Skinemax (and other late-night softcore cable fare)

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

  1. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Syaoran Li On The Farms

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    So, I recently checked out the main reason why Skinemax all of a sudden died out completely last year, even though they were making movies as late as 2017 (the same time Cinemax started to fully phase out their programming) although HBO Zone still aired the Max After Dark movies on Friday nights until fairly late into the summer of 2018.

    First, I thought it was because of Cinemax's continued efforts to re-brand itself (which had been ongoing since 2013) combined with the internet making the main appeal of these films limited but apparently the real reason was not because of financial or artistic reasons, but rather it was a result of the AT&T buyout of Time Warner, which included HBO and Cinemax in addition to Turner and Warner Brothers.

    Initially, the plan was to remove Max After Dark from Cinemax as part of the re-branding that had been gradually ongoing since 2013, completely phasing out the shows but keeping the softcore films as they were both cheaper and more popular than the episodic shows. While the shows would be gone no matter what, the movies would simply remain on HBO Zone and maybe expand the block to both Friday night and Saturday night.

    However, when AT&T bought out Time Warner, they said from up on high that they did not want any softcore Skinemax-type programming on their channels at all, presumably due to the current cultural and political climate.

    So in August of 2018, everything in the Late Night programming went away.

    I'm curious as to what will happen with the library of softcore flicks and shows that HBO and Cinemax produced throughout the 1990's, 2000's, and early 2010's, because they could probably be sold for a very cheap price and I'm sure AT&T doesn't want them on their hands anymore.

    I've heard rumors online that they may sell the Max After Dark library to someone else for a possible streaming service with the most recurring names mentioned are Fred Olen Ray and the guys who own Pornhub, although I have also seen The Asylum mentioned a few times.

    It could be true, there is a wealth of footage out there that still has fans even in the days of easy-access internet porn, even if most of the fandom is rooted in a sense of irony and snark nostalgia.

    Honestly, I hope someone does get the rights to these movies, especially the ones starring Christine Nguyen or the Misty Mundae parodies. I'm not sure how profitable producing new softcore films can be (even with the low budgets taken into account) but I could definitely see the back catalog of programs being a draw either on a cheapo streaming service or as an official channel on some place like Pornhub.

    On a semi-related note, I am curious as to how this could affect the actresses who nearly exclusively do softcore films as Max After Dark/HBO Zone was sort of the main source of demand.

    Most of all, I'm curious as to how this will affect Christine Nguyen, my favorite of the softcore stars. Aside from some solo masturbation videos made very early in her career and possibly a scene in an episode of a Playboy reality show whose name I forget, I don't think she's done anything hardcore.

    While the reality show had hardcore scenes, it also had softcore scenes and Nguyen's scene looks like it could easily be a well-edited softcore scene or maybe a hardcore scene with some stuff obscured. The fact that she only appeared in a single episode of the show is also odd, making me think it was probably a softcore scene.

    I casually follow Christine Nguyen on social media and she hasn't said anything on the issue at all, mostly just sperging about sports (she is apparently a huge fan of MMA) and occasionally promoting the still-unreleased "Girls, Guns, & Blood" although a while back, she did post some censored pictures of her and some other models in different skimpy outfits (including fetish wear) and making suggestive poses.

    I don't know if this was for another photo shoot or if she is migrating to hardcore. Honestly, of all the softcore exclusives, I always figured she'd be the one who would not do full hardcore (those early solo videos aside) but instead re-brand herself by starring in low-grade B-movies like the kind produced by The Asylum and SyFy Channel, as she did appear in a couple of those films, namely "Attack Of The Killer Donuts" and "Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre" and if her social media is anything to go by, she is a fan of the genre.

    Honestly, my best guess is that Christine Nguyen will probably keep doing lewd photo shoots on occasion and starring in B-movies for now, I don't expect her to do hardcore but given the collapse of Max After Dark, it could now be a very real possibility.

    Sad, because not only is she very attractive, she actually has some acting ability, at least when compared to most of her Skinemax co-stars.
     
  2. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat "Modernly Tech Savvy"

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    In other words, another casualty of the "culture wars" of Current Year.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  3. Trilby

    Trilby Local Nut

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    It's sad when anything and everything we might ACTUALLY like is now problematic. :crash:
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  4. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Syaoran Li On The Farms

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    Alright, a little update...

    Girls, Guns, & Blood has been officially released to streaming as of May 2019 according to Christine Nguyen's statements on Twitter and Facebook.

    Christine Nguyen plays one of the leading roles and the film overall seems to be intended as a "last hurrah" for the genre of Skinemax softcore films, with a bit of the action B-movie flair thrown in for good measure.

    According to both IMDB and social media promotions from both Christine Nguyen and the official Twitter for the movie, this flick also has appearances from several other Max After Dark regulars, including Rebecca Love.

    Based on the promo materials and descriptions I've seen for the film, it's like a 2010's version of those Andy Sidaris films from the early 1990's that were basically softcore skin flicks crossed over with low-budget action B-movies and often starred former models for Playboy and Penthouse.

    I haven't seen it yet because it's mainly an Amazon direct release at the moment and I do not have an Amazon Prime account, which sucks. If it moves to a more accessible streaming platform, I will definitely check it out ASAP.
     
  5. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Syaoran Li On The Farms

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    Here's an interview with Christine Nguyen, she talks about both Girls Guns & Blood and the demise of Skinemax as well.



    Apparently the downfall of Skinemax was a mix of both the AT&T buyout and the fact for most of the 2010's, the "Late Night Programming" division that kept those movies going was run by a single guy who ran it as a passion project.

    Also, we have confirmation that Nguyen has never done hardcore stuff and has no intention to, instead she's going to branch out to B-movies, sitcom roles, and low-budget comedies and she is also writing her own stuff with the intent to produce it.

    Girls Guns & Blood is both a send-off to Skinemax and also an attempt to do more action-based roles since most of her roles were comedic in nature, including the softcore late night stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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  6. Trilby

    Trilby Local Nut

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    Sad to see it end.
     
  7. Feldmann_Cee

    Feldmann_Cee I’m the Lord of the Harvest here as well!!

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    It’s kinda sad to see it go tho.
     
  8. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Syaoran Li On The Farms

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    On a related note, does anybody remember the "Bullets, Bombs, and Babes" movies that the late great Andy Sidaris made back in the 80's and 90's?

    They were quintessential "Girls With Guns" movies that had a lot of nudity and softcore sex scenes, and often starred Playboy models and I admit, I loved them a lot as a teenager. Think Skinemax crossed over with low-budget action B-movies.

    They had all the boobs and butts of a Skinemax movie but also had lots of cool gunfights, car chases, and so on. The first one I saw was the 1991 classic "Do Or Die" back when I was twelve or thirteen.

    Given the timeline the Andy Sidaris movies came out syncs up fairly closely with the early days of the "Max After Dark" programming in the 90's, I'm wondering if Sidaris was an influence on these films.

    Looking back, I noticed a lot of the stuff from the 90's and very early 2000's was more "serious" fare, usually a pastiche of dramas or thrillers and often times coming across like a cheap paperback romance novel in TV form (and aimed at dudes) but nearly all of the later stuff from the 2000's and 2010's were comedies and parodies.

    Misty Mundae's work in the early 2000's were a quintessential example of this, as was Cleavagefield and the movies of Fred Olen Ray and his protege Dean McKendrick.

    I haven't seen "Girls, Guns, and Blood" yet, but I am honestly tempted to cough up the money and watch it.

    Hmm, I'm wondering if we're going to see someone do a nostalgic throwback to these movies ten or twenty years from now?

    I mean, Indiana Jones was originally a throwback to 1930's adventure serials and exploitation films got their own throwbacks from guys like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Eli Roth.
     
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