Keola Racela (director)
01 June 2020 (released)
29 May 2020
The opening of the film with peeping toms Todd (Larry Saperstein) and Abe (Evan Daves) coping a look at a couple having sex is as close to porn as Porno gets. It does however drop a few hints about their backgrounds as Todd pulls them away and off to work at the local cinema.
Said cinema is managed by Mr Pike (Bill Philips) a devout Christian who holds a prayer meeting with the rest of the team Chaz (Jillian Mueller), Ricky (Glenn Stott), and touchy ultra-devout projectionist Jeff (Robbie Tann).
They are in good spirits as they have been granted a free film to watch after the cinema closes. However as they prepare to close they find a drunk old man in the auditorium who escapes them and tearing down a curtain reveals a door that leads them down to another auditorium, doors and storerooms, where they find an old film.
Curiosity aroused they watch the film; a trippy, psychedelic poor-quality affair that has a ritual being played out with runes, candles and the usual paraphernalia. A woman is summoned (Katelyn Pearce) who starts to strip prompting Jeff to pull the film only for Todd to crank it up again. Too late the ritual is complete.
Now things start to get really weird, as the woman appears to them in various guises, tempting and seducing with some graphic eye watering mutilations for a couple. It’s while fending her off that the characters start to open up amongst themselves, sharing their perceived problems and secrets.
It's an assured feature debut from director Keola Racela who has captured the spirit of a horror film set in the 80s with a colour palate that’s reminiscent of that era’s cheap US grindhouse productions while adding dashes of 70’s adult film scuzzines and 60’s psychedelia.
Porno’s interwinding themes though are far more contemporary with characters taunted for their sexuality and desires complicated by their beliefs and devotions. It’s a complicated area that writers Matt Black and Laurence Vannicell have decided to probe and they haven't shied away the issues.
The cast are all excellent generating genuine empathy for their characters and their situations. And while there's a hard core here, there’s also a levity running throughout the film that’s quite fun but doesn’t compromise the serious issues or the horror.
Porno will be available on digital from 1 June.