"Sexy and seductive... the images are raw, dirty and poetic" — Linnea Convington, NEW YORK PRESS
Director: Barbara Bell, Anna Lorentzon
Screenplay: Barbara Bell, Anna Lorentzon
Cast: Bren Scott aka pd, Lorelei Lee, Princess Donna, Barry Goldman, Barb Nitke
Producers: Barbara Bell
Distributor: NC-17 Productions
1997 marked the debut of a Web site of which the creator, Brent Scott—better known under his pseudonym “pd”— said, “It was almost as if everybody was just waiting for this site to come up.” It was called insex.com and it specialized in photos and videos of extreme bondage and sadomasochism. Directed by a former university professor who’d been devoted to fetishism and the art of bondage since childhood (!), insex.com was shut down in 2005—by which point it had 35,000 members—following a sweeping anti-pornography effort launched by the U.S. government as part of the Patriot Act. Three years later, former insex.com contributors Barbara Bell and Anna Lorentzon, a scripwriter and editor respectively, got together to make their debut feature, this documentary tracing the story of the cult Web phenomenon.
It would be tempting to keep things short and sweet, and claim the title says it all, but that would be inaccurate. Though GRAPHIC SEXUAL HORROR has its share of scenes that are tough to watch, sometimes even unbearably horrific—but no less real—the documentary doesn’t set out to simply fire off an arsenal of shocking and controversial imagery, but rather offers a subtle and intelligent reflection on the topic. Rather than revisit the well-worked terrain of investigating pornography and the sex industry, Bell and Lorentzon redirect their focus to art and aesthetics, while never passing judgment or questioning the morality of the various individuals involved, both the dominants and the submissives, and being sure to salute the dauntless models of the now-defunct insex.com. Lovers of transgressive shock cinema are bound, no pun intended, to be drawn to this film which frames its subject as an art form all its own, one which conventional morality cannot accept.