By Pete Vonder Haar | January 26, 2006

It’s obvious that the makers of “Destricted” desperately want their film to be a commentary on the omnipresence of pornography in mainstream society. By asking six directors, including controversial figures like Larry Clark (“Kids”) and Gaspar Noé (“Irreversible”), to produce short segments that provide alternative perspectives about onscreen sex acts, producer Mel Agace obviously hoped to give us a thought-provoking work. However, the inadvertent result is, by turns, so hilarious and annoying one wonders if the directors aren’t simply sharing in one huge c**k-laden joke.

Take Matthew Barney’s effort “Hoist,” for example. It in, a filth-encrusted man rubs his penis against the lubricated driveshaft of a 50-ton truck. With a gourd hanging out of his a*s, no less. A Giger-esque observation on the fusion of man and machine? Or a pretentious and undisciplined effort, as the two-minute prologue showing nothing but the man’s penis getting hard would suggest?

Then there’s Richard Prince’s “House Call,” which consists of nothing more than discordant music played over a 1970s-era porno. Unfortunately, changing up soundtracks doesn’t do much to distract from the visuals, as any man who’s watched dirty movies with the volume muted so as not to disturb his roommates will tell you.

Marco Brambilla’s “Sync” is somewhat more successful, consisting of a ludicrously paced montage of sex scenes, but it’s over too quickly to cleanse the taint of “Onan: Death Valley,” an excruciatingly long, stationary camera scene of a man masturbating in the midst of a desert. Which is about as apt a statement about “Destricted” as you could hope to make.

The heavy hitters fare no better. Clark’s “Impaled,” in which he interviews aspiring porn studs and then allows the “winner” to screen and choose his co-star, seems mostly like an excuse for Clark to look at their penises. The resulting sex scene, shot with no flattering light and no cutaways to maintain the façade of romance, is frankly no less dehumanizing than professional porn. It just looks shittier. While Noé’s “Babysitter” combines the nauseating noise scheme from “Irreversible” with strobe light effects in an attempt to mask the obnoxious wankitude of a woman receiving oral from a teddy bear while a youth who bears an eerie resemblance to Hitler has his way with an inflatable doll. Genius.

I toyed with the idea of giving this film my highest rating, in the hopes it would prevent the filmmakers from every attempting something of its ilk again, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. “Destricted” is good for a few inadvertent laughs, but as a sociological statement on human sexuality, it’s practically worthless.

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