Skinemax (and other late-night softcore cable fare)

Discussion in 'Films' started by Harrison Gentleman, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Darien In The Dub

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    Alright, it's about time somebody brought this up and I may as well be the one to sperg about it first.

    Time to talk about Cinemax's late night material, or as it's more commonly known as, Skinemax. (you knew it was inevitable)

    When it comes to lame and campy attempts at erotic film, you can't get more pathetic than premium cable softcore porn. Once the main fap material of many a horny teenager in the 90's and early 2000's (at least the ones who had premium cable), these films now seem quaint, antiquated, and actually rather tame in this age of hardcore internet porn being readily available at the click of a button.

    Skinemax (named so because most of these shows and movies air on Cinemax, and they were the ones that started the tradition, although HBO Zone and The Movie Channel also air this type of stuff on the weekends) is a treasure trove of shameless nudity, fake sex scenes, bad acting, and overwrought excuse plots.

    Unlike hardcore material where you can show pretty much anything and skip straight to the lewdness, Skinemax softcore stuff actually has rules. All the sex scenes are simulated, and you're only allowed to show boobs and butts (even Game of Thrones gets to show more stuff than these movies). So naturally, the people who make these type of flicks have to include a premise (often a parody of a film or more often, a genre of film) and usually have to have an excuse plot. Many of these films come off as poorly acted and the low production values really show, but let's be honest, most people who watch this kind of stuff don't care about production values or coherence. Some of these films are totally self-aware of this (particularly Fred Olen Ray's works) and just have fun with it, often being humorous and tongue-in-cheek.

    You'd think that these type of films and shows would fall by the wayside and be completely decimated by the internet like what happened with Playboy Magazine, but you'd be wrong. Because these films are super cheap to make (the average budget is usually around $100,000-$250,000) and have a built-in appeal of some sort, they're still in circulation as late night weekend filler for HBO Zone and general late night material for Cinemax (although since 2013, Cinemax has scaled down the softcore stuff somewhat so they can focus on original legitimate shows like The Knick and the TV adaptation of The Transporter).

    Many of the films are directed by two main people: Dean McKendrick and noted B-Movie director Fred Olen Ray (who operates under the pseudonym "Nicholas Medina"). Ray's films usually tend to be more self-aware and are of marginally better quality in terms of both production values and fanservice.

    These films often employ burned-out hardcore actors such as Voodoo and Rebecca Love, but a few performers make a living solely doing these late-night softcore films, most notably Christine Nguyen and Beverly Lynne.

    When I was an ignorant teenager in the mid-to-late 2000's, I loved these films (lol, TMI, I know), but now I find them to be lame and enjoyable in a "So Bad It's Good" sort of way instead of their intended purpose. These films often tend to be so cheap and low-brow, they become funny and are essentially unintended comedy gold.

    This doesn't just apply to Skinemax movies, you can also discuss the original TV shows that follow this format, with all the snark and mockery that would entail.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
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  2. Hellblazer

    Hellblazer Autism on the rocks Staff Member

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    Terrible Cinemax porn makes great background viewing for parties. A roomful of drunk people heckling softcover Bigfoot porn is always going to be fun.
     
  3. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Darien In The Dub

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    Indeed

    Also, while most of the Skinemax regulars tend to be your typical blonde bimbo burnouts with obviously fake tits, Christine Nguyen is actually attractive by non-porn standards. She's also the only one who can even remotely act her way out of a paper bag and I think is one of the few Skinemax regulars who has never done actual hardcore porn ever in her life (even Beverly Lynne did one or two of those type of videos a while back), so she has some semblance of self-respect.

    And she is known for being friendly to her fans on Facebook and Twitter, so there is that. I'm surprised she never really branched out into semi-mainstream fare. She's not a good enough actor to be an A-Lister, but I could see her having a niche doing TV shows and the occasional B movie, she's skilled enough of an actor to do that at least (which cannot be said for most of her co-stars). But apparently Miss Nguyen has found her niche doing Cinemax softcore stuff and I suppose she's cool with that.

    (Though according to IMDB, she did have a minor cameo in Get Him To The Greek)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
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  4. Flame the Sunbird

    Flame the Sunbird Well-Known Member

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    A personal fave from the Skinemax world, the "Cloverfield" softcore parody "Cleavagefield." Worth it for the monster alone LOL.

    download - Copy.jpg
     
  5. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Darien In The Dub

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    Cleavagefield is one of my favorites. Rebecca Love was great in that, but the monster was the best part.
     
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  6. Very Honest Content

    Very Honest Content Formerly a niggo (???) Staff Member

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    My girlfriend has appeared in at least two of these movies that I know of. One was a parody of a mainstream action movie, the other I'm assuming was an original content D-feature plot but have never done the necessary research to confirm that assumption. And those are the only two I know for sure off at this moment . . .

    I want to suggest to you the possibility that the non-XXX explicit appearance actresses in these things are doing a bit of escort/call-girling on the side before you get too far down the road of 'but not her,' in the casts of these things. Also a lot of them might be making either name changed credited hardcore material in addition to the fake skin bikini scenes they do for these or appearing in anonymous hardcore porn using masks to conceal their face while the rest of the body is fully available for consumption by the sweaty palmed audience in that genre of adult entertainment.

    But as to the the thread topic specifically, IMO, these movies can be acceptable as long as there's a body count of at least four in the plot, the minimum of at least three side characters at appropriate plot points, then whoever is puppet mastering the suspense elements of the plot has to be taken out when their identity is revealed to the protagonist at the end. That dino-monster though in Flame's post, that's something else alright. I'm not sure even Rebecca Love's aftermarket accessories would be enough for me to not roll my eyes at that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  7. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Darien In The Dub

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    That is true, a lot of so-called softcore exclusive stars do occasionally dabble in hardcore work on the side, usually under a different name, but as far as I can tell, Christine Nguyen isn't one of them (although she did use the pseudonym "Jennifer Lee" in her early softcore career), and I've been looking to see if Nguyen ever did do any hardcore work, but as far as I can tell, it's all softcore, or at worst, some pseudo-artsy solo material very early in her career.

    And Cleavagefield is unique for being a well-known and hilarious late 2000's softcore film that was not directed by either Dean McKendrick or Fred Olen Ray. According to IMDB, it was directed by a guy named Jim Wynorski.
     
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  8. NAITCHA BAH

    NAITCHA BAH 16-time World Champion

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    She was nice, but my favorite Skinemax regular was Misty Mundae. I don't know what it is about her, but I destroyed a lot of tube socks in the early 00's because of her.
     
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  9. Blank

    Blank The Charles Dickens of Disco.

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    Back in he late 90s, we quasi-got Cinemax/Skinemax. "Quasi" because this was back in the day where cable didn't completely block a channel, but you got it, albeit very, very scrambled. If you were patient though, and had an old CRT television with the old analog knobs, you could kinda get something halfway visible. Sound was total shit though, but considering I was still living at home with my folks, you'd have to keep it on mute. I also remember Sunday paper would also deliver a TV Guide which would also contain a brief writeup of the shows, including the Skinemax fare, which is the only way I could know when something was going to be playing, and also get a few names of the talent.

    Looking them up years later... turns out they looked much better with the sound off and the screen being an epileptic's nightmare. Nikki Fritz though... damn.
     
  10. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Darien In The Dub

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    Thought I'd give this thread an update, because I think Skinemax may have officially bit the dust. At least on Cinemax, anyway.

    According to Wikipedia, Max After Dark is listed as "Former Programming", though the article lists the program as having ended in 2013 and I know for a fact that they were airing Max After Dark stuff as late as early 2017. But this month I checked my On Demand out of curiosity and all the Cinemax Max After Dark movies are gone, as are half the shows on there as well.

    There's also no mention of Max After Dark on the official Cinemax website.

    I think the goose is finally cooked. Though I do know that HBO Zone is still airing that Skinemax softcore stuff on Friday nights, so at least it may live on in some form, but who knows how long?

    RIP
    Max After Dark
    1990-2017

    Press F to pay respects.
     
  11. Someone In A Tree

    Someone In A Tree Well-Known Member

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    I take way too much pride in being part of the last generation that had to forage for their porn, softcore or otherwise. Godspeed, Skinemax. You gave young men the gift of nudity before you could just do a Google image search for boobs.
     
  12. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat "Modernly Tech Savvy"

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    Some tried to look at scrambled channels where one could kind of make stuff out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  13. Princess Celestia

    Princess Celestia Your local techni-color horse.

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    I can only imagine the horrors you are describing.
     
  14. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Darien In The Dub

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    Apologies for the thread necromancy, but I've noticed that since Max After Dark bit the dust sometime during Summer 2017, that HBO Zone's Late Night material (which is nearly identical to Max After Dark, except it's solely movies instead of shows and only on Fridays and Sundays) is not putting out any new movies, just the same three or four films every month, most of them holdovers from 2016 and 2017.

    Maybe it's because 2018 just started and they haven't had time to make any new skin flicks, but I also have the sinking feeling that this may be the forerunner to the final nail in the coffin. If Cinemax of all people can abandon this type of stuff, then a lesser offshoot channel like HBO Zone doesn't stand much of a chance.

    Hell, even on IMDB, a lot of the Skinemax regulars either don't have anything lined up for pre-production in 2018 or have very little lined up.

    My favorite actress, Christine Nguyen is going to be in an upcoming B Movie called "Girls, Guns, and Blood" sometime in 2018 and that's it. And from the looks of it, that movie looks more like a direct-to-video Asylum-grade action B-Movie rather than something that would air on Skinemax, but I could be wrong.

    I think this is it, folks. Though in this age where nudity is easier to access than fresh drinking water, I'm surprised Skinemax has lasted as long as it has.
     
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  15. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Darien In The Dub

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    Update to this thread...

    HBO Zone no longer airs Skinemax movies at all, not even on Fridays like they used to. It's officially over.

    Apparently, Showtime and The Movie Channel still have some softcore movies in their rotation though, which surprises me because I thought they quit before Cinemax did.
     
  16. Orkeosaurus

    Orkeosaurus Active Member

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    14 year old me got a big kick out of Lord of the G-Strings. It's the one skinemax movie I actually remember because of all the juvenile jokes.