(1985)

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9/10
Peeping Tom
Nodriesrespect28 September 2007
Porn auteur Chuck Vincent, who passed away due to an AIDS-related illness in the late '80s, was best known for lighthearted frolics such as JACK & JILL and GAMES WOMEN PLAY though he'd occasionally attempt something in a more serious vein. With ROOMMATES and IN LOVE he delivered two of the finest X-rated soap operas ever made, but his latter-day THE VOYEUR (like his massively underrated 1978 VISIONS) is altogether darker still.

Unemployed photographer Robert Bullock (in a career best performance) finds himself hired by mysterious businessman Jack Wrangler to spy on wealthy man eater Sheri St. Clair, this much to the chagrin of his girlfriend Taija Rae. Expecting Wrangler to be no more than St. Clair's betrayed paramour, Bullock happily sets about capturing the woman's sexual indiscretions on videotape, only to stumble across a far more disquieting plot of which he himself might be the targeted victim.

Well-written by Rick Marx (one of the very best scribes in the XXX industry, though that may not exactly be high praise) and moodily photographed by Larry Revene, this unsung gem of a movie must surely be considered one of the greatest surprises of Vincent's oeuvre. As Bullock descends into a hell (of his own making ?) no punches are pulled, making some of the ensuing sex scenes disturbing rather than arousing, a daring but praiseworthy gamble and one too rarely attempted in current day carnal cinema. This is a serious film with explicit sex in it. Vincent remade it (kind of) as the R-rated IF LOOKS COULD KILL with violent outbursts replacing most of the sexual twists and turns. Unsurprisingly, it couldn't hold a candle to its adult original despite demure turns from porn alumni St. Clair (reprising her role with diminished effect), Veronica Hart and Jamie Gillis.
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Powerful Adult drama
lor_4 February 2019
I saw Voyeur back in the day, and revisited it in a softcore DVD reissue (from Alpha Blues Archive as a Chuck Vincent 3-fer disk) recently and was quite impressed. It has excellent acting performances and makes good use of Vincent's experience as a stage director.

The format is reminiscent of Hitchcock's classic "Rear Window" and falls strongly into the neo-noir genre. Robert Bullock, one of porn's best actors all-time, stars as a cab driver who was drummed off the police force in a corruption scandal years back. Jack Wrangler is slimily smooth as a lawyer who gets a blow job in the cab's back seat one day and hires Bullock to put a lady, well-played by Sheri St. Claire, under surveillance for an unnamed client.

Bullock ensconces himself in a high-rise apartment across from Sheri's window and videotapes her (plus sound from bugs he's planted at her place) having sex and in mysterious scenes, gradually becoming infatuated with a voyeur's perspective. In one notable scene he's hiding under some furniture as she poses for a sculptor (George Payne) doing a life-size cast of her and also having sex with Sheri while Robert can only watch.

This new obsession costs him his relationship with lovely girlfriend Taija Rae, especially when Bullock feels compelled to tape her too while Taija is trying to sleep. Vincent keeps up considerable suspense and mystery until the show ends enigmatically, with an incredibly powerful ending of Bullock turning to the camera to stare at the viewer in freeze-frame, indicting the Adult Cinema audience as being the true voyeurs.

Atmospheric Manhattan locations and a top-notch cast complete the package. The 67-minute strictly softcore version I viewed on DVD (original VHS was XXX) plays very well, proving that Vincent could rise above the crutch of explicit sex to deliver full-fledged motion pictures.
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