Heavy red velvet curtains, portraits, a grand piano with candelabra, a beautiful dinner table by a roaring fire…all in a rich, stately home with classical music in the background. Just what kind of porn has Dark Alley wandered into?
"The idea was to gently poke fun at those porn films that purport to be important moments in cinema, when really all that matters is hot sex," notes PR Executive Martyn Dunn, who also wrote the script. "I did a little YouTube research to find old clips of the original Masterpiece Theatre shows, and thought back to the old stuffy, academic, Open University–type shows from my very English upbringing." The framing story around the Masterpiece?Theatre series follows the stately show host, a stuffy professional who pontificates on the deeper meanings and ramifications of a classic movie.
The result is Matthias von Fistenberg's 8 1/2, which finds the studio co-founder, director, and model waxing philosophic about the sex scenes with a scholarly gentleman. "Because of my background, I originally envisioned him with a very BBC, Queen's English accent. But Matt found a very gentlemanly German man whose accent makes the whole thing seem even more surreal."
The script injects doses of humor around the hot sex, which has four scenes featuring an internationally diverse group of studs: hung Brit Dillon Buck manhandles New Yorker Brett Silvers; rising Dark Alley exclusive and Frenchman Demetrius gets a size queen's treat with the dicks of German Tim Kruger and Buck; muscle man Adam Faust tops frat boy Aaron King in his first studio bottoming; and tall, hung Aaron Summers fucks German Danny Fox, fresh off his big turn in studio hit Gaytanamo.
Dunn calls the effort "light-hearted, but a bit schizophrenic. I wanted to go from the very formal, cozy, intellectual introductory scenes into the down-and-dirty, straight-to-the-point sex scenes and back. The contrast is what makes it fun, as well as seeing this educated, high-brow librarian character talking about big cocks and butt-fucking."
The requisite nastiness is still there, with pit-licking and toe-sucking making appearances.
"We wanted to parody the idea that there are masterworks of the adult genre…we wanted to introduce Masturbate Theater, a parody of Masterpiece Theatre, and apply it to the adult genre in a way that was entertaining and humorous," notes von Fistenberg, describing the film as sexy and satirical. "We tried to really emulate that old cinema verité style in places, especially on the transitions in and out of the sex scenes."
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