First published by EyeforFilm
Evidently 2008 was a good year for disembodied monster penises in horror. Cult director Frank Henenlotter set the ball(s) rolling with Bad Biology, a transgressive midnight movie featuring, amongst other entertaining abominations, a man whose steroid-injected shlong takes on a life of its own.
Similarly Adam Fields’ One-Eyed Monster sees the enormous member of porn star Ron Jeremy (playing himself) possessed by an alien and rampaging through a snow-bound adult film shoot in search of fertile women to inseminate and rival men to eviscerate. It goes without saying that both films feature the cinematographic innovation henceforth known as ‘dick cam’, where events are shot, slasher style, from the engorged organ’s point (of view).
Whether there is anything of significance to be read into the precise timing of such rampant phallocentrism should perhaps be left to the hallowed halls of gender studies – but there is, as any schoolkid can tell you, a certain timelessness to the vulgar amusement that dick jokes (second only to fart jokes) can bring, while Adam Fields, co-writing with his brother Jordan, offers enough comic sophistication to prevent One-Eyed Monster from being a one-joke movie.
There is the Boogie Nights-style double-edged nostalgia in the way this film compares yesteryear’s heroic pornstars (embodied by Jeremy and his co-star Veronica Hart) with the not-so-bright young things of today’s hardcore. There are knowing parodies of everything from Jaws (“we’re gonna need a bigger tampon”) to The Shining to The Evil Dead to Alien to Children Of The Corn – hell, one character (played by Russ Meyer legend Charles Napier) even describes at length his horrifying experiences in ‘Nam.
There is the postmodern thrill of a film-within-a-film and actors playing themselves – and Jeremy proves particularly sporting in allowing his legendary proportions to be reduced to alien bait. “I get the joke,” Jeremy’s character declares, “I’m in on it, and that makes it kind of hep”. This is, after all, the man who once appeared in a porn rip-off of Charlie Kaufman entitled Being Ron Jeremy. And, oh yes, there are penis gags (in more senses than one) aplenty.
In One-Eyed Monster, cheap is the word, with the budget being as low as the subject matter – but, unlike Jeremy’s disproportionately sized cock, Fields’ film is too short to let any of its more flaccid moments bring it crashing down, and funny enough (at least in a drunken crowd) to make your eyes water. And best of all, there is the knowledge that all those Buffy fans who have been lured into watching this by the presence of Amber Benson are going to be in for a very big surprise…
© Anton Bitel