The carnival sounds of a ferris wheel fill the air, and the camera closes in on the tent of a gypsy fortune teller. Inside, a wizened old hag proffers a mysterious looking tome to a demure young blonde girl. We're off to an auspicious start for The Book, and it's a quite a good read.
Stephanie Adams, the latter mentioned blonde, becomes entranced, almost hypnotized, by the erotic contents contained within the pages of her new prize. As her imagination takes over, the images overwhelm her. She fantasizes, then tries to sleep, butonce again she's drawn by the supernatural tug of The Book.
Ron Jeremy, who co-wrote and supposedly directed this feature, shows a surprisingly sure hand with the material. Given the rather crude direction of many of his prior experiences with the camera, it is particularly refreshing to witness his dedication and patience required to pull off the first sex scene. In it, a sailor on shore leave (Steve Austin) wanders into a bar where he's served by Lauren Brice. The sweaty, smoky atmosphere heightens the anticipation of both the sailor and the audience, and the beautifully deliberate pace of her tease is very erotic.
However, when the scene calls to pick up the pace, The Book falls somewhat short. Towards the middle of the production, (what could have been) a nasty little number falls completely flat. When the calendar pin-up girl (Debbie Diamond) of an auto mechanic (Wayne Summers) suddenly comes to life, she's under his hood quicker than you can say "Is that a monkey wrench in your pocket?" Yet as raucous fifties rock 'n roll blares on the soundtrack, the rhythm of this scene recalls a Model T.
Eventually, as Adams finally does enter the bookworld, into a wild three-way gym workout, it's easier to forgive some of the duller moments and some muddled sound.
The Book is, on the whole, better than the sum of it's chapters. Unlike, say, The Nicole Stanton Story, this feature film has no dramatic pyrotechnics to sustain it. Had it been shot on video it would have been far less interesting. Yet somehow, there is magic in the medium of film, and when married with a variety of decent sets, an attractive cast, and a director that cares, it proves that an average idea con really be transformed into something special.