opinion

Is the feature dead?

Gram Ponante
The other day I visited the set of Vivid's Debbie Does Dallas - Again. The movie will cost ten million dollars.

Directed by Paul Thomas, the movie revisits the world of Debbie, who is now reincarnated after the cheerleading mishap that ended her life. Stefani Morgan plays live Debbie and Hillary Scott plays the new regeneration. Did I call Doctor Who or did I not call Doctor Who?

The set was a cemetery in Whittier. Everyone was very careful about the graves and the property, because porn people are very groovy, spiritual people.

Vivid owner Steve Hirsch was on set. It was a hot day, so a thin sheen of money coated his brow. We talked briefly about one of the gigs I do.

"You seem to review a lot of titles by (other company) on that site," he observed.

"Well, (that company) sends me a lot of titles," I said, "Besides, Eon McKai can't utter peep one about 'the kids' without that site covering it."

This morning a Vivid official confirmed my mailing address for screeners. Since I don't play golf, I should have all my business meetings in cemeteries. (Maybe that way I'll meet Houston.)

As this was a feature film, things took a little longer to set up, but I tried not to get worried, choosing to not turn on to problems that might upset me.

"What's the buzz, Paul Thomas?" I asked, checking my watch. "Tell me what's'a happenin'."

"Why should you want to know?" he snapped. "Don't you mind about the future."

He then talked with a hovering Showtime crew.

There were several dialogue scenes to film and two sex scenes that would have to be shot after the cemetery closed to the public. Vivid spokesmodel Eon McKai came to visit.

"Thanks for helping out Vivid," he said. I explained to McKai that Thomas was a superstar before he, McKai, says he was born, and that I felt awkward being very familiar with one aspect of Thomas' career and not his porn career.

The Holy Spirit dropped by to chat with His old friend Thomas, but He was quickly ushered off the closed set.

"Have you seen Fade to Black?" Thomas asked me. I replied that I had. It was a Mickey Rourke movie.

"Did you like it?" he asked.

"Yes," I said.

"I just did Fade to Black II," he said. I wondered how Vivid had acquired the rights. Then I realized that Thomas' Fade to Black was not the one I had seen.

"I'm embarrassed to admit that I have not seen any of your movies, PT," I said, using the preferred title.

He looked as if he were about to fall into any number of available open graves.

"You've got a lot of catching up to do, Son," he said. ...of God? I wondered.

I realize that that is true, but am I supposed to read Lurk Ford's archives before every event I attend? And if so, wouldn't I be in danger of assuming everyone was in the Mafia or had AIDS?

McKai and Thomas apparently share a wing of Vivid and switch off on the helipad.

"Ask PT if he'll come to my Jesus Christ Superstar party next year," I demanded.

"Would you come to a Jesus Christ Superstar party next Easter at Gram's house?" McKai asked Thomas.

"And would you cook?" I blurted out.

Thomas proceeded to tell a story about the actress who played Mary Magdalene in the movie that made "I Don't Know How to Love Him" seem like an outright lie.

I will be hard-pressed to ever have a better time in a cemetery.

As you know, I am super-sensitive to the spirit world. For some reason, I sensed Death all around me.

I watched crew members bearing Vivid's rent-a-coffin away. "Is the porn feature dead?" I asked.

"As long as one person believes, Gram, the feature will never die," they said.

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