Once upon a time, there was a very nice Jewish boy from Queens. His family loved him, but they kind of knew there was something different about him. His mother even said he “…always marches to the beat of a different drummer.” There was definitely something special about him, something unique. This special trait, when combined with the boy’s intelligence, hard work, and extreme dedication to his craft, was destined to make him not merely successful or famous. It would make him a hero, a role model to generations of American men. Am I talking about a politician? Oh, no. Am I talking about an athlete, artist, or actor? Well, you could argue that he’s all three. Who is this legend I have described? It can only be the one man like no other. It can only be… RON JEREMY: PORNSTAR.
Hey, like it or not, pornography is a significant category of any modern nation’s culture. In a western country like the U.S., dirty films have been around nearly as long as the movie camera. It wasn’t really until the dawn of the 1970’s that any attempts were really made toward raising the content above a mostly utilitarian level. Much about the adult film industry has changed more than once since then due to economic, technological, and occasionally political factors.
Now, many documentaries have been made, mostly during the last decade and mostly quite good, about both the culture and participants of this world. However, as typical of our culture, most of the films focused on single personalities gravitated toward those whose lives contained the more sensationalistic elements. These people may have had long, troubled lives full of exploitation (Sex: The Annabel Chong Story), been on the verge of serious self-destruction (Sharon Mitchell in “Kamikaze Hearts”), or long since imploded into a cautionary tale (“WADD: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes”). After a while you’ve got to wonder how the industry can continually thrive unless they’ve got somebody around who can keep his head on straight.
As it turns out, the one reliable constant for over two decades has been Ron Jeremy. Unless you’re a prude or a religious freak (in which case, why are you reading Film Threat?), you know exactly who I’m talking about. He’s been around so long that he’s now having sex with “actresses” on screen that weren’t yet born at the time he had entered the business. Though he’s never been a junkie, an armed criminal, a wife-beater, of completely mental like the subject of the films mentioned above, the time Jeremy has logged in porn produces more than enough stories and questions to fill Scott Gill’s fantastic and hysterically funny new documentary. The film also dispels a few myths. You may have already formed a certain image in your mind of the man nicknamed “the Hedgehog”. Many perceive him to be fat, hairy, and smell bad. Well, genetics and a long-time love affair with food kind of confirm the first two, but there’s nothing wrong with his hygiene. Actually his enormous penis may have been all that was necessary to break into the business, but “Pornstar” proves Jeremy would never have lasted this long, looking like that, unless he possessed the charm and skill that draw the industry to employ him and women to screw him. The portrait drawn by this film is of a man loved and/or respected by nearly all that have known him.
If you’re looking for the seamy aspects or a hidden side to the subject, they’re not there either. What you will find is a single loving son who longs to return to the path he began as a typical struggling actor in New York before he got caught up in porn. He also really, really, REALLY likes to meet Hollywood celebrities. His own fame has definitely allowed him to come in contact with a large number of rocks stars and movie stars. His notoriety and famous contacts have also brought many opportunities (mostly taken) to appear in small or bit parts in several movies and television shows. Still, Jeremy demonstrates he can out-act most of what currently passes for young Hollywood, but has yet to claim that one sizable role that reveal to the world what he can do while wearing pants. Until then I guess he’ll have to settle for being famous and adored and keep screwing gorgeous women half his age. It’s a rough (but fascinating) life, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.