Sex Appeal, Chuck Vincent's latest venture into the realm of soft core, offers fine, compromise adult cinema. The script is lively, the characters are busting loose with energy, and the sexual situations are funny and risqué (even without the raunch). Vincent is one of the best at giving us an X-rated feel within a soft format (witness some familiar "X" names in the screen credits).
If Vincent affords one gripe, it's his style of coitus interruptus filmmaking. Just when the sex is really getting interesting and on a roll, there's the annoying phone call, the proverbial busting down of the door, the major calamity. Sex Appeal is packed to the gills with histrionic mothers, other butt-inski relatives, weirdoes and jealous husbands bent on messing up a good time.
Louie Bonanno, who plays the wimp-nerd turned lady killer Tony Cantalone, looks like what you'd get if you crossed Stephen Goeffreys (Fraternity Vacation) with Curtis Armstrong (Bert Viola on TV's Moonlighting) — two fine young actors who have elevated the concept of nerdism to an art form. Tony is in love with a blonde poster girl (Tally Britanny) for Midnight Champagne, and his ongoing fantasy is to have her groveling at his tuxedoed image. But in the real world, girls just laugh at his polyester attempts at womanizing, until, that is, he gets hold of a book entitled Sex Appeal. By following simple directions, Tony rents a dive of an apartment and converts it into a Taj Mahal of seduction equipped with state of the art sex.
"Jeez, what a beautiful place. Just like a hotel room at the MGM Grand," babbles one of his conquests in a definitive "New Joisey" accent. As a matter of fact, all of Tony's conquests sound like they were bussed in from the northern regions of the Garden State.
To liven matters, Tony's apartment Super (Jeff Eagle) is a vicarious snoop and a would-be author of the great American novel about the American sewer system. Eagle adds some good laughs, as he resorts to all kinds of sophisticated surveillance systems in trekking Tony's conquests. And he even turns the exploits into fodder for a mens' magazine article about a "mythical" New Jersey casanova.
Some tie-ins in the plot are a little too convenient—coincidences abound—and the skin scenes could have gone for a little more blush and still kept within the framework of couples appeal. Nevertheless, Sex Appeal is all that you would want an adult film to be, and serves as one more shining example to the other auteurs of crap who would foist garbage on the adult filmgoer.