fuck off” and sweetly talks to her daddy.  She is the personified bully who verbally assaults Samantha, “you took my daddy now I’m gonna take you . . . you shouldn’t take what isn’t yours,” before sexually ravaging her. The whole show is live on Quincy’s cell phone for Goodneighbor51’s pleasure.

On one hand, Quincy mirrors the dysfunctional families in this charade while challenging their character on the other. She is noticed, yes, but too often dismissed with the hope that she will blend into the background like the pastel imagery that surrounds her.

As the story progresses, Quincy increasingly orchestrates the action, particularly in the final sex scene with Dale whom she believes to be her biological father. It is a metaphorical revenge “killing,” so to speak.

She accuses him of being “the pedophile that’s been jacking off to his best friend’s daughter,” reminding Dale he’s now had sex with his best friend’s wife and daughter. Essentially, Quincy sees herself as a daughter of two fathers, one she desires and the other she loathes. It’s ugly in tone, like her taking of Samantha.

 

Quincy and Dale

Quincy and Dale

Overcome with wrath and punching Dale into unconsciousness, Quincy is immediately remorseful and calls for her “father figure” to come to the rescue.

Conveniently, the mask-wearing Bob is in the adjacent bedroom, doing the deed with his hired playmate Marla. Earlier in the film when he was having performance issues, Marla put on sunglasses, called him “daddy” and his arousal skyrocketed. No problem, covering the eyes covers the perversion which is also “covered” in her bill. Everyone pretends and “sees” nothing.

On the surface, the contrast between the daddies is obvious. Bob remains healthy; Dale is dying. But the rest is muddled because both daddies are sexually tainted. Both desire younger women with Dale’s being the online variety while Bob can’t let go of his lust for Samantha.

On the other hand, Quincy’s longing for Bob, whom she knows is not her real father and therefore fair game, won’t go away. To complicate matters, he is the manifestation of the larger “Father Complex” for both Samantha and Quincy.

Both girls are a contrast of desire and anger. Sam directs her disgust toward Bob for abandoning her and bitterly reminds him that she wore knee socks and called him daddy when they did the dirty. Quincy, as pointed out above, takes out her rage with a father rape of sorts driven by Dale’s past dalliance with her mother.

Odile and Darla Crane

Odile and Darla Crane

In the meantime, Dale’s wife Iris (played by Darla Crane) finds the “jerk off babe” and her unwilling and unsighted playmate on his phone. . . a secret revealed. Devastation follows and she rushes to Gina, Bob’s wife (played impressively by Odile), for solace. To soothe the moment, Skow throws in a MILF scene between two well-respected adult veterans.

Seeing Everything

In the closing scenes of the film, the families gather together and there are apologies all around. Sincerity floats over the room, but doesn’t really land anywhere. This sorry lot is a collection of “masks” vainly trying to make things well enough to survive. Quincy becomes the chastened child and the other “adults” lamely tuck away their past temptations to bask in the bright patio gathering.

With cane in hand, Samantha, the narrative’s emerging avenging angel, excuses herself. Wearing an actual mask, her sunglasses, she remarks that she “sees” everything and everyone can do better than ask forgiveness. It’s a criticism that carries religious implications.

On the set for Bob and Dale in hopeful reconciliation

On the set for Bob and Dale in hopeful reconciliation

Dale and Bob reconcile with Dale pontificating about their relationship, telling Bob to step up and become a father by abandoning his mask and self-pity. Bob is properly contrite, giving Dale a pass he doesn’t deserve. Dale has his own concealed perversion as Quincy’s Goodneighbor51 customer who suggests she meet him at a motel or give him a show. Quincy, who hides behind her online facade, opts for the latter and, as mentioned above,  sexually attacks Samantha for his entertainment, not knowing who he really is. Of course, circumstances now reveal the Quincy/Samantha scene to be an outright perversion between sisters, but no one seems to quite get that.

But who are the girls, really? Biological daughters incestuously entertaining their father (Dale) or metaphorical possessions of a Lolita freak (Bob)?

Always Close the Window

In the final scene, Bob tucks Quincy into bed as a father would his little girl. In contrast to Samantha’s single bed, unwelcoming to a partner but subject to violation, Quincy’s is a double, an invitation to just about any “daddy” or “mom” as we will see in sequel to this classic, Daddy’s Girls 2.

She asks Bob if Samantha or mom will ever forgive them. He responds with “sometimes you just have to live with things,” a sharp lesson Quincy will learn in the next film. Preparing to let her sleep, Bob mentions she’ll be going to the facility in the morning, implying this her last night with her parents.

The bed is awash in pastels, pink, brown, green, blue, soft colors, typical of Quincy, a sinful little girl blended into the landscape like the title frame at the film’s opening.

Before he leaves, Bob asks if he should close the window. Quincy wants to feel the breeze, she says. Folding her hands in a prayerful mode only St. Agnes could truly appreciate, Daddy’sGirl95 is likely hoping for a “do over” in the manner of kids on the playground who haven’t grasped the meaning of disappointment and failure. With eyes closed, her smile is sweet and innocent.

Like Samantha who earlier lay awake in her bed, Quincy now is waiting. But imagery takes an odd turn here. Quincy is transformed into the peaceful resolution of a corpse in an open casket funeral. Perhaps it is fitting, after all . . . metaphorical death and resurrection await a new more visible mask.

The camera pulls back a bit and the open window appears to the right. A knife is laid on the sill, then a cane. After a pause, a with face concealed by sunglasses emerges from the night riding a most evil cool breeze.

*          *          *

The cast of that brings to life this fabulous film.

The cast of that brings to life this fabulous film.

I deliberately left out the identity of the central actors who raised this movie to perfection, preferring instead to honor them at the conclusion of this analysis. They are Riley Reid (Quincy), Maddy O’Reilly (Samantha), Alec Knight (Bob), and Evan Stone (Dale). As referenced above, they are ably supported by Odile and Darla Crane. Rarely in an adult film does a combination of performances mark such excellence.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Daddy’s Girl 95, Part One: The Scream

by Rich Moreland, September 2015

Our interpretation of Daddy’s Girls continues with a look at imagery.

For clarification, my thanks to Girlfriends Films for providing the stills used in this series on Daddy’s Girls and Daddy’s Girls 2.

*          *          *

Two Faces

B Skow is no stranger to color and in Daddy’s Girls he uses pastels to underline his themes. Take a look at the drawings in Samantha’s bedroom.

On the wall above her nightstand are hand drawn dual faces looking straight ahead (as does the visually disabled Samantha). Incidentally, her bed is a single, room for only one, an ironic contrast to Quincy’s which we will see later. The bed is, however, angled into the corner like a phallus in the act of penetration, a comment on Samantha’s still active sexual desire.

Samantha and Quincy and the Faces.

Samantha and Quincy and the Faces.

The faces are of the same girl. On the left, she has eyes without pupils; on the right, her eyes are animated and her expression is surrounded by a cut out background that could pass for a nun’s wimple and veil.

The first face is stiff, lifeless, and creepy; shadowing and colors light up the second. Both have the same enigmatic smile.

Shades of yellows and muted blue-greens shape the room. Of interest are the pictures to the right, mountings covered with a dark cloth or shroud, a reminder of Samantha’s pain and her suicidal thoughts.

More broadly, the faces are indicative of the story’s message. In order to “see,” the characters must break through the collective pretenses that hide their secrets and perversions. Discarding the masks they present to others, the first face, and emerging from a cesspool of lies and feigned affections, the second face, is the heart of the Daddy’s Girls saga.

As an added touch, Skow positions Samantha’s cane and sunglasses under the pictures to remind the viewer that she is the only person who really “sees.”

And a Mask

Bob’s daughter Quincy has her own mask behind which her fetish thrives. She leaves a note in the bathroom for him, “I love you daddy” with the word love illustrated with a heart. It’s drawn in the manner of a four-year-old with the sun, stick figures, a tree, and a house (an arrow points from “daddy” down to the house).  The swing set is a clever addition to lure daddy into extracurricular sex (remember Freud’s assertion that a girl who dreams of her father in control of motion, such as pushing her in a swing, has undeniable sexual implications).

The Note

The Note

Discovering the note, Bob slips it back under the mirror and looks at his reflection. Placing his fingers over part of his face, he leaves space for his eyes as if he were wearing a mask, which of course he literally does at times throughout the film.

Skow informs us that Bob puts on a theatrical domino in his play acting sex because of all the girls Bob carnally explores, not one is an actual daughter. To be a Daddy’s girl means to be young. Bob’s Lolita fetish is more a May-December sexual shenanigans illustrated by flings with hookers and his impending marriage in Daddy’s Girls 2. Both films are spin-offs of fauxest (phony incest) with Bob the big dog of the action.

Bob behind his own mask.

Bob behind his own mask.

When he has sex with his prostitute Marla, Bob dons his costume accessory and she wants to know who he really is, though by this time the fetish has become a part of the routine. Quincy comes up in conversation and Marla assures Bob that some girls have a daddy complex. Quite true. In psychoanalysis, Freud called it the “Father Complex” and used the Oedipus and Electra versions to sort out the difference between male and female sexual longings. Modern thinkers associate Freud’s ideas to “Father Hunger” in which the daughter seeks affirmations to boost her self-esteem.

The mask, however, exists on more than one level. It can hide illicit sex and Bob’s Lolita hang-ups, but it’s also the calling card that links Bob with his Samantha substitutes.

Ironically, when he is with Samantha he has no need to wear his mask because she cannot “see” him for what he is, or so he hopes. To put it another way, she is hidden behind a veil of blindness which weakens her resistance. As a result, Bob bears responsibility for wrecking her emotionally. His selfish desire to sate himself at her expense is itself a mask.

Using Marla as a sympathetic ear, Bob confesses his affair with Sam. “Does your friend know?” she asks, speaking of Dale. Bob says no, whereupon Marla asserts, “I bet she tried to kill herself.”A semi-panicked Bob denies that insight, but later concedes the homecoming party for Samantha will be difficult because he still lusts for her.

The scene enhances Marla’s role as the unofficial “therapist” in this first film (there will be a supposedly real one in the second).

“I think I have just what you need,” she says, and pulls out her sunglasses.

Marla

Marla

“Hi Bob, remember me?” Marla caresses his face with her fingers, he calls her “Sam,” and rough sex follows.

This scene sets up the rest of the story, establishing Marla as a voice of honesty in a role that reflects the Greek chorus used centuries ago to accompany the audience through a drama. She emerges as the story’s most admirable character. There is another in the second film, the prostitute Oralee who becomes the new hostess of Bob’s sexual obsession when Marla’s status changes.

The Scream

At times B Skow blankets the film’s brilliant colors with shadows to cover the secrets that mute the joy of Samantha’s return. After he learns his friend Dale has incurable cancer, Bob lies awake in bed. Beside him is his wife Gina, face packed in neon green mud (her personal mask). He is on his back; she on her side. Both are in shadows broken by stark lighting and have tears of guilt running down their cheeks.

Each has broken a trust in the name of the illicit.

There are companion shots of Samantha lying awake, fixated straight ahead with a softness that combats the chilling rigor mortis of her personal tragedy, and Dale in his bed, trying to negotiate his own mortality.

It is a masterful, powerful moment in Daddy’s Girls. The contrast of color and light is strident while contradictorily embedded in silence. Skow wants the viewer to feel the isolation of each character, a reminder of the Expressionist terror of Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

The Hookah

The irony of Daddy’s Girls is that the characters have allowed themselves, by way of their oxymoronic voiceless screams, to be put where they are. As Dale tells Bob when he first discovered Samantha’s suicidal tendencies, “You know Sammy . . . keeps everything inside. I never know what’s going on with her.”

Amid this selfish and grasping account of smug perversions, everyone is hiding something. To borrow a thought from Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, an individual’s public persona and his inner shadow represent the contrasts between what we see and what we don’t in ways that are counterpoints of each other. Skow uses shadows and light to illustrate Jung’s insight.

Yet there is an exception. Quincy is not in shadows in her bed. She’s too busy with her webcam, masturbating in front of her computer. Of all the players in the film, she is the most complex, a temptress who is abused, a controller who is also a beggar. Her colors are subdued pastels and she dresses to play her part: a little girl in knee socks, pigtails, and shorts. Nothing seemingly harsh for maybe the harshest character who by her very nature hides nothing . . . except when the computer is on.

The Harem

The Harem

One final note before we move to the last installment of Daddy’s Girls. A painting shows up periodically throughout the film. It appears to be a Victorian era representation of an Eastern harem, naked women gathered around a pool with pleasure devices on hand. Appropriate because there are characters in this story who would prefer simple frivolity and the soothing water of the hookah.

Everyone would feel better if they could only blow a little smoke into the illusion that is Daddy’s Girls.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Daddy’s Girl 95, Part One: The White Cane

by Rich Moreland, September 2015

Daddy’s Girls is a brilliantly scripted classic in a film genre that often minimizes the depth of its artistic talent. The director is the incomparable B Skow. The story is the work of David Stanley.

*          *          *

Daddy_s_Girls_5240c56d5c6fdNever reluctant to push the envelope with new ideas, Girlfriends Films is widely recognized as a company on the cutting edge of adult film. According to the company’s September 2015 newsletter, filmmaker B Skow is introducing an adult film innovation called Progressive Porn. Part of this game-changing experience is Dogme 69, a cinematic movement that began twenty years ago with Danish filmmakers. Emphasizing the traditional value of theatrical performance centered on well-constructed themes, the film making style minimizes special effects while elevating storytelling. In other words, make it clean in the manner of a bygone era when superb narratives and the acting that energized them ruled the day.

Characterized as “a new style” that promotes “intellectual, story-driven, anti-blockbuster features,” Skow’s Progressive Porn is stepping up in an industry that recently lost one of its pioneering film makers, Candida Royalle, who helped to shape the feature as we know it today.

What drew me into the Progressive Porn loop was a single word: intellectual. But then again, I knew this about the soft-spoken Skow, all I needed was an example of the depth he could achieve with his artistic eye. My nominee? Daddy’s Girls.

As a result, this post and the ones that follow are less a film review than an analysis and a partial one at that due to the limits of space. I have only touched upon the many complexities this film presents.

For reviews of Daddy’s Girls, I encourage the reader to look at Jared Rutter’s excellent commentary for XBIZ and a similar article posted by AVN. A synopsis of the story is also presented on those sites.

I’m not a Prostitute

Daddy’s Girls is a tale of counterpoint and contrasts that begins with the title and the small matter of the apostrophe. Obviously a daddy has more than one girl. Bob has a daughter Quincy and Dale has one named Samantha. Do both daddies have more than one daughter? Possibly and here’s why.

The story is a maze of probabilities encircling two girls of next door neighbors. The first, Samantha, cannot physically see but apparently “sees” pretty well, retaining the last fragment of honesty in a saga of two morally bankrupt families. The second, Quincy, is an immature Lolita-type whose childish sassiness and pouting conceals her very grown-up sexual fantasies. To be fair, both girls are plagued by past events they cannot escape. They are victims more than victimizers, itself a disturbing contrast.

Quincy as Daddy'sGirl95

Quincy as Daddy’sGirl95

The narrative leaves the viewer with a morass of secrets, adultery, and pedophilia. Bob seduces Samantha (the reason she tried to commit suicide and was sent away), and is haunted by the forbidden concealed with sunglasses and, as we will see, pigtails and plaid skirts. Marla, Bob’s reason for “going to the office,” brings out his fetish in their pay-as-you-go rompings (Bob and wife Gina have long ago abandoned each other emotionally), but more on that later.

In the meantime, Dale is naturally protective of Samantha. However, under the online account of Goodneighbor 51 he is getting off on Quincy via her webcam avatar, Daddy’s Girl 95. She, of course, doesn’t know this particular fan is her neighbor. If that doesn’t muddle the story enough, Quincy believes she is sired by Dale (her mother secretly confessed her affair with him years ago) and raised by Bob.

Denials are everywhere. For example, Quincy’s mother rails at her about the webcam to which Quincy retorts, “Fuck you mom.” When Bob intervenes, Quincy whines, “She called me a prostitute.” Later when online with “51” who wants to meet her at a motel, she proclaims, “I’m not a prostitute.”

Perhaps.

The White Cane

When watching this movie, pay close attention to the opening shot of the title frame. There’s enough information in it to prepare the viewer for a sordid tale.

Iris, Dale’s wife, is bringing Samantha back from the facility, her home for the last three months. The car is traveling a straight country road toward the viewer. Presented in one-point perspective, the road’s narrow top half represents the past with the wider bottom part the present.

In the upper left hand corner is the film’s title positioned closer to the past than the present. It’s blended with the landscape, almost unnoticed so as to be missed, unrecognized like the traumas of Daddy’s Girls. The shot is colorful and bright, a contrast to Samantha, whose vision is silenced.

Incidentally, there are two primitive borders along the road’s left side. One is a series of landscaping posts driven into the ground, the other a stony path. They are also in perspective and divided by a fence, as the two families are likewise separated. The posts are phallic symbols penetrating mother earth and the pathway is the illusion of affection that creates.

Samantha arrives home.

Samantha arrives home.

When Samantha arrives home, she is seen walking a path with her “white cane” in hand, sight for the unsighted. The landscape is splashed with vivid hues to remind the viewer that Sammy’s perception of color and its energy is internal.

Bob in Samantha's room "welcoming" her home.

Bob in Samantha’s room “welcoming” her home.

Later Bob has sex with Samantha as a “renewal” of their past lustful encounters and the cane becomes another post-like invasion. Rather than guide Samantha, Bob uses the object to penetrate her, first requiring that she lick the tip to ready it for action. Her external dependency becomes her internal stimulator.

By the way, Samantha strikes out at Bob before weakly succumbing to his advances. “It’s just like old times,” she says, “you’re disgusting” and reminds him he took her virginity while she slept, then “rewarded” her by ending their affair. Despite protestations, she craves the sex just as she will do in the second film.

Thus the conflict of the seen and unseen in Daddy’s Girls is announced via contrast. But to get the proper picture, juxtapositions must be further illustrated.

That takes us to second installment of this analysis.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Leaner Message

by Rich Moreland, March 2015

A statewide version of L.A. county’s Measure B condom law is likely headed for the 2016 California ballot. As a result, shooting in Nevada and Florida is on the adult industry radar, though opinions are mixed about migrating out of state. Going underground is possible for some producers, especially smaller labels who can’t afford the enforcement fees.

A legal seminar at the recent AVN show and Attorney Clyde DeWitt’s the “sky is not falling” February essay for XBIZ have contributed to the discussion. Obviously, constitutional questions loom should the measure be approved.

A conversation with two of the most respected directors in the business today, Girlfriends Films‘ Dan O’Connell and B Skow, offers a front line perspective on the issue.

Asked about the extra cost of the shooting under the proposal, neither director is overly concerned about the money spent. On the other hand, the restrictions imposed are troublesome.

Dan O'Connell Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Dan O’Connell
Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

“I’m not worried about the dollar part of it,” Dan says. “I’m worried about requirements that would be prohibitive for us.” Girlfriends’ founder mentions shooting and location permits, producer cost for talent testing, and the onerous provision he calls “a snitch fee.”

“You slip up and you can get fined. The person who turns you in can get twenty-five percent of whatever your fine is,” and it “doesn’t have to be a performer, could be anyone, anywhere.”

Snitching is troublesome because performers who haven’t been booked for a while might get “vindictive.” To illustrate their concern, Skow mentions that he gets “uncomfortable” when a performer comes up and asks, “‘how come you don’t use me anymore?'”

Adult entertainment is a supply and demand business. Directors have to juggle shoots to keep people working. Too many girls and a limited number of bookings, something performers often fail to realize.

If the proposal gets on the ballot, a recent poll indicates that over seventy percent of California voters would approve it. Should that happen, location becomes the impending issue hovering over everyone.

“I don’t see us shooting in California,” Dan says, but he fears the AIDS Health Foundation, the force behind the referendum, would follow the industry wherever it goes. On the other hand, Skow thinks many studios will go underground and that’s costly for everyone. From the state’s point of view, he adds, the “whole campaign will be a waste,” a loss of jobs and money.

However, there may be a ray of sunshine in this political storm; a needed shake-up might occur, a weeding out process that leads to a more efficient industry. In other words, the number of shoots might drop, but the ones produced would be better.

B Skow Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

B Skow
Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Skow asserts the “creativity” put into film making would improve with the added benefit of having “a smaller pool of performers that you know and trust.” In his business utopia, a select group of stars reminiscent of porn’s past would “make most of the movies” like in the old Hollywood system. “People would start following them, just like they follow celebrities,” he says.

Returning to a more intimate talent pool means the business becomes “more corporate, more organized.” Unfortunately the fledgling studios might suffer, but for the industry as a whole, Skow explains, the “big companies” would cultivate a “pool of trust.”

On another matter, the Girlfriends’ director brings up a personal concern: much of the creativity in porn goes unrecognized. He mentions the AVN awards show, but in truth, it could be any similar gala the industry sponsors.

“There should be ten or twelve awards,” Skow says, “then it would mean something. A lot of people in this industry do some pretty cool stuff, but it gets washed away.”

The leaner message is really this. The industry could benefit from downsizing. Keep the best performers regularly employed by the strongest companies and reward movie making for its art and not its quantity.

In the long run, this may be an unanticipated windfall from the current political turmoil. Rather than threaten the industry’s existence, the condom initiative may make it stronger.

*          *          *

B Skow’s thoughts on a leaner industry are shared by others in the business. In his book, The Unsexpected Story (2012), Darren Roberts examines the state of adult film today and references remarks by Jessica Drake and Barrett Blade that reinforce Skow’s view. Drake is thankful for her early years in adult film. “‘I was lucky to enter [the adult entertainment industry] when I did. There was a very old Hollywood feel about everything, and the glamour and excitement was there.”

The past revisited is always possible. Barrett Blade believes that “an industry-wide movement away from the production of low quality content” will result in a “renewal” for porn and mentions that some studios are focusing on “lean principles” that have “allowed many companies to ‘cut the fat.'” Part of this change could result in a reduced performer pool and higher production values.

Only time will tell.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Celtic Cross: An Analysis of B Skow’s Control

by Rich Moreland, March 2015

 

A cool California night and Skin, a collared “slave,” sits in a lounge chair smoking a cigarette. Concern blankets her face; her situation is not playing by the rules. Wrapped in shawl, a girl named Katie approaches hesitatingly.

“Who are you?” Skin says.

Shy and defensive, Katie blurts out. “I haven’t done anything.”

“That’s not what I asked you!”

Katie is a voyeur and Skin is on to her surreptitious peeks in windows. “So you’re a little pervert, huh?”

Shamed by the stinging indictment, Katie sits for a moment. Her interest in Skin is piqued. The “slave” chats about repressed desires and how she let hers “out to play.” Otherwise “they would eat me alive,” she says, consuming her with shame, guilt, self-loathing, “things that made me hate myself.”

Katie suggests that some women take money for sex. Skin responds, “prostitutes charge, I don’t.”

The amazed girl asks if Skin is a slave “for free?”

A sly, wicked smile dances around Skin’s devilish eyes. “I can be whatever I need to be . . . for the right man.”

“Aren’t you afraid he’ll hurt you?”

Skin leans toward Katie. “He’s not the one in control, I am.”

Katie is taken aback and Skin moves on the opening.

“I’m just trying to help you be free to find happiness, be who you really are.”

With a feeble attempt at indignity, Katie retorts, “I know who I am.” Tightening her shawl around the body and soul she buries within her own brand of submission, Katie draws her knees against her chest.

“Not yet you don’t,” Skin proclaims and walks away. “Stay warm.”

*          *         *

The passage above is the scripted opening for a review I planned for B Skow’s film Control available at Girlfriends Films here.

At least that was the idea before I got immersed in a story so intriguing that I abandoned the review, preferring an analysis instead. So bear with me and read on.

Control_544ac195aeb99

*          *          *

When critics asked Henry James the meaning of his short novel, The Turn of Screw, he ducked the question by encouraging readers to interpret the story to their own satisfaction. In truth, James suggested that his tale of ghosts and demonic possession resides in the mind of the beholder.

B Skow’s Control is James revisited. It’s illusion and defied logic that is clever and disarming, a classic from a director who is quirky, imaginative, and full of fantastic distortions and implications.

I’ve interpreted this film, however inadequately, and encourage you to get see it for yourself. Bear in mind, there are elements in the story I’ve deliberately omitted to shorten this already too long account. You’ll probably find something I should have included. Not a problem, write a comment and let me know. You’re just as good at this as I am.

The Narrative

Control is the story of Alex (Scott Lyons) who has a “slave” (Skin Diamond) from whom he demands words of love. Next door, a withdrawn young woman named Katie (Claire Robbins) disapproves of her mother’s profession as an exotic dancer. Mom (Darla Crane) complicates matters by bringing men home for sex. Despite her moralistic disdain, Katie is a sexually repressed voyeur whose fantasies are enticed by her neighbors’ kinky relationship.

Eventually Skin convinces Katie to explore her own sexuality and join her in the pleasures of serving a master. Success occurs abetted by Katie’s deviant awakening with Alex’s creepy friend Martin (Kurt Lockwood). The sex is fantastic, Katie claims, though it is part of Alex’s revenge against Skin. In the end, Katie replaces Skin as Alex’s “alpha submissive” and they marry.

Simple enough? Not exactly.

Through the Looking Glass

The camera frames the story through the looking glass, so to speak. In the first sex scene between Alex and Skin, the filming is straight on with their reflections in the background. A later scene in which Darla comes home to find her daughter irritable and pouty, their conversation is shot in the mirror. Katie criticizes Darla’s sex worker profession, but in the end they exchange “I love yous,” an oddity considering the film’s final scene. After Darla’s sex scene with a boyfriend (Alec Knight), Katie decides to move out. Her packing is shot via a mirror. Mother and daughter are opposites in the mirror, Darla’s sexuality vanilla, Katie’s kinky, as we find out.

mom brings home a boyfriend. Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

Mom brings home a boyfriend.
Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

This is a story of reversals and illusions.

Windows in the film serve as portals into the soul. A favorite Skow technique is to preface a scene change with shots of three windows outside the house because relationships in the story focus on two trios: Alex, Skin, and Katie, then Alex, Katie, and Darla.

Skin initially encounters Katie via windows. Easy enough, Katie is a female Peeping Tom and Skin turns the tables on her. Then there is the kitchen door when Darla brings Alec home. It has three horizontal windows and the bottom one is open so Darla can reach in and enter the house. It’s a foreboding sign for the end of the film when Darla’s tables get violently spun around and escape is thwarted.

Fetish of Another Sort

Black and white dominate Control. In the opening scene, Alex and his African-American “slave” have sex in a white dominated room with black BDSM accouterments hanging everywhere. Red is mixed in to complement the scene in BDSM fashion. Incidentally, there are red and white flowers in full bloom that also appear in the film, precursors of orgasms that will center on Katie.

Skn Diamond Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

Skin Diamond
Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

Keep in mind that metaphorically blood is part of the film’s inherent meaning and sets up a fetish of another sort.

The first sex scene is racial in its implications. To further that theme black coffee, diluted with white sugar and milk, illustrates the issues between Skin and Alex, who equates his “slave” with a “prize pony” he wins at the fair, diminishing her humanity. He clearly commodifies women. In her angry outburst near the film’s conclusion, Skin growls at him using the term “boy,” a racial epithet in reverse (remember the mirrors). Like a pony, she is kept in a shed.

In a fascinating touch, there is a small black and white dog running around outside visible through a window veiled with muslin. Later when Alex and Katie declare their “love” for each other, an old dog sleeps on the stoop beside a small Buddha. Alex once again references his new “prize pony.” Beside the dog is a worn out tennis ball that suddenly disappears—curious, but not without meaning. Well-used toys are often abandoned when their novelty fades.

The Brick Wall

Two scenes focus on an interior brick wall that appears to be the backside of a fireplace that visually blocks part of a raised living room behind it. In the first scene Skin is on hands and knees scrubbing the floor in the foreground; above her on the wall is a large Celtic or Irish Cross commonly found in graveyards, an image that appears elsewhere in the film. Made out of metal, likely a bronze alloy, it contains a heart-shaped imprint in its middle, unusual in these kinds of crosses.

Later when Skin is slave training Katie, they’re in front of the same wall. Comfortable furniture seals off the elevated room that had been open during Skin’s earlier scene. The arrangement forms a neat enclosed area and suggests an eerie sense of family, another motif in this film.

The brick wall and the cross. Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

The brick wall and the cross.
Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

Most important, there are metaphorical walls throughout the story that seal characters off from each other. For example, Alex and Katie create barriers with their shared mutual resentments and irritations when it comes to sexual satisfaction. Voyeurism is Katie’s and isolation is Alex’s, with Skin’s free-flowing carnality the ultimate victim.

Marriage and Divorce?

Obsessed with Skin’s refusal to tell him that she loves him, Alex suspects that Skin plans to use Katie as a replacement slave. An exasperated Skin insists that the girl is a “gift” that will make him happy. In some BDSM circles, “alpha subs” can be predators, seeking new girls for their masters. At first that seems to be the case, but as always, illusion is at work.

Skin confronts Katie while Alex looks on. Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

Skin confronts Katie while Alex looks on.
Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

A maudlin Alex whines a bit, reminding Skin about his ex-wife who didn’t know him. He wants Skin to love him and fulfill his needs. Alex later discovers that Katie is indeed a decoy, or so the viewer is led to believe. Here the plot is swept down into an eddy of mystery. Though Skin gives every indication she is playing a role she enjoys, her relationship with Alex is vague. This explains why some of their sex scenes are concealed by objects in the room, a rarity for a porn film.

In one scene, Skin’s head is below the edge of the table as she blows Alex and later their bodies are likewise partially hidden during sex. Using a mirror-like reversal, Katie later pulls the sheet over her face as Alex watches her perform on him.

Interestingly, Skin is portrayed as a scrub woman and maid, the black domestic. What is she erasing or trying to clean up? Could it be her history with Alex or a comment on the power imbalance of black-white relations, particularly sexual ones, in our cultural history. Or maybe it is something more ominous.

Finally there is the shocker, a glimpse of Skin, the career real estate agent, coming home after a long day. She kisses her husband, whose face is unseen but speaks with Alex’s voice, then goes into a bedroom to check on what may be a child. On the wall next to the door is a handmade poster with “Harmony” written in an adult’s hand using a child’s crayons. Is it a comment on the state of their marriage or the name of their child? Perhaps they have another slave? Is this a flashback? Are they divorced and playing an odd sexual game in real time?

It is possible, however, that Skin’s earlier remarks about her desires are revealed here. Perhaps she is still in the marriage with Alex, but they have moved it another level that satisfies her, but not him. In other words, she lets him “play” with his “prize pony” but he can never really tame it.

But what is she cleaning up with the scrubbing in front of the Celtic Cross? Maybe his past indiscretions or perhaps something else, because this narrative has a sinister underpinning.

Who is in Control?

The name of the film presents its greatest conundrum. Who is in control? On the surface, it seems Skin controls Alex, at least she thinks so, and Katie. Alex seeks control over everyone and Katie ends up controlling Skin, or at least she thinks so. Throw Darla in the mix and sorting things out gets more complicated. But from Skow’s perspective all of this is a ruse.

Control is about survival. One sex scene illustrates this point. Skin is in reverse cowgirl riding Alex, but it is not shown on camera. When his insistence that she announce her love gets out of hand, she bites a wooden serving spoon, gagging herself.

Katie. Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

Katie.
Photo courtesy of Girlfriends Films

“Say it,” he demands again and again. She refuses.

Incidentally, another version of the Celtic Cross lords over this scene and Katie watches through the window, mesmerized by the sexual fantasy playing out before her. After an internal cum shot, Skin walks away, Katie departs . . . the Cross remains.

Who is Skin, really? Early in the film, Alex puts her in bondage and hauls her around in a trailer. Is it part of the BDSM game Skin orchestrates or another wall between them, this time metallic?

There is something missing, of course . . . and it’s about that nagging image of the Cross.

The Illusion Explained

In in the late 1960s-early 1970s, Northern California was terrorized by the Zodiac Killer, whose identification was the Celtic Cross. He murdered couples by gunshot or stabbing. Their ages ran from the late teens to late twenties. One supposed victim, a twenty-five year old woman named Donna Lass, disappeared in 1970, never to be heard from again, an unsolved cold case. Her facial features and closed cropped hair are remarkably similar to Katie’s forty-five years later.

In one Zodiac attack, a survivor of a stab wound said the killer was dressed in all black with a white symbol resembling the Celtic Cross. Black, white, and blood red, the opening scene of the film.

In a perverse note sent to local Bay Area newspapers, the killer revealed that he was collecting slaves for his rebirth in paradise, noting that killing was better than getting his “rocks off with a girl.” Apparently sexually frustrated, he used his version of control to express his anger. To say the least, the Zodiac Killer hangs around in crime history like a scary illusion, even today.

This, I believe, is the heart of Skow’s film. The pieces fall into place. The terrorizing physical presence of the “killer” is introduced when Alex’s friend, Martin, bursts into the house through open French windows. But he is only half the “killer”, the other part is Alex, the “killer’s” patronizing, devious mind. The image is brought together when Martin confesses to the girls, “I’m one of those sex offender dudes. But you don’t want to know what for.” No, but we get the picture.

Kurt Lockwood Photo source unknown

Kurt Lockwood
Photo source unknown

Martin grabs Katie to degrade her in rape-like fashion. The perverse Katie is more than willing and later delightfully states it’s the best sex she’s ever had. But Martin’s thoughts are elsewhere. He says with a chill, “That knife is still on the table. I think I’ll go get it.”

 

Nobody can Control Anybody

After Alex marries Katie, Darla asks a fatal question, “Alex, what do you do?” Not good, because now Alex has a new little pervert to help him with his “job” collecting slaves. He is creating his Charles Manson-like “family.” Remember, there’s a bed in the shed and furniture neatly arranged in front of the Celtic Cross.

The film ends with a naked Darla in the slave shed poking her head out of a small, glassless window, no need for illusion now. Behind her is Katie and Alex restraining and choking her. We can only assume that Skin, whose bondage game of survival went awry, watches chained to the bed.

Once the Zodiac analysis is in place, the other oddities of the film come together. The hidden action in some of the sex scenes reminds the viewer of the killer’s sexual impotency and how the murder victims years ago wanted to hide their carnal escapades from public view. The word “Harmony” in crayon suggests the killer’s inner child cannot find peace.

The brick wall is what the police have had on their hands for decades and there are no windows to give them definitive answers. The years have passed and frisky dogs turn into old ones and sex crimes become cold cases difficult to decipher, like the partially hidden sex scenes in the film. Of course, it is all in the past and the tracks of crime are scrubbed away. Now everything is just a fading reflection.

In the final analysis, the killer’s perversity is his attempt to gain control over others and himself. But the viewer is reminded of Darla’s remark, “It’s just sex. Nobody can control anybody.” That is unless the ultimate exercise in dominance is death unresolved.

Skow thinks so and he shows it to us with a final image: a suspended angel, frozen in time, unable to ascend to paradise.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized