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Skinemax (and other late-night softcore cable fare)

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

  1. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Old-School Gentleman

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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 ¿qué?

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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 Old-School Gentleman

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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 Old-School Gentleman

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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 Old-School Gentleman

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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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  9. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Old-School Gentleman

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    Not gonna lie, the opening music is pretty catchy...

    Buford's Beach Bunnies was a low-budget sex comedy from the early 90's that was apparently aired in heavy rotation in the early days of Skinemax. Not sure if it was explicitly a Max After Dark movie produced in-house or just something that Cinemax had the rights to at the time and happened to fit the bill.

    Haven't seen the movie itself, but I've heard about it.

     
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  10. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat ¿qué?

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  11. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Old-School Gentleman

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    Max After Dark was the official name for "Skinemax" programming on Cinemax and HBO

    Not gonna lie, I'd love to see someone make a softcore Skinemax movie that featured flying toaster screensavers in the opening credits as some sort of in-joke
     
  12. Holdek

    Holdek Well-Known Member

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    We should do a movie night marathon stream with softcore porns.
     
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  13. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Old-School Gentleman

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    That would be hilarious.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2021
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  14. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Old-School Gentleman

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    I think the future of "Skinemax" style softcore isn't quite as bleak as one might think.

    Apparently, Jim Wynorski is still at it with a new movie called "Bigfoot or Bust" that stars Christine Nguyen among a few others. It seems like the real future for these types of movies are as direct-to-streaming B Movies.

    The campy B-Movie type of skin flicks were always more enjoyable since they had an appeal as goofball "So bad it's good" genre flicks as well as the typical fanservice stuff
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2021
  15. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Old-School Gentleman

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    Sorry for a triple post but I encountered another movie by chance on Tubi called "The Guest House" that came out in 2012, right before all the madness of "Current Year" really got going.

    The Guest House can best be described as a weird hybrid of a Hallmark Original Movie and a Skinemax flick. It's usually at the top of the "LGBTQ" category on Tubi and is one of the few pictures that isn't a documentary, a foreign flick, or some pretentious indie arthouse lesbian movie (although it is about lesbians because it's obvious fanservice)

    The Guest House is basically about some goth chick falling in love with her rich dad's personal assistant while she's staying in the guest house of their luxury home.

    The movie is unrealistic, kitschy, sappy and kinda cringe but at the same time, what was campy and trite in 2012 seems like a breath of fresh air in 2021. Half the time it's sappy Hallmark romance and the other half the time it's Skinemax-style softcore sex scenes because of course it is.

    Overall, it's actually pretty decent if you take it for what it is and don't look any deeper.

    The Guest House is a cheapo direct-to-DVD chick flick with just enough T&A to get the guys to watch it with their girlfriends but watching it, I really don't think it was trying to be anything more than that.

    The director was a straight male (surprise surprise) so at first, I was thinking this was going to be a Blue Is The Warmest Color-style debacle with a sex pest director trying to disguise softcore porn as indie art, but it surprisingly wasn't. According to some reviews and articles online, the actresses were kinda nervous about all the nudity but the staff of the movie were accommodating and professional about it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2021
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  16. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat ¿qué?

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    Is erotic stuff even made in America anymore? I imagine with the demonizing of the "male gaze" (male sexuality), "cancel culture", and social "justice" ramped up to 11 in 2020, any stuff like that made in America isn't mainstream, if it's made at all.
     
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  17. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Old-School Gentleman

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    Unless you're counting literal hardcore porn, probably not at all.

    The Guest House was a low-budget direct-to-DVD/direct-to-streaming title and even it got some flak from woke lesbians for being unrealistic and directed by a man, though a few other lesbian critics said it was fine for what it was. This was back in 2012, mind you.

    (It helps that The Guest House didn't try to present itself as pseudo-intellectual arthouse fare like Blue Is The Warmest Color did)
     
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  18. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat ¿qué?

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    America in 2020+ reminds me of a very fanatical Muslim country.

    (except the religion is social "justice" and "cancel culture")
     
  19. Harrison Gentleman

    Harrison Gentleman Old-School Gentleman

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    Thing is that you could easily bring back the "Skinemax" style softcore flick if you had enough money and knew how to market it just right. These films were made on very low budgets and that's part of why they were able to remain profitable up until the very end.

    If you got some no-name actors and maybe a few of the less trashy-looking OnlyFans thots local to wherever you're filming, you could make a Skinemax-style movie and be able to get some kind of a profit if you can market it like a B-movie to some of the lower-end streaming services that are less censorship-inclined.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2021
  20. ToroidalBoat

    ToroidalBoat ¿qué?

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    That could be another reason why softcore really isn't a thing in American MSM anymore: "thots" weren't a thing back when MSM softcore was a thing.
     
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