Anthony's Desire (1993) from Brainscan

Went to the zoo a while back. Visited the hippo exhibit. One of those giant beasts was wading around in his pool when he let loose with the kind of defecatory event possible only when a half-ton animal eats fifty pounds of hay and vegetables every day of its life. A brown jet expanding in clear blue water. Ugliest damn thing I ever saw.

Until I watched Anthony's Desire.

Anthony's Desire is one weird-ass, bad mofo-ing movie.  Or maybe it is one bad-ass, weird mofo-ing movie.  No matter.  It is weird, it is bad and it is mofo-ing.  Here's what I can tell you about it.

Some surly dude - that would be Anthony - washes up at a seaside hotel/nightclub where no one does a lick of work except the gals doing the entertaining on stage. Al least I think he washed up there, although that is never made plain. The entertainers belong to a "dance" troupe, although the gals don't really dance. They just more or less lie around in a heap on stage while four or five people at tables watch them.

So the guy shows up, boffs one gal played by Mihaella Stoicov two minutes after he spots her, boffs another gal after a lengthy angst-ridden romance that reminded me of adolescence at its worst, and he boffs a third gal (I think) on stage.  Why on stage?  Because that is her performing skill -  she's one of the six nekkid gals who just sorta loll about or play string instruments or boff mysterious, brooding strangers.  All of this is occurs as a documentary crew works in the background ... a crew whose director wrote, produced, edited, directed, catered, gaffed and best-boyed the very movie we be watching.  That guy, by the name of Tom Boka, sported the worst mullet in the history of haircuts.  Made the singer of Ache-ee Break-ee Heart appear suave and sophisticated by comparison.  Anyway, Tom meant for us to view Passion and Desire and Want and Need in a whole new light when he was done making this masterpiece; he wanted to create a story of loneliness and conflict and brooding flavored with arty prose and fine music. And he did such a terrific job of it all he was asked never to write or direct or produce or edit or appear in another movie ever again.   So resounding was his success with Anthony's Desire that he was probably also asked never even to watch another movie or buy a movie ticket or sign up for Netflix.

The major task of doing all the lonely, conflicted brooding fell on the shoulders of one Doug Demarco, who played the role of Anthony. And brood he did. Intensely, obsessively, with all the range of A to B in his performance. One of three movies ol' Dougie was in during his long Hollywood career. Ah, the virtue of raw talent.

So Tom and Doug made a real mess of this movie, dragged it down to the fetid hippo pool of movie history. Fully half the movie involves long, lingering shots of Doug's brooding face or monologues meant to be so terribly serious they sink with the kind of gravity never seen outside of collapsed stars.

Why watch it?  Well, me buckos, the movie runs 81 minutes.  And for almost 23 of those minutes there is at least one and as many as six nekkid babes on the screen.  Mihaella Stoicov does Anthony in as many places and in as many ways as an R-rated film can document (3 clips worth).  Mihaella is a raven-haired, slim beauty who lies around completely naked when not boffing the brooding stranger, and manages to give us a look at her holiest of holies whilst climbing out of bed. A bravura performance. In addition to Mihaella, who sported a different name for each of the four movies she made, Gwen Somers gets nekkid and stays nekkid.  Gwen loungese about, upside down, completely unclothed and talks of things mysterious and philosophical ... for 3 1/2 minutes. In fact I am willing to bet that, other than Fionnula Flanagan's 20-minute-long scene in James Joyce's Women, Gwen has the longest single-take nekkid-lying-about-and-yammering-about-nothing scene ever filmed. And if that were not enough, Gwen has a second scene of near-equal length when Anthony finally gets around to porking her. 

When Mihaella and Gwen are not giving up all the goodies, there are those six gals on stage.  The heavy hitters here are Raven (Anastassia) Alexander, Debra Beatty and Ashlie Rhey.  Ashlie's scene includes the dramatically over-inflated Stephanie Champlin (here billed as Stephanie Sumers) engaged in some very light lesbo action.  The last scene has all six gals lying cheek-to-jowl, as it were.  Most prominently on display is former pornstar Kelly Jaye, a very pretty blonde sporting the single worst boob job ever attempted by a blind man. Number six is Jeanine Roberts.

That's really the only reason to watch this thing, but let me warn ya.  Five minutes of a gal lying around doing nothing but talking is not very exciting even if she's starkers.  It might be something of an event if it were Jessica Alba doing the nekkid thing, but Gwen Somers?  Nope.  Let's ask the crucial question: what would it take to get me to watch Anthony and his interminable brooding again. The only way to make this one worthy of a return visit would be cast Nikki Cox, Heather Graham, Eva Green and Ludivine Sagnier as the naked dancers and then put me in the middle of the group grope. All four of them. Three and the deal is off.


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The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

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