Inside Deep Throat (2005) - Theatrical NC-17 Version

Genre(s): Documentary
Universal || NC17 - 92 minutes - $27.98 || October 4, 2005
Reviewer: Elyusha Vafaeisefat || Posted On: 2005-09-21


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
Writer(s): NA
Cast: Dennis Hopper (narrator)


Theatrical Release Date: February 11, 2005


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Directors' Commentary
  • Cast/Crew Commentary
  • 13 Featurettes
  • "Deleted" Scenes
  • Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Back in 1972 a small film which was shot for about $25,000, which according to the filmmakers, went on to be the most profitable film of all time grossing $600 million to date. That “film” was Deep Throat. Inside Deep Throat takes a look at the film’s stars, the impact of the film, the investigations surrounding the film as well as some commentary on how the film still has an affect on the porn industry today.

The documentary itself is very entertaining to watch. It’s cut together very well, which makes the film breeze by. I found the film to be very intriguing because it discusses how much of an affect this film had on American society at the time. Released in the early 70’s, the film seemed to come out at the perfect time with regards to the sex revolution and freedom of speech ideals that the young generation supported so much at the time. The film also discusses how even people in their 50’s or 60’s were curious to see what all the fuss was about. Deep Throat soon became a phenomenon which made it a target for the U.S. Government to intervene. The film was dubbed obscene, immoral, filthy and was ordered to be removed from every theater in the U.S., which created even more of a stir. As we have learned over the years (see Fahrenheit 9/11 or The Passion of the Christ), any type of publicity, whether it’s positive or negative, in the end is publicity. The ruckus made the government only made people more curious to see what the fuss was about. As a result, the film attracted organized crime bosses to independently distribute the film across the country. Not only that, the makers as well as the stars of Deep Throat became targets and one star, Harry Reems, even faced the possibility of jail time for starring the in the film.

The documentary does a good job of discussing all the areas the film impacted. You get interviews with Deep Throat director Gerard Damiano, actor Harry Reems, several of the theater owners who showed the film as well as the investigators involved with stopping the film from being shown. The documentary works very well as a “cliff notes” to the entire situation. However, the documentary’s creators, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, never really go in depth as to what else happened to all the people involved. For example, Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace is shown in a new interview for only a few minutes. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2002, but it seems like the directors didn’t really show how the film has affected her up until her passing away. Granted they go into some detail about how Lovelace was affected by the film years after it was released, but I think it would have been much more interesting to see how it still affected her today. From what I understand, the filmmakers collected about 800 hours of interview and archive footage for this documentary. I believe the main difficulty with making a documentary about Deep Throat is that it affected so many people that it is almost impossible to cover it all in the 90 minute running time. One could make an entire documentary just on Lovelace, Damiano, Reems, how other porn stars were inspired by Lovelace, the crime bosses attached to the film or even how the films projectionist or theater manager was affected. The documentary delves into these topics, which makes for great scenes, but not nearly as much as they should have.

In the end the documentary is very fun to watch. Directors Bailey and Barbato successfully combine elements of humor as well as the gritty reality of the films impact on it’s creators as well as the impact the film had and even still has on pop culture today.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Unfortunately, the film doesn’t really have any great special features on the DVD. The DVD does include two commentary tracks. One is by Barbato and Bailey, which is intriguing to listen to at times, but doesn’t add too much to what we already see in the documentary. The second commentary track is just short audio clips of dozens of people talking about the film. It includes Deep Throat’s cast and crew, Lovelace’s daughter as well as some of the investigators involved with getting rid of the film. Unfortunately, this commentary track is very irritating because every minute or so a new person speaks and sometimes, they even mention small anecdotes they may have nothing to do with what is being shown in the documentary.

The other special feature included is a set of 14 “deleted scenes” from the documentary. They aren’t advertised as deleted scenes, but they are obviously taken from the cutting room floor. In total, the 14 deleted scenes run about 55 minutes and are fun to watch for those who want to know even more about the films impact. A few of the highlights are how the film affected the hugely conservative white collar town of Binghamton, New York, “the art” of giving a blow job as well as how Princeton University even screened the film at one point. However, my favorite extra sequence was the interview with the “Harry Reems Athletic Club,” which was created in honor of the Deep Throat actor. It’s very amusing to see the members of this club who according to the group leader, has over 40,000 members worldwide.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The sound and the picture on the documentary are both pretty standard. Because it is a documentary, I wasn’t really looking for an incredible mix on the sound. The documentary is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and video quality is very good. I didn’t find any major problems in either the audio or video quality.



.::OVERALL::.

blend humor, mystery and tragedy very well in the documentary. However, the documentary itself leaves the viewer wanting to know more about the people involved with the film. Inside Deep Throat works well for those who just want to know the tip of the iceberg, but for others (like myself) who want to know a lot more about the people and events surrounding the film, the documentary unfortunately falls short. It seems to me that so many more documentaries could be made just from the people Barbato and Bailey spoke to for the making of Inside Deep Throat. I think a documentary just on the “Harry Reems Athletic Club” would be very amusing to watch or even a documentary on how the film affected an entire city like Binghamton. In the end, the documentary is worth watching for those interested in the subject. However, the DVD seems to fall short. I would like to have seen a better (or even different) commentary track, more extra scenes and maybe even a featurette on the making of the documentary. Unless you’re a die hard fan of Deep Throat, I would pass on purchasing the DVD, but it’s most definitely worth a rental.