The porn industry have always been controversial. Ever since the early days of Linda Lovelace, as she shocked the world with Deep Throat, people have protested and hated porn. Ron Jeremy is of course one of the biggest legends in the porn industry, and he have had his share of negative reactions. But the truth is that the porn business was very big, people would make lots of money on VHS sales, on magazines. and in adult cinemas. As the millenium came along, porn on internet grew very fast, and dvd´s were the next big thing. I used to go to strip clubs, sex clubs, even visiting whore houses in Germany in my youth. At that time, you were excited to see a different world, far away from the ordinary day life. I remember when me and my friend Robert sat down in early 2000, in a adult cinema in Gothenburgh, watching a porn film. It felt very strange sitting in a cinema, full of people jerking off, firing their shots all over the cinema seats. You could probably say that there was enough sperm in this place, to fill up a sperm bank in no time. At the strip clubs, me and Robert ordered in drinks, and just watched the shows, these women went wild, you can pretty much imagine what this means. I also remember the VHS and dvd store, next to the strip club, people were buying porn films of all kinds, latex, bondage, threesomes, lesbians, anything you wanted to see was here. There was always one category that was controversial, for many reasons. And that was the gay sex films, with men having sex. Me personally dont get turned on by watching this, perhaps because i always been attracted to women. But i don´t thing there is anything wrong with liking that, we all have our sexual attractions. Porn will always be around us, no matter how much especially feminists complain, and call it satans work. So i think the best way to handle this, is not to let it bother you. If people want to watch films, let them do so. There are bigger problems in this world. Around april this year, i was reading about a new film that was coming out called King Cobra. Reading that this film is based on the biographical story of gay porn actor Brent Corrigan. What made me curious about this film, was the cast. James Franco, Christian Slater, Molly Ringwald and Alicia Silverstone ? Almost like a big reunion of the 80´s and 90´s stars, with James Franco included. And the story itself seemed to be controversial. As the film King Cobra was finally released in selected theatres, and on VOD, i took some time to see if it was worth the positive reviews. Do we have another really good independent film in our hands, or did the premise look too good to be true ?
Sean Paul Lockhart ( Garret Clayton ), also known as Brent Corrigan, is working hard to release more gay porn films, with his boss Stephen ( Christian Slater ). Stephen takes care of all the publicity, titles, and welcome in new talents, as long as Brent is doing his part. Brent is beginning to wonder if he should drop out, especially when he finds out how little he is paid for every film he have made over the years. Stephen finds out and is furious. Brent is no longer a part of the gay film company Cobra Video, so he decides to look for another similar job. He contact Joe ( James Franco ) who is willing to help him out, if he agree to do a film as Brent Corrigan ( his stage name ). Since Brent is locked on a contract with Stephen, he cant use his stage name. He needs the money, and is willing to take risks. But Stephen is not giving away his star that easily. He created the character Brent Coorigan, and he will make sure that no one will destroy his plans for the next film.
I have not seen any of Brent Corrigan´s films, when he made a career in the adult film industry. But it is not hard to guess, how his films might have been. You get a sense of that here in King Cobra. The gay porn actors could not act at all, so it was all basically about sex. I really don´t care about the sex scenes in King Cobra, i am more interested in the character called Stephen. This character is loosely based on the murdered gay porn producer Bryan Kocis. Christian Slater, who plays Stephen, really surprised me. When was the last time you have seen Christian Slater make a really good performance ? I personally think that this could be his best acting performance in many years. James Franco as the gay film maker Joe, is both really funny and wild. Some scenes where he asks his favourite gay actor, to take him harder, made me laugh quite a bit. The lead actor Garret Clayton also deliver a pretty solid performance. The biggest reason why King Cobra is an interesting view in the porn industry, is to see how far people are willing to go, just to make more money. To make a profit for every film, is everything that matters. Of course, you get a sense that there is a tragedy behind these young mens lives. Is this really what they want to do, or is there a better life out there ? Director Justin Kelly have directed several films in the past, and there is one film we should mention from 2015 film called I Am Michael. In this film he worked with James Franco, as James played Michael Glatze. He was a gay activist who became a Christian pastor. In King Cobra, it seems that director Justin Kelly have tried to dig deeper into the gay world. He does not show too much from the adult film making, instead he focuses on the characters more. And this is a great idea, because with solid characters you can tell a story more focused. Another detail i thing director Justin Kelly manage to do, is to capture the feeling of a pervert, when we see Christian Slater being turned on by younger men. I suppose this was necessary to get that feeling, of how some people are in the industry. As the serious tone become more clear, towards the end of the film, you realise that this is a serious business. King Cobra did not shock me as much as i thought it would, but i will say i enjoy this film for trying to dig into this business. Could it have been more raw ? Yes, but still we have a solid film with a lot to say. I really hope Christian Slater will have a nomination at some festival for his performance here. He deserves a nomination this year, and i suggest you give this film a chance.