Behind The Green Door
Settle in, my sisters, especially those that think they don’t like porno flicks, for this, *this* is the review you’ve been waiting for.
Many women, and a more than a few discriminating men, say they dislike pornos.
Some may be hiding their dirty secrets, but many really do feel this way. Common complaints are cheesy music, absence of a plot, the worst acting, and nothing but close-ups of the in & out action. It’s not that these folks are prudish, but there is something missing. It’s not the lack of romance, for arousal can be found without love. But a good porn experience ought to move something. It should seduce.
Without the seduction, an adult film can be as erotic as watching two dogs fuck on your front lawn.
Behind the Green Door, starring Marilyn Chambers, directed by the Mitchell Brothers, is more than a classic ~ it's an adult film that will change your views on porn. It’s a real porno myth buster.
Fact: Porn without plot is the bump without the grind.
Myth: All porno lacks a plot.
Busted by Green Door: This movie does have a plot (read more below), although it starts off a bit poorly & more than a tad slow. But it does, I repeat, does, have a plot. Since it doesn’t ‘plunge’ right in (& out again), you can immerse yourself in it.
Fact: Sex without seduction is like finding a used condom: there‘s been sex, but ‘eeeiwww.’
Myth: Porn at it’s best lacks seduction, at it’s worst it even lacks foreplay.
Busted by Green Door: While a plot helps a bit with getting in the mood, scenes with touches, kissing & a build up to the hardcore action are more likely to elicit an erotic arousal. This movie shows strokes, heavy petting, kissing, plenty of oral & varied positions. *
Fact: Sex is Tab A enters Slot B, repeat as necessary, but too much repetition is boring. So is ‘formula sex.’
Myth: All porn is boring & predictable.
Busted by Green Door: As mentioned above, this movie doesn’t use the formula porn approach of act followed by ’the money shot,’ as in: suck cock, come on her face; fuck endlessly in & out, come on her stomach. There are some ejaculation scenes, but they are secondary to the woman’s pleasure. In other words, in this film, she is satisfied before we move along to him. And it’s not just the lead, Marilyn Chambers, either. There are other scenes with various couplings, which show variations of the theme of Tab A & Slot B.
Fact: Music can make or break your erotic experience.
Myth: All porno has that cheesy Bow Chicka Bow Bow sound.
Busted by Green Door: None here. In fact, there were moments of complete silence, just the noises of heavy breathing, some soft, realistic moans ~ or was that me? Well, in either case, there’s no cheesy soundtrack.
Fact: Women are uncomfortable if they feel compared to unrealistic standards of beauty that they cannot measure up to.
Myth: All porn features fake, unrealistic bods.
Busted by Green Door: This was the 70’s, everyone was sexual! In the audience at ‘the private club sex show’ there is every body type you can imagine ~ and in full orgy swing. No one is rejected, looks are not even referenced, and everyone has fun. Even the beauties have ‘real’ bodies.
Fact: Unrealistic female reactions are a turn off.
Myth: The women of porn scream, grimace & writhe in agony.
Busted by Green Door: A woman watching porn usually walks away thinking she should make a porno ~ she fakes it better than that chick did. (Perhaps this explains the glut of amateur porn?) But the women behind the green door act relatively normal. They seem to be enjoying it, perhaps a bit on the dreamy side, but no one acts like they are about to have an alien break out of their stomachs either.
Is it perfect? No.
* Frankly, any movie with a mime usually gets a negative review by me. Period. But since it was supposed to communicate the ‘artsy’ avant-garde nature of this exclusive sex club setting, I’ll excuse it. I laughed like hell, but I was quickly over it.
* What’s with the men wearing white diapers with long legs, yet no crotch so they could fuck? I missed naked male ass & well muscled legs! Especially frustrating as the first male buck to mount & fuck was way to beautiful to cover up... *sigh*
* The artsy-fartsy-groovy-colored-orgasm scene. At first, it was rather neat. An interesting effect. But it went on way too long.
Note: We were sober, with the addition of mood enhancing chemicals, your mileage may vary.
But all of this can be blamed on the 70’s and as long as you keep that tucked away, you can easily get carried away with this film.
I highly recommend it for the porno-phobic, the first-timers, and couples who are experiencing difficulty luring their lover to the tv for an adult flick & a fuck. I also recommend it for those who want an erotic experience. (After all, that’s what it’s for!)
It’s a classic that most rental joints don’t offer. So finding it may be a bit of work. But forget about renting it. Once you have it, you’ll likely want to keep it.
Behind the Green Door, though obviously dated in it’s appearance, remains a classic for all the right reasons.
Part One of this review, by Gracie
Behind the Green Door review by CR/LF:
This movie, made in the porn hey-day of the 1970s, if often held up as a golden example of Real Porn – that strange genre of erotic film that people hail as art, rather than low-brow pornography. There’s still elements of the genre in today’s movies (the fellatio scene of The Brown Bunny, the titillating Secretary and Bound), but in the sexually experimental 70s regular people got a kick in the ass – REAL films can have EXPLICIT SEX? They’d forgotten how the Hays Code pushed such obscenities off the screen. With this new genre of filmmaking, pornography found itself on regular screens and reviewed positively by regular film critics.
Any good list of avant garde pornography has Behind The Green Door high in it’s graded list, and it’s quite clear why: It’s nothing like common pornography. Well, yes, there’s sex – a LOT of sex, the story is all about sexually liberation of a woman – but it’s no Bang Me In The Ass 25.
Behind the Green Door and it’s kin from that era were iconoclastic, creative films trying to create something new. That, they did, and they, mostly, did it well. It’s almost insulting to call them ‘porn’ by today’s definition. Don’t rent Behind the Green Door expecting fuckfest porn; it’s not here. The sex in this movie is fast, jerky, frantic like real sex. There’s no elaborate camera-friendly posing, no slow thrusting for the viewer, no bow-chicka-bow-bow soundtrack throbbing in the background. The people in the movie have sweaty sticky sex in the regular ways that people screw each other.
I find that unbelievably refreshing, and definitely far sexier than pornography as we know it.
The core of the film delves deeply into modern surrealism, throwing a lot of incongruous imagery without much explanation. There’s guys popping footballs, cross-dressing audience members, tribal makeup, a mime, and liberal use of slow motion and funky colors. I’d equate the film with the likes of Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Sam Shepard – but it’s not THAT good. The strangeness doesn’t have an enormous meaning, no universal point that I could make out. It’s porn for cripes’ sakes! ANYTHING is better than the schlock that fills the shelves on adult bookstore shelves. Strangeness abounded in a lot of productions of the 1960s, in experimentation with the film medium that was newly accessible by lower-budget outfits.
Watching the film feels like a 1970s art film, and that’s it’s biggest problem. There’s not much ‘timeless’ about the film, and by today’s standards the techniques used are kitschy and goofy. There’s a far too long segment with orgasming cocks erupting on Chambers’ face. It starts showing the cock coming in slow motion…then repeats, mirrored and filtered, overlayed and delayed, over and over, set to a Koyaanisqatsi-like synthesized score. I can’t vouch for the period this movie comes from, but to put something like this in any modern film is to satire the film styles of the 60s and 70s. My only real warning about this film is to overlook the dated craziness and pay attention to the parts you like.
This experimentation expanded beyond simply filming techniques. The young woman Gloria (played by Marilyn Chambers) doesn’t have any ‘straight’ sex until the very end. First, she’s caressed lovingly by one woman, then completely violated by a group of nubile young ladies. Next, a black man has his way with her, before letting her move on to a trapeeze gangbang.
Gloria experiences a range of sex that wasn’t ‘OK’ for sexy, young, white women to have. Her abduction wasn’t to punish or hurt her – the first woman she encounters explains that she’s being given a rare thing. Gloria will experience sex like she’s never known. She does - she’s given more sex during this movie than the average woman born in the 1950s ever saw.
The on-stage sexual carnival is a performance for the benefit of a masked audience. The audience arrives before the show, and is warned to honor the anonymity of the experience. These unknown members are big, small, young, old, and of several sexual persuasions. All start watching the show fully clothed, respectfully observing the show as though it were a community-theatre production, but as the sexual escapades increase on stage the audience slowly shows signs of their own arousal. A hand crosses a clothed breast, a palm rubs against a groin. As the performance reaches it’s own climax, the audience’s urges reach a climax of it’s own. An orgy erupts, the watchers becoming a show of their own.
The film ultimately addresses a culture’s comfort with sex. The young woman is abducted, forced on stage – it’s not her will, it’s being done to her, right?
The audience is masked, anonymous…they cannot be held accountable for enjoying themselves if nobody knows who they are, right?
What begins as sexual oppression and hidden urges melts in the presence of what sex really is. Chamber’s character doesn’t fight, argue, or complain in the least. She is an active, happy participant in the show. The audience may start hiding who they really are, but it is slowly revealed – while the masks remain on, the clothing comes off and they have a fuck or two as well. Everyone fucks; gay, straight, black, white, fat, thin, in couples, on their own, with a bunch of friends, with toys…and it’s all good.
Who’s complaining? Nobody.
Sex is for everyone, not something to be hidden or forced upon somebody. The audience watching Behind the Green Door in the theatre, anonymous and hidden by the darkness of the movie hall, must look at themselves and what sex is to them. Can they enjoy this film about openly enjoying sex, if they aren’t enjoying sex themselves?