2007: The Year Spunk'd broke
Kane is a USC film school graduate and the former head of production for Nectar Entertainment, which produces the glossy nudes-in-Brazil movies by Marty Zion. Kane had the idea for Spunk'd last year and pitched it to his boss, Sean Logan, who turned it down. Then Kane secured independent financing for the $100k movie and quit Nectar, shooting Spunk'd over four days last August.
"Thank God he passed on the idea," Kane said.
This is the second porn movie website in as many days that made me think the producers were ruining it for everyone else (the other was Porno Jim's Hookin' Up). I worried that an outsider searching for porn for the first time might hit one of these sites and expect similar from every other production company.
Of course, it is unfair to expect each of Porn Valley's thousands of yearly releases to have a website of its own, but the Spunk'd site is better than that of most studios.
But what about the movie?
Featuring character names like Gashton Cootcher, Lindsay Blowhan, Hairless Hilton, Mary-Kate and Ashley Holesen, and Wilmer Balled-yer-mama, it is safe to say that Spunk'd is aimed at people disappointed by movies like the Britney Rears series. This movie is actually funny.
Kane knew the talent from his nine months on the job at Nectar, and he met Ron Jeremy at a 4th of July party. "Nick Manning was our first choice for Gashton Cootcher," Kane said, "and people familiar with his catch-phrase ("Droppin' loads!") will be surprised to see where it comes out."
Kane was reticent to badmouth anyone, which is noble. So I suggested a few things.
GP: If you'd made this movie with any of the studios, you would have got maybe $15k to do it.
JK: Yes, and I wouldn't have had any creative control.
GP: When you're making your own porn movie, it's probably the last out-and-out creative control you'll have until you make two or three high-grossing mainstream features and can call the shots again.
JK: Yeah. But it's interesting that this movie is generating some heat in Hollywood; people are sending it around to executives here and there and people seem to really like it.
Kane shot the movie with a mostly mainstream crew, and dialogue often continues through sex scenes. Had he shot with studio money, the result would have been more formulaic.
"Because we had more money for the budget," he said, "we were able to splurge on things. We had a costume designer and a set decorator as well as craft services. A lot of people walking on the set weren't expecting that."
Other Spunk'd cast members include Penny Flame, Eva Angelina, Hillary Scott, Evan Stone, Ron Jeremy, Katie Morgan, Herschel Savage, Aurora Snow, Kaiya Lynn, Steven St. Croix, Jada Fire, Vanessa Lane, Mikayla, Dru Berrymore, Kelly Brooks, Ginger Lea, and Lexi Belle.
Some of the cast had late-night Cinemax experience, like Katie Morgan, Evan Stone, and Manning, and Ron Jeremy is accustomed to the perks of basic cable budgets, but most of the performers had not ever been on a set that had been decorated with anything but splooge and despair.
"The set was relaxed," Kane said. "People could actually sit and read their scripts. The extra money allowed us to not have to squeeze a hundred bucks here and there, and that shows in the production."
Of the many excellent lines of dialogue, the following stand out:
"My sister can suck-start a leaf blower."
"Hello Dr. Stevens! I see you ordered a pint of jazm on your face! Yeah!"
As has been proven in other movies, the true worth of male talent lies in their ability to have a sense of humor about the proceedings. Both Manning and St. Croix are great scenery chewers, and Penny Flame as Lindsey Blowhan is very funny.
Kane and his partners are tweaking the sound for this summer's DVD release, as well as preparing a Dolby 5.1 mix for the theatrical debut. "It'll be kick-ass," he said.
We talked about money and the myth of a porn stigma.
"Naturally, I have to see if this movie makes its money back if I want to do sequels," Kane said. "The sequel potential is huge; Nick can break into any situation and 'Spunk' somebody. You could have Jizzica Simpson or Clitney Spears...but no one in Hollywood looks down on you if you're doing porn - they look down on you if the porn isn't good. And if you're making money with it and it's good, there's no stigma there.
"It's not like we're running for Congress - it's entertainment."