1 Night in China (2004) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The artist as visionary. Reflections on Welles, Cimino, Figgis and X-Pac.

Some time at the beginning of the 20th century, a great power shift occurred. The United States, which had possessed the fourth or fifth largest economy in the world, became the largest economic power by far in the space of less than two decades, because the four great Western European powers destroyed themselves and each other with a particularly foolish and costly war, while America welcomed a massive influx of immigrants and American industrialists grew prosperous. Of course, each Empire has its time, and America's, which began around the time of WW2, is about to expire. The next great power shift, which will occur in a half century or less, will result in China becoming the greatest economic power in the world, and beyond that ... who knows?? We face some kind of Brave New World, as yet undefined, and not certain to be either better or worse than the Cowardly Old World we know now.

Artists, of course, are believed to provide the psychic portion of a culture's collective brain, the portion that looks far into the future and imagines what it would be like. Such an artist is Sean Waltman, who provided the cinema verité vision for 1 Night in China, an artistic creation which suggests that even today the West should be looking toward the Orient for peace, for enlightenment, and for a quick fuck with a manly chick. The video stars two wrestlers named Chyna (Joanie Laurer) and X-Pac, a role assayed by Waltman himself in a versatile multi-tasking performance in the cinema tradition of Orson Welles. In addition to writing, producing, acting, and directing the footage, Mr Waltman also held the camera and did the cinematography. That may not sound so impressive until you think about how difficult it would be to make fifty pelvic thrusts per minute while holding a camera steady and in focus. So take that, Mr Orson Welles! Oh, sure you can write and direct and act at the same time, but can you hold on to the camera while you pound a woman's privates as fast as you can? I think not. For one thing, if you held the camera at your shoulder, you would not be able to see your penis over your enormous belly. So suck on that, Mr. Smart-alecky High IQ Genius. Serve that wine before its time, fat-boy.

Sean and Joanie actually flew into China for a while to provide some background for 1 Night in China. At one point, Sean stands transfixed in Tiananmen Square as his guide explains the transition between the great Dynasties. Then Sean gives the ol' razzberry to a picture of Chairman Mao, and surely he knows the innate brilliance of this symbolic gesture - his indication that Mao's vision of China is about to crumble, while Sean's own soars in ascendancy. There was immense dedication involved in this China trip. The director of Heaven's Gate, Michael Cimino, once uprooted a massive old tree and re-planted it in the courtyard at Oxford so that a virtually irrelevant celebration scene would have the precise appearance he envisioned. Yet is that attention to detail anything to compare with that shown by Sean Waltman? Mr. Waltman made a home sex movie in which he repeatedly hammered the various orifices of a woman named Chyna - and he actually flew to China to film some footage, and stayed overnight, just so he could get a double-entendre out of the title 1 Night in China. All that in the interest of simple wordplay! I suggest that even the great Cimino would tip his hat to the grandiosity of this gesture.

Oh, yeah, the film is two people with very large shoulders and very large genitals loving each other long time. Chyna shows off a truly enormous clitoris and gets violated in each orifice. Most of the 50-something minutes is just endless pounding filmed by a camera held by the same guy doing the aforementioned pounding, thus bringing a gritty, real-time feel to the presentation that would make even Mike Figgis envious, not to mention a bit nauseated.

Believe me, this video sucks.

In more ways than one.


XXX celebrity sex tape from two wrestlers.

If you're really into porn, the package is rounded out with several XXX porno films which fill out two full DVD disks with various violations of the usual heterosexual and girl-girl types. I watched about 10 seconds of one, and 30 seconds of another, just to see what it was. I think there must be about two or three hours of that stuff on the two DVD's, if you're into that.

My rating guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a low C-. Even by the minimal standards of celebrity sex tapes, this is a weak one. It isn't even an hour long, it's obviously staged, the camera is shaky and sometimes unfocused, there's a lot of motion blur, some of it is poorly lit, some of it is even in B&W, and the woman is ... um ... not especially feminine.

Return to the Movie House home page