MATINEE IDOL (1985) 88 Minutes.
w/p – David F. Friedman, d – Henri Pachard. Cast: Jesie St. James, John Leslie, Angel,
Kay Parker, Colleen Brennan, Herschel Savage, Laurie Smith, Tigr, Ray Michaels,
Elmer Fox, Dave Friedman and Henri Pachard.

Made in the summer of 1984 and screened and released in early 1985, MATINEE IDOL
suffered a fate similar to Hollywood films. At year’s end, many critics either failed to remember
or overlooked the early in the year release come awards time. In the era of big budget
couples films, this curiosity provides the plot and production required and the charm that is
a throwback to the golden age of sex films.

The story takes place at Sensational International Studios, run by Harvey Cox (Elmer
Fox) and Bernie Kuntz (Dave Friedman), two old time movie mogul showmen. Dave is, of
course, a real life entrepreneur and a former carny and Elmer has appeared under many
names in great character roles, most notably as the head Nazi in PRISONER OF PARADISE.
Their two superstars, Lance Hardy (John Leslie) and Linda Hand (Jesie St. James), are
bickering and fighting in the finest tradition of Hollywood sex comedies where the audience
knows the sparring will lead to true love, and in this case, depiction of the sex Gable and
Colbert could never perform on screen. (Take all that leave It to the Imagination stuff and
cram that lame argument).

Jesie finds pool man Herschel Savage and John is screen tested with new goddess Daisy
Chaney (Angel) — who act as buffers for the bruised egos of the stars. Class acts Colleen
Brennan, in the plaster caster three way and Kay Parker lend their presence to the proceed
ings. Henri Pachard kept this one from turning into a routine film by insuring that the sex
scenes packed heat. John, Jesie, Colleen, Kay and Herschel can do it on their own, but
Angel ranks with Stacey Donovan and Raven as the three gorgeous girls of the eighties
who often appear uninterested in sex. Pachard must have had an answer other directors
miss. The film is laced with inside trivia, from Steve Boardner’s Bar to Dave’s posters for
STARLET THAR SHE BLOWS and TRADER HORNEE, three of his real life hits from the
sexploitation days. After the happy resolution, his comment to the camera says it all, with
a twinkle in his eye. Shauna Grant was set to play the Daisy Chaney role but committed
suicide before filming started. She was replaced by Angel. Enjoyable fluff with erotic sex in
an era when most films miss the mark on sex.