One magical day in the early 90′s, I came home from school, turned on my TV, flipped through some channels, and noticed that the premium movie channels were no longer scrambled. Showtime (Channel 22), HBO (Channel 21), The Movie Channel (Channel 20), and Cinemax (Channel 16) – they were all there. Though I was clearly elated, I was also a bit confused about the matter, as my parents could barely afford basic cable. I went over to the TV in the family room, flipped around, and saw that the channels there were still scrambled. I went into my parent’s bedroom, then my sister’s bedroom, and tried the TV’s there – still scrambled. For some completely inexplicable reason, my TV was the only one in the house that received the premium movie channels for free. I was 14. It was a magical time.
The first movie I recall watching under this wonderful new arrangement was a film called Vanessa, which aired well-past my bedtime on either Showtime or Cinemax. It was a typical piece of 70′s softcore cinema in the style of the Emmanuelle movies – exotic locations, wooden acting, poor dubbing, cheesy lounge-jazz soundtrack, and lots of lots of female nudity. Like, constant female nudity. Like, “holy-FAP-crap-FAP- this-FAP- is-FAP- the-FAP-greatest-FAP-movie-FAP-ever-FAPFAPFAP” amounts of female nudity.
Many more movies were watched after that – mainly the sort of lame erotic thrillers that were made without abandon during those post-9 1/2 Weeks times. Channels like Showtime and HBO were also developing their own after-hours programming at the time, like Red Shoe Diaries and the Real Sex series (which still airs occasionally on HBO in all its cheesy, mid-90′s glory. As a side note, if your first exposure to male or female nudity was through the Real Sex series, you would likely never ever ever ever want to see a person naked).
This golden age of free softcore lasted from my hormonal teenage years through the time I moved out of my parents house at 19. This happily remained the case four years later, when I moved back in for a couple months after graduating from college. The fun ended about a year after that, when the cable stopped working at my parents’ house: the cable guy was called, he noticed the free mooching, and quietly switched things back to the scrambled way they were supposed to be.
In the many years since, I’ve rarely lived in places that have had cable TV, much less the premium channels. One exception to this was when I first moved to Nashville, when my landlord gave the cable guy a bunch of free valium in exchange for giving us all the pay-per-view and movie channels (I will elaborate on this story another day). For the couple months I lived at that place, I was re-acquainted with the late-night filth of Showtime and Cinemax (oh, Cinemax – how I loved you). Other than featuring far less pubic hair, things were about the same as I left them.
That was eight years ago. Since my current job requires me to travel extensively, I get to see lots of HBO at my various hotel rooms, but that’s usually the only premium option, and – outside of Real Sex, the surprisingly-boring Cathouse, and the horrific fake boobs of Katie Morgan - pickings are kinda slim there when it comes to cable smut.
At some point between this past Christmas and New Year’s, I started thinking about those old flicks I used to watch late at night while in high school, then proceeded to spend a couple hours on a nostalgic quest to remember some of the movies and actresses that I remembered enjoying most. There were three in particular that I was trying to find:
1) the girl with the huge breasts who starred in a bunch of erotic thrillers in the mid-to-late 90′s but was not Shannon Tweed.
2) a chick with shoulder-length blonde hair and an amazingly cheery smile whose wholesome looks made it seem odd that she was starring in these types of movies but then she would get naked and holy shit omg yes more please. She started showing up in films during that time (late 2003) when I first moved to Nashville.
3) Vanessa. I wanted to see if there was a place where I could watch a clip or two, or – better yet – procure the entire movie.
The first girl was Shannon Whirry. Her picture is at the top of this post. She apparently let Jim Carrey suck on her boob in the movie Me, Myself, And Irene, which ends up being the first image result in Google when you search for her. See the other image results here.
I never found the second girl. Googling “blonde softcore actress early 2000′s Cinemax” yields 54,000 results, so that didn’t help. I even went down the rabbit hole of finding forums where people talk about this stuff, then doing an image search on every actress they mentioned. Though this extended the nostalgia extensively (Shauna O’Brien!), it also failed to help. I think her name was Debbie or Deborah – damn, this pisses me off.
[UPDATE: It's Tracy Ryan!!!! And, oh my, she is far from wholesome.]
That leaves us with Vanessa. After a couple minutes of searching, I did indeed come across a poor-quality version of the movie that I was able to watch online (I won’t provide the link to this because the site looked a bit shady and probably infected my computer with all sorts of malware – totally worth it, though). The choppiness of the video was not enough to lessen my enjoyment of watching the film since that first time back in my old bedroom. It was as bad/amazingly awesome as I remembered it, which was very heartening.
Re-enamored with the main actress in the movie, the beautiful Olivia Pascal, I did some more searching to see if I could find a copy of the movie – or at least some of the better scenes – that I could download. I ended up finding 3 different, high-quality clips. I also found a 16-minute short called Vanessa Revealed, which featured footage from the making of the movie.
And that’s a very long way to get to this anti-climactic point: A couple years ago, I recorded a very long instrumental. It was totally different from any other music I’ve done – basically, 2 guitars and 2 keyboards battle it out over a sampled beat – so I set it aside until I could figure out something to do with it. After watching Vanessa Revealed, I realized what I wanted to do.
You’ll see the results below. I trimmed the flick down, cut it up, re-assembled it, and put my very long instrumental over it. By this point, I shouldn’t need to remind you that it’s not safe for work, but I will anyway. Watch, enjoy, and – if you’re not feeling bashful – drop a line in the comments about your favorite softcore vids, gals, or dudes from back in the day.