PORNO (1981)
Directors: David Cardoso, Luiz Castellini, John Doo
Impulse Pictures

After a brief hiatus, Impulse Picture returns with the third entry in "The Classic Latin Erotica Collection". Equal parts brazen and bizarre, PORNO or Pornô!, is an anthology picture that features three separate stories connected only by their lurid erotic nature. Crowded with violence, nudity, lesbians, multiple shower scenes, loose women in nun habits, big Brazilian backsides and enough insect foreplay to make an entomologist swoon; PORNO has a little something for every taste.

The film's first segment, "As Gazelas" or "The Gazelles", finds two rather mature looking 8th graders getting together to study. Bia (Maristela Moreno, FIFTH DIMENSION OF SEX) should be in her senior year by all appearances but her fondness for virgins keeps compelling her to fail and is thus held back year after year. Having successfully lured her latest prey back to her place, Bia distracts her study buddy Maria Helena (Patrícia Scalvi) from their lessons by suggesting they look at her father's extensive collection of erotic literature. Dad’s picture books, which consist of both high class erotic tomes and your garden variety smut mags, prove to be enough to get Maria Helena in the mood and in no time the two young students are giving new meaning to the term "cram session".

Short and sweet, PORNO’s first segment jumps head first into its lesbian antics and doesn’t bother looking back. Once Maristela and Patrícia take their clothes off they stay off, providing both ladies ample time to showcase their “acting” chops. Maristela Moreno has a figure that appears to have just stepped out of a Frank Frazetta painting and while watching her strut around nude was certainly a desirable way to spend 15 minutes it was also a little disturbing considering that both her and her costar, who kind of resembles comedy actress and former UCB and SNL member Amy Poehler, were supposed to be playing 8th graders.

The second segment, "O Prazer da Virtude", which roughly translates to "The Pleasure of the Virtue", stars and is directed by David Cardoso, who also served as PORNO’s producer. David plays Romano, a playboy who has something very specific in mind for his new acquaintance Ilona (Matilde Mastrangi). Loose Ilona would love nothing more than to get down to busy but Romano prefers to wait, explaining that what gets his motor running is virtue. Ilona puts up with Romano’s strange behavior, waiting (and peeping) while he takes a shower and gets dressed and agreeing to do the same when suggested, but as best as she can tell all they are doing is wasting time. All of Romano’s peculiar preparations prove to be rewarding however as once Ilona is instructed to dress as a nun the service is permitted to begin, allowing both to worship at the temple of the flesh.

"O Prazer da Virtude" was clearly a vanity project for Cardoso. In his segment not only does the female chase the man (in this instance himself) but the camera spends more time on Cardoso’s athletic build that that of his feminine co-star, who was at the time quite the popular and prolific Pornochanchada star. I understand that during his shower scene his character is trying to tease Ilona with whom he glances peeping at him via the bathroom mirror but did we really need to see him soap up, rinse and dry off his balls, in close up? The sex scenes in "O Prazer da Virtude" are rather steamy, thanks to Matilde Mastrangi and her tongue, but as in "As Gazelas" there is little else present.

The last segment, "O Gafanhoto" or "The Grasshopper" breaks away from the pack by actually including something that could be discernable as a plot. Directed by John Doo, whose film Volúpia de Mulher aka THE CHICK'S ABILITY was released by Impulse in early 2009, PORNO's final segment is also its strongest. Its story follows Marcos (Arthur Roveder), a young man who appears to be being held captive by his blind mistress Diana (Zélia Diniz). While unable to see with her eyes, Diana does have the ability to see whatever is reflected in the many mirrors of her mansion. Forced to attend to every one of Diana’s physical needs, Marcos tries to find his freedom by covering every mirror he can but Diana’s succubus sexual desires are far more powerful that a few blankets and towels. Fed up with her controlling ways, Marcos decides to disgust his dominating lover by teasing her clitoris with a grasshopper during a nocturnal carnal session, all within the shocked eyes of the house's hired help! However much to Marcos’s surprise, Diana goes gaga for the grasshopper and commands that the two of them be left alone. Filled with rage, Marcos lashes out and in the process inadvertently stumbles upon the means for his freedom.

Impulse Pictures presents PORNO in a new digital transfer in the film's original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Detail and colors fair well, with fleshtones appearing accurate, however the picture does tend to jitter, in particular during the "As Gazelas" segment. Dirt and debris, as well as at least two instances of dancing hairs, are present but are for the most part kept in check. Dolby Digital 2.0 mono is presented in the film's original Portuguese, with newly translated, removable English Subtitles. Both the mono and subtitle track are clear and feature no glaring errors. Save for a Chapter Selection menu and a double sided insert that features many of the film's more memorable scenes, this release is barebones. With musical cues pilfered from a soft rock of the 1970s collection, PORNO proves to be a wildly entertaining bit of erotically charged, and at times thoroughly weird cinema from Brazil. (Jason McElreath)