In the heart of many a pornographer is a serious filmmaker, feeling stifled by his (or her) medium. Such is the case with FRANKIE AND JOHNNIE, wherein director Alan Colberg freaks out in the “search for meaning” department.
Result is strictly porn, but embedded with so many flashbacks, daydreams and other non-linear material as to be nearly incomprehensible. Basically it is the corny story of on-again/off-again lovers as signified by the song, and played by the familiar team of Rene Bond and Ric Lutze.
She’s a successful nightclub singer, and unfortunately we have to listen to half a dozen songs belted by Rene (including a direct-sound live performance of the title number on-stage) off-key. Delusions of adequacy by Colberg made this not only a very softcore exercise, when fans were used to seeing the dynamic duo get it on for real, but a dim-witted showcase for Bond’s non-talent as a warbler.
Helping to make it watchable is the always delightful Cyndee Summers, cast as Ric’s old flame, who seduces him after his sports car breaks down. Ric is supposedly a race car driver, but the film’s most intriguing sequence has him working on some test program at a vast old computer center (pure nostalgia), where Bond visits him and humps him, while the computer screen & its cutesy voice cracks jokes.
Near the end of the film there’s plenty of racing around the coast highway by the cast, as Colberg tries to impress us with just the kind of footage you don’t find in a porn film. Which raises the question of course, where is the footage you DO expect?
Movie’s “tragic” conclusion is a drag, and attempt at sentimentality is lame. It all adds up, despite the surface gloss, to a whole lot less fun than watching Rene & Ric in one of their many XXX 1-day wonders. Colberg switched to hardcore for his subsequent films, all-star affairs but strictly mediocre porn.