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STUDIO: Phase 4 Films

MSRP: $29.99

RATED: R

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

SPECIAL FEATURES:

• Movie trailer
• Audio commentary track









The Pitch


If we throw a hot chick on the cover and include the words “American” and “Orgy” in the title, people will come running!



The Humans

Starring Laura Silverman, Aimee-Lynn Chadwick, Adam Busch, Edrick Browne, Ted Beck
Written by Ted Beck
Directed by Andrew Drazek



The Nutshell

Three couples decide to step outside their comfort zones by heading up to a secluded farm house to have an orgy.  Hijinx ensues — although, not exactly what you’d expect.



Ahhh, nothing like a good Modelo Negro to start the work week.




The Lowdown

Based on the cover and the title alone, I expected All American Orgy to be yet another in a long line of American Pie, teen-sex-comedy ripoffs that teases us into watching because it promises to be a coitus-filled romp with a bunch of hot college coeds but ends up being a relatively tame yet occasionally raunchy coming-of-age tale about the resident virgin dude who pops his cherry.

That’s not at all what All American Orgy turned out being. 

I have to give the filmmakers credit for not giving us just more of the same; but, I really can’t recommend what they offered us instead — which was a hodgepodge of genres that you normally wouldn’t put together that coalesce into something rather uncomfortable, unfunny, and forgettable. 



He’s either so shocked at what the person on the other end just said to him that he had to look at the phone to believe it or he’s using Apple’s new FaceTime.  Or both.


It jumps right
into the movie without so much as a title card, starting off like an
indie flick about square Jews looking to expand their sexual horizons. 
Think a young Woody Allen meets Kevin Smith.  And if you still have that
imagine in your head, yes, it’s as painful as you’re picturing. 
As a Jewish couple banter (Surprise! He’s nebbish!) over which wine to
bring to the orgy, the sexual innuendos become blatantly graphic sexual
explanations, none of which are amusing.  And instead of coming across
like a couple having relationship issues that are deeply ingrained yet
clearly aren’t being addressing directly so they’re coming out in a
pointless conversation over vino, Alan and Yasmine seem more like
brother and sister. 

In fact, all of the couples feel more like
brother and sister.  That is to say none of them have any chemistry
together whatsoever.  Granted, they all have their assorted issues: the
non-oenophile duo admittedly only have sex once a month; Todd and Tina
are married and have kids so naturally they’re completely disgusted with
each other by now; and the final pair is comprised of Rachel, a cute,
girl-next-door who can’t stand the fact that her Jewish boyfriend,
Gordon, is an alcoholic. (I make a point of pointing out that Gordon is also Jewish because they go out of their way to point this out even though I didn’t find that it had any real impact on the story itself.  You could switch out the main characters with Gentiles and it wouldn’t have changed the tale any.) Given their problems, it’s safe to assume that
they’re not going to be batting hearts out of their eyes for each
other; but, they don’t even feel like they’d hold the door open for each
other on the way out of a public building at the same time much less
sleep together or date seriously.




If this is how the orgy starts, you know things aren’t going to end well.



Add to the mix the plot point of an orgy, which either plays out like a teenage guy’s wet-dream fantasy or turns all Caligula
— neither of which are all that believable.  In this case, it starts
off more of the former, with the women  dragging their boyfriends to the
festivities because if it’s one thing women always turn to when their
relationships turn sour, it’s group sex.  It’s not certain exactly what
the girls want, though, out of the sex.  It’s evident that they’re
hoping that this will magically cure whatever is ailing them — whether
it’s through banging their friends or the pressure of banging their
friends forces them to actually confront their personal demons, I don’t
know.  It doesn’t seem like any of them have thought that far ahead. 
And while that would be obvious for a plot-thin, comic sex romp, when a
movie has only the barest setup and comes off like a character-driven
indie flick, I expect some character development. 

Once the premise is set up,
instead of getting zany and goofy and raunchy, the movie takes a serious left turn toward being a horror flick.  You
have the group
of twenty/thirtysomethings in a cabin in the woods.  You’ve got the
creepy dude who goes to far lengths to ensure that no one can leave. 
You have the whole “no cell phone service and no land line” situation. 
You have the scary black dude lurking outside in the dark (okay, not
lurking, but actually showing up to deliver some ecstasy so the orgy can
get underway, but hey, the people inside don’t know that!).  And it’s
not played off like a joke horror movie situation, either.




Apparently when doing other dudes while you’re married might be a fun orgy for some, for others it’s a soul-destroying, life-shattering nightmare.  Laurie clearly subscribed to the former line of thought.


In fact, once the actual orgy convenes near the end of the second act, it gets downright uncomfortable.  I’m talking like The Accused-style uncomfortable.  It’s far less an orgy and way more drug-addled, peer-pressure induced rape.  And not even dark, dark comic rape that one might imagine from a movie with the tone similar to Very Bad Things where you laugh even though you know you shouldn’t; this is just plain dark and twisted.  Had one of the characters left the living room and reemerged with an ax and the movie turned total slasher flick, I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised. 

I would’ve almost preferred that to how things ended up being resolved.  Somehow after the orgiac climax, which would’ve probably shattered at least a couple lives had this occurred in real life, a few of the character arcs actually come full circle and end positively.  There are hugs.  There are laughs and cracks about being hungover.  A subplot with the black drug dealer named Larenz — who scared Alan in the opening scene just because he’s scared of black people — ends up having its own little horror-movie-arc, as well, before coming around to help neatly tie up the movie’s loose ends with a little bow.

After all was said and done, I felt a little shocked by what I saw.  Not that the material was all that extreme — far from it.  But compared to what I was expecting to see, it definitely caught me off guard.  I mean the DVD cover shows a busty, lingerie-wearing hottie with her finger in her mouth and the words ORGY in big, red letters.  To not see an actual orgy was pretty much expected; but I didn’t think that rape was going to be there in its place. 



When you’re married to indie-rock Rain Man, no wonder you’d want an excuse to get plowed by someone else.  Anyone else.



The Package

Looks fine enough, having been shot on the Red camera, it has a decidedly film look to it.  At first I didn’t see why it needed to be in 2:35 widescreen, but I imagine it helped get as many people in the shot at one time during the living room scenes with everyone spread out around the room.

The audio commentary with director Andrew Drazek, writer Ted Beck, and actor Jordan Kessler pretty much sums up the entire experience within the first four minutes when Beck says: “If you bought the movie just on the title alone, you might be disappointed.”   He also acknowledges that there is no orgy, only a rape.  You can tell by their banter that they share an acerbic, vulgar sense of humor — one that actually works for the commentary track but doesn’t translate into the finished film:  I actually laughed from the commentary. 

Still, it’s hard to tell exactly what their intentions were.  As a morality tale explaining how orgies are bad for your relationship, I suppose it could be considered effective.  Although, I think “don’t go to an orgy with people you can’t stand clothed” would be the more exact message of the film.  And that’s one that I can wholeheartedly stand behind.


4 out of 10




Wait.  Which one is Michael Cera?