Buy “I Love L.A.” on DVD
“Sometimes I come up here just to get a load of the view,” muses John Holmes on a Hollywood hilltop in I Love L.A. a late-period, post-jail effort that casts Holmes as the omniscient observer of the sex lives of several mortals in the Valley below.
Holmes died from AIDS-related complications in 1988, one year after this movie was released, and he plays the narrator with all the confidence of his younger years. Still, he doesn’t look healthy. And this corruption seems apt for the 80’s-style tales in the movie, each smelling like a porn “Love Boat” in their campiness and overlapping storylines.
In one, a doctor seduces a secretary (Shaun Michelle) with a “special powder” he sprinkles on a flower. Then the secretary quits, goes home, and shows a prank caller that she can talk dirty right back, using Crystal Breeze as a lab partner.
Then we meet lecherous boss Harry Reems (Deep Throat), who instructs his secretaries (again with the secretaries), that “how far you go in the company depends on how far you go in my office.” I long for those times. The secretary and her cohorts then quit.
With Holmes providing the wraparounds in various locations around L.A., the movie comes together cleverly and gets an A for effort until the very end, when Holmes appears in a scene with the delicious Amber Lynn that was clearly shot years before. In the outro, Holmes says, “Now you may be wondering how all this relates to you” and then chuckles and walks away, leaving the credits to roll on the backdrop of a tree. I don’t get it.
Holmes’ company, Penguin Productions (partially financed by Wonderland-era drug lord Eddie Nash), produced this movie, so the occasional moments of hubris can be credited to Holmes’ lack of objectivity. But I Love L.A. is a fun movie, and also a sad one, knowing what we know now. Finally, it is a sign of its times, where bosses still harass their secretaries but the seretaries know they have the option to walk out, their hairy vaginas uncomfortable with the sudden movement.
I Love L.A. is part of the 2-disc John Holmes Collection 2, released by Adam & Eve and also featuring Saturday Night Beaver and Rockey X.