Poster for The Key
Colombo is full of adult film theaters. We went to one on a lark. The Olympia is just under an overpass at the end of Darley Road. It’s a large theatre, mostly empty. They were showing “The Key”, advertised with three completely unrelated posters and a bit of boob. Normally only the names are postered around town, “I Love You Julie”, “Love Story 2010”, “The Nurse”, etc. I’ve always seen the ads but never went. So we went. It was just as funny as I thought it would be. We actually laughed so much that some patrons left after 15 minutes, though perhaps that’s normal.
The films are softcore porn, a lot of fake boob and innuendo but not porn per se. What’s the most funny is that the American film was dubbed into Indian english, so you get lines like “I have a surprise for you, but you have to promise not to escream.” The men sound like Indian johnnies (yar) and the women sound like Chennai schoolmarms. The sex sounds sound like they are filmed by scuba divers, it’s all heavy breathing to the point of asphyxiation.
The soundtrack is perhaps the best. The recurring motif (the emotional center of the film, really) was ‘What A Wonderful World’. At times this was supplemented with the theme songs from Cheers, Superman and, for the finale, Star Trek. Then there was, of course, the roving bass line.
I won’t get into the plot too much (housesitting gone orgiastic), but the editing was very post-modern. That is, seemingly random. Scenes appeared edited and then put together in the wrong order. For example, at one point the film actually ended. Everything was resolved and the camera panned out on a statue of a Chinese king. Then the reel jumped back about 15 minutes and showed a conflict scene that had already been resolved, then abruptly ended. The credits rolled (in Chinese and English) for Martial Arts Coordinator, Dance Choreographer and Art Directors. Aside from a brief striptease scene, the film had none of the above. Quite surreal. Modern art really.
Sometimes I wonder if this type of film colors roadside perceptions of women, white women in particular. In these films they’re always readily available and signal availability basically by the clothing. All they seem to require is a lecherous approach and then they melt. I don’t know if it’s the way they cut it, but the scenes go from flirting to sex (pantomimed) in about 2 seconds. However, we went to the show with three girls and encountered no problems or lechery, only hilarity. As a kitsch experience it’s priceless, though I wonder who goes to these films seriously. We certainly have enough theaters.