Starring: Linda Wong, Vicky Lindsay, Annette Haven, Candida Royalle, Lesllie Bovee
Easy Alice is an easy film to pass over. It’s generic title, seemingly low budget and presumably cheap production values render is a “typical grindhouse flick” from the mid 70s, however if one looks beyond its tawdry shell, Easy Alice is easily one of the most complex and underrated features of the golden age of sexually explicit cinema.
Easy Alice emerged from the San Francisco film scene in early 1976, implying that it was most likely shot in mid to late 1975. The cast is entirely of San Francisco origin and the film makes liberal use of infamous S.F. sex dens such as the intersection of Broadway and Columbus. Also, clocking in at a rather long running time for its time of production of 84 minutes and containing a great variety of both indoor and outdoor locations, Easy Alice would seem to be an ambitious, high budget production. However, nothing could be further than the truth.
The production is poor, the microphone and lighting stands make numerous cameos, and at one brief instance a crew member can even be spotted hiding in the corner of a room snapping shots of the carnal action taking place on the bed. In fact, all the hallmarks of a bad production are present in this film yet as it unfolds, we are asked the question:what is the sepaeration between cinema and reality?
Joey Silvera plays Joey, a slightly altered version of himself. He’s a hapless loser who occasionally moonlights in, has no life or day job, but has a girlfriend named Carrol (Linda Wong) who pleads which him to abandon his career in the sex industry. When Joey leaves Carrol for the day to replace an actor (Paul Scariff) who has been too abusive towards a co-star; “they like it rough!” he says, Alice decides to head over to a friend’s house for a day and ends up getting high and into a three-way with none other than a young Annette Haven (billed here as Annette Funette). Meanwhile Joey and the other actor take on the town, but end up getting drunk and milling around North Beach for the night having delirious adventures.
Easy Alice is one of many hardcore films which is critical of porn, but unlike most such films, Easy Alice takes a humanistic look at the people involved in the films rather than commenting on their morality. Alice examines the hopelessness and abandon of the lives led by performers in porn films, but simultaneously the film is shot with the same sloppiness as its characters live. This gives the film a double entendre of almost exploiting visually what it pities socially.
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