Too Naughty To Say No (1985) (Film and DVD Review)
Directed by Victor Nye
Starring Angel, Ginger Lynn, Lisa de Leeuw, Jamie Gillis
Release Date: April 1985
Adult film is an industry of eras. It began in the pre-DEEP THROAT era of dirty raincoats, back alley theaters, peep shows and anonymous performers desperately needing a bit of waxing. When DEEP THROAT burst on the scene and launched the era of “Porno Chic,” sex films came out of the closet and into something resembling the near-mainstream. As the late 1970’s and early 1980’s rolled in, big budget films with superb production values and top-notch talent became the rage, as did the “couples film.”
As the 1980’s met their mid-point, however, the gloss was quickly buffed away for quick-and-dirty wall-to-wall sexathons shot on the newly affordable medium of videotape. TOO NAUGHTY TO SAY NO falls rather haphazardly between those last two eras. It has neither the plot or production money of the early 80’s epics, nor is it a sleazefest of the video age. TOO NAUGHTY TO SAY NO quite charmingly walks the line between hot sex and humorous story, with a top shelf cast of porno regulars…most of whom would soon vanish from the scene.
In this, director Victor Nye’s feature debut, schoolgirl Betty (Angel) falls asleep while studying for her final exam. In her dreamy reverie she imagines having all the wild sexual adventures she has missed out on as the school’s resident goody two-shoes.
The plot is pencil-thin, of course, but there’s nothing more hilarious than a film opening on the voracious Lisa De Leeuw in full nun’s habit! The film is framed as one long dream sequence in the head of the virginal (ahem) Angel, then new to adult films and not yet the superstar she would become. Angel is quite good as the doe-eyed protagonist, as is Ginger Lynn as her more worldly BFF. The acting is rather ropey and the threadbare script doesn’t help much, but producer Suze Randall and director Nye knew the writing was on the wall and concentrated on the sex. That’s where the film comes up trumps…with a few caveats.
There is a surprising amount on non-consensual sex on display in this film. That sort of thing had fallen out of favor by this point but since the film is a dream sequence it brings to mind the theory that for people who are conditioned to see sex as sinful (as our Catholic schoolgirl protagonist certainly has been) one way to enjoy sex is to fantasize about being taken. Erica Jong-style theorizing aside, I doubt that was the filmmakers intention, but that notion does make the (VERY hot) sex scenes in this film much easier to, ahem, swallow.
One particularly notable scene is a threesome between Angel and famously bisexual hunks Paul Barresi and Rick (aka Jim) Cassidy. This scene gets a major bump in the heat department because the men aren’t afraid to talk to each other. Too often in threesomes involving two men and one woman the men seem to be trying very hard to forget the other man is present. That’s not a problem here. Angel seems to be having a whale of a time and the guys really seem to get off watching each other bone her silly.
Despite the film’s rather uncomfortable preoccupation with coercion (even fantasy necrophilia, yuck!) it does have its forward-thinking moments as well. In the final sex scene, Angel and Cody Nicole have a sapphic time in a car as the male cast of the film looks on, masturbating and eventually covering the windows with money shots. Quite daring for a genre predominately geared towards straight men. However, Suze Randall and Victor Nye did often like to include a little something for everyone.
Speaking of something for everyone, how about an orgy involving a sleazy director, a senator, a Nazi and a bishop?
The supporting cast is a who’s who of genre players, most of whom were soon to fade away as the video age took hold. Lisa De Leeuw, Eric Edwards, Jamie Gillis, Harry Reems and Michael Morrison were all familiar faces in the late 1970’s and decent actors to boot. All bar Gillis would taper off their appearances before fading to black. Some of the female cast (Heather Thomas, Raven, Lois Ayers, etc) would hang on for a few years before disappearing, but even Ginger Lynn was on the cusp of retiring by this stage.
TOO NAUGHTY TO SAY NO suffered in previous home releases, but the fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome have come to the rescue with two great releases of the film! Their standard DVD release features terrific restored picture and sound, scanned from the original 35mm negative. Also, this is the first time the film has appeared in widescreen on a home video release. The disc includes a wonderful commentary with husband-and-wife team of Suze Randall and Victor Nye who are always a treat to listen to. Suze is hilarious and pulls no punches in her assessment of her career and the many interesting characters that it has brought into her life. Vinegar Syndrome also included the film in HD on their limited edition 5 FILMS 5 YEARS VOLUME 1 set.
While TOO NAUGHTY TO SAY NO isn’t quite NEON NIGHTS or THE STORY OF JOANNA, it is a very well-made fond farewell to an era and the people who made it so memorable. For story, give it a miss. If you want to enjoy blistering-hot sex with a cast of favorites, well, you will do quite nicely with TOO NAUGHTY TO SAY NO.