I was really pleased that the reaction to New Wave Hookers was so positive. While it was not the first porn movie I’d ever watched (that was Flashpoint, if you really want to know), in some ways, I think it resonated with me even more because I saw it after I’d been working in the industry a couple of years and had a ton of formulaic gonzo movies to compare it to.
There was a lot of nostalgia in the positive comments about the movie, which might suggest to some that rosy glasses may have been donned during its re-watching, but I don’t think so. More than once as an adult, I’ve had the chance to watch a tv show I loved as a kid and been completely disappointed that it was nowhere near as great as I remembered it. Very few movies hold up over time and I’d argue that NWH is one of those few.
A lot of people credit Ginger Lynn for what porn has now become. I think it’s meant as a compliment, but to me it seemed like an indictment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not saying all porn now is bad and all porn made in 1985 was great – far from it. But when I watch the DP scene in NWH, I couldn’t help but think how different it is from what it eventually spawned.
If you’ve ever watched any reality tv, you know that the concept of “reality” is kind of a farce. After years of watching reality tv themselves, the participants are hyperaware of the camera and play their “parts” the way they’ve seen them played by the people who went before – pretending to be real people. This is exactly what happened to porn. Because of women like Ginger Lynn who really seemed to love having sex on camera, people think they know what a “porn star” is supposed to act like. They’re not enjoying having sex on camera; they’re pretending to enjoy having sex on camera.
It’s not the bush or the natural breasts that make NHW great (although they certainly don’t hurt). That Jamie Gillis is an entertaining actor and the scenes are short and to the point are good things, but they don’t make the movie. What makes this movie great to this day is that it looks like fun.
Sex is fun and somehow that gets lost in what’s become a cookie-cutter, churn-‘em-out industry. While there are a few performers who really do love what they do, most are there solely for the paycheck. It seems so serious. Watching stuff like New Wave Hookers or Misty Beethoven every now and then helps remind me that it’s not supposed to be.