Pink Bubblebath 2001 By Tom Fitzgerald. Heading down to the much-hyped second annual Pink Bubble Bath Film Festival, “the sexy film festival”, I wasn’t sure what to expect...

Heading down to the much-hyped second annual Pink Bubble Bath Film Festival, “the sexy film festival”, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would Ron Jeremy grace us with his presence? Maybe a few porn starlets? Some slumming celebrities perhaps? Held at the multi-level bohemian emporium The Fenton Building smack dab in the black heart of downtown Los Angeles, that sprawling skid row in limbo, the event stuck out like a sore hard in this Escape from L.A. landscape. A pre-show public reception was packed with hipsters loading up on the free booze, myself included. Mingled in were semi-celeb festival judges like cable access sex guru Susan Block, Chris Gore and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Josie Maran. I was gratified by the vibe of this space. As DJs blasted hip hop and ’80s rock, one could check out an art exhibit, a boutique, even a tastefully-stocked record store. A few hours later, it was time to meander upstairs for uhhh.... oh yeah, the film festival. A weirdly terrible nouvelle new wave duo warmed up the boozy, frisky and eager crowd. I gotta say, in retrospect, I don’t think it was such a bright idea liquoring up the audience before laying a less than stellar program on ‘em.

First up, My Little Margie & Chuck Bronco’s Tea Party! Two psycho sisters in lingerie slap each other around with bloodied stuffed bunnies. I missed most of it ‘cause I blinked. Maybe it was supposed to be a trailer. I dunno...

The Pigskin Sisters’s Pig Skin Orgasm was an instant smash. How can you lose with the premise? Using footage culled straight offa ESPN, they cleverly edited together a montage with only the choicest cuts of homoerotic pro sports hanky panky. Nose to nose face-offs, ball-scratching, ass-grabbing, back rubs and victory hugs all to the tune of the slow dance ballad “Can He Take A Hint?” An inappropriate touch down!

Kara Hearn’s tepid, shrug-inducing lesbo infatuation confessional Crushed followed and proceeded cool off the heat Pig Skin generated. Uh oh, the first cracks in the crowd’s respectful silence start to surface. The heckling and migrations to the bar begin.

Pierre Yves Clouin’s Front Room was short and sweet to the taste. Just a tight close up of a guy licking a bulbous body part. What is it? An ass? A breast? A Rorschach test made flesh.

I’m still trying to figure out why Richard Allen’s Charisma exists. It’s nothing more than found footage snippets of an shirtless Dustin Hoffman circa ‘68 intercut with screaming teenyboppers who’ve evidentialy come down with a dose of Hoffmania.

With Fruit Salad, Ryan Mulligan and Ricky Vodka hit one of the night’s few real crowd-pleasing bull’s eyes. A henpecked slacker offers his girlfriend and her dinner guests his “special” homemade fruit cup. As he watches them slurp it up, flashbacks show us the TLC he used to prepare it; he molested the melons, poked the pineapples and you can probably guess what he did with the bananas. A new entry into the “sadistic food preparation” sub-genre. Hey! This fest had pulse again!

Next up was Chad Cardin’s Tasty in which a girl jills-off with a cucumber before serving it up to her beau. Uh, didn’t we just see a funnier, nastier take on the same theme?

Sean Kelly served up BLT&A a porno parody whose entire premise is based on it’s lame titular pun. A chick discovers her job interview is nothing but a greasy-lipped pervert’s ruse to advocate bacon as some kinda aphrodisiac. Later, her shrink recommends (you got it) bacon as a cure for her sexual hangups. The alleged spoof ends with an orgy as she and her friends “make bacon” and stuff strips of pigback into condoms. Not a pretty site. The appalling sound mix didn’t help matters.

“I’m bored!”, one attendee exclaimed. “Me too!”, yelped another from across the room.

More walkouts.

Just when it seemed the congregation’s decorum had reached rock bottom, we hit a new low. As tedious as it’s title suggests, Scott William Tucker’s I Thought It Was Something I Should Be Doing... At Some Point was a rambling, unengaging meditation on married life or sumthin’. Dental floss and frogs were somehow involved. An interminable 10 minutes. When the audience thought they’d reached the end, some shouted “Freedom!” But wait! It ain’t over folks. The room roared “No!!!” Finally, “Fin” triggered cheers. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long while.

The dreary dramatics continued with Usama Alshaibi’s The Green Room. An over baked examination of intimate secrets exposed via videotaped testimonials. A barrage of dizzying quick cuts and sexy sound bytes give us clues about a couple’s relationship hassles. I was more alert than during the previous short, but this histrionical hothouse was a tad overwrought.

The next two were more polished and inviting but didn’t help curb the ever-flowing exodus back to the booze. With it’s beautiful people and slick compositions, Bruce Ashley’s A Lover’s Whisper had the cold, bland style of a CK One ad for designer dildos. At least it was brief.

Marco Porsia provided what was the program’s most professional looking short. A New Start resembled a Mazzy Star video albeit with sex toys and watersports. A foxy model ambles in slo mo down a lonesome desert highway accompanied by a torchy rock dirge. Finding herself alone in an empty, dusty house, she writhes on the floor reminiscing about old flames. Kinda corny.

The crowd had shrunk to less than half it’s original size, and those who lingered grew more obnoxious. By the time W.I.Z.’s Baby hit the screen, the gloves were off. The scene was akin to a penitentiary talent show and it felt like this introspective short was being exhibited for the sole purpose of ridicule. Among a lonely urban backdrop, a sexually-confused British lad sneaks peeks at gay porn mags and oogles young bathers at an indoor pool. Maybe I’ve watched too much MTV, but this time I was reminded of a Bronski Beat video. Quiet and moody, Baby was the wrong film at the wrong time as evidenced when, at the sight of a naked toddler, some spectators starved for cheap thrills let loose with cat calls.

The unnecessary sequel Pig Skin Orgasm 2 looks to have been made up of leaner out-takes from the original. Once was enough.

Tony Nittoli’s Alexgave the remaining viewers what they seemed to want, rude and crude laffs. An unwitting fellow hooks up with an underage smutty bunny puppet. After they bump ugly, she services him with a vibrator. Soon enough she turns on him, calling him “dildo boy” in front of his buddies and threatening to go to the cops. Sorta entertaining, I guess.

Finally Gym Jones’s Undisciplined finds another poor chap stuck with a hellcat. A couple does it all in the sack, everything but the ruff stuff. No matter how much she misbehaves, he won’t take his hand to her. She smashes his TV, shreds his paintings, glues his locks, makes him drink her pee and eventually puts a hole in his head with an electric drill. The kinetic editing helps distract the fact this flick had no soul.

Just as the last frame flickered, my ride said he had to split. That was fine with me, I didn’t want to stick around this deflated balloon of a room. The thrill was gone, the pink bubble had burst. All in all, there were some solid moments and it could have been worse, at least there weren’t any The Blair Witch Project parodies.

Back to Issue 13