Tuesday, December 8, 2009

LA Pink (2009)

Directed by Joanna Angel
Starring Joanna Angel, Misti Dawn, Andy San Dimas, Coco Velvet, Draven Star
Rated XXX

"I think all the children should go to church. And when they come home from church, they should eat my pizza."

Based mostly on pop-culture osmosis and a thirty-minute interview I conducted with her for Classic Rock magazine a couple years ago, I would say that glitzy tattoo artist/reality show star Kat Von D's three most prevalent character traits are as follows:
She is decidedly non-confrontational.
She has a strong need for everyone to like her.
She has an almost pathological obsession with being 'cool'.
Media-savvy punk-porn princess Joanna Angel nails all three personality quirks and milks them - both metaphorically and literally - in this spirited spoof of Von D's long-running reality series, LA Ink. Obviously, Von D is an absurdly easy target - anyone who would 'date' Nikki Sixx has clearly crossed over into the Cartoon World already - but to her credit, Angel manages to satirize Kat and the show without an ounce of malice. Many ounces of other stuff, but no malice.

The film begins like the show begins: with 'Joanna Von Angel' and her staff of ink-festooned hipsters extolling the virtues of their awesome lives. It's an especially awesome day for Von Angel, because her girlfriend is due home from her arena-rock tour. So that should be good.

Robb Maple-Dick, a pasty ex-frat boy, comes in looking for some ink. Brian Street-Team, Von Angel's sole be-penis'ed artist, offers his services, but Robb holds out for Joanna. She is, at the moment, occupied; seems that every morning, she likes to climb up to the roof (for some reason, she literally climbs up the side of the building to get there) and masturbate to get her creative juices flowing. So that happens. And then she attends to Robb.

Robb shows her the design he has in mind.
"Oh," says Joanna, "A toilet?"
"Yeah. It's got a lot of sentimental value."
"Would it be cool if I put some wings on it?"
Robb gets his tattoo and then Joanna gives him the bum's rush, since her girlfriend, Nicole Sevven (Draven Star) has just show up. They spend some time getting reacquainted.

Meanwhile, Erik "The guy who breaks woman's pussies" Everhard strolls into the shop. Seems as though he's had a lot of trouble with parking tickets, so he wants to get his latest ticket tattooed right on his body, as a symbol a maturity. And also so he'll remember to pay it. Coco Velvet and Andy Sandimas both offer to give him the tat, but one thing leads to another, and ends up spending so much time rectal rootering the two of 'em that he complete forgets to get the tattoo.
"It looks he gave you two a tattoo...on your face!" Laughs Joanna, when the girls tell her the story. She's a very easy-going boss.

Sean Micheals and James Deen - CEO and assistant to the CEO of Pizza Party, Inc, respectively - arrive soon after. They have a business proposal for Miss Von Angel. They're starting a new line of celebrity frozen pizzas, and they'd like to pay her $10 million dollars to endorse a Joanna Von Angel pizza. There's only one tiny stipulation - since they are, after all, a family-friendly company, Joanna has to agree to not have any sex for the duration of the contract. None. Even "tit bouncing" would be a violation. Seems fair.

While these tense negotiations are underway, James and Misti - Joanna's put-upon assistant - commiserate about the their thankless jobs. Naturally, this leads to some steamy assistant-on-assistant action.

Joanna is about to walk away from the screwy five-year contract until Mr Michaels tells her the best part: free frozen pizza for life, including pepperoni. That clinches it for her. She agrees to sign, but would like to go bone somebody first, seeing as she'll have to refrain from such scurrilous behavior for the next long while. Sean Michaels is happy to help her out. Rugged interracial sports-fucking ensues.
"What can I say?" Joanna asks the camera, after she wipes herself down.
"I like frozen pizza."

As she walks Mr. Michaels out of the shop, Joanna finds a post-coital Misti still slathered in man-goo. Given her contract, she cannot let this stand, so she fires her. Her staff is, not surprisingly, shocked by this turn of events.
"I don't understand," sniffs a shattered Misti, "Joanna usually likes it when I have cum on my face!"

It's Joanna's last day at the shop before she has to go on her supermarket tour to promote her pizzas. Before she can split, she must attend to Madison Mitchell, who wants her deceased boyfriend's initials tattooed on her crotch. Tragically, his name was Harold Ivan Vanderby. An "HIV Forever" tattoo isn't going to do her any favors. Luckily, Joanna gets distracted with her pizza planning and fucks it up, sparing Miss Mitchell some potentially embarrassing moments.

Joanna hops into the stretch Hummer with Sean and James for her tour, but as they toast their good fortunes with a glass of champagne, she complains about how the lack of sex is putting her on edge. So, the fellas double-team her. What happens in the stretch Hummer stays in the stretch Hummer, apparently.

Joanna makes her first stop. Misti's working at the supermarket, now. Poor Misti.

Mr. Michaels holds a press conference so that Joanna can field questions from the press. The set design for the supermarket and wherever it is they're staging the press conference are both hilariously rinky-dink, as are the cut n' paste modifications on the Von Angel pizzas.
In a witty nod to porn's current dilemma, one of the reporters asks Joanna how she hopes to sell her pizzas in a saturated market, during a recession, especially when so many people are getting their pizzas for free on the internet these days. She assures him that people are willing to pay a little extra for quality. Another reporter asks if people without tattoos can eat her pizzas. Turns out the pepperonis serves as temporary tats. Clearly, she thought of everything.

Meanwhile, since they have nothing to do without Joanna around, Coco, Nicole, Bryan, and Andy have sex. And when they're through, the girls rescue Misti from her horrible job at the supermarket. And then they celebrate by making sweet tattooed lesbian love right there on top of the peppers.

The press conference was a hit, but Joanna feels vaguely unsatisfied. Sure, she's a pizza queen, but she misses her shop and her girls. Has she made a huge mistake by selling out? Is there any way out of this contract, or will she be forced into celibacy and frozen pizza shilling forever?

Maybe. But she'll probably figure out how to fuck her way out of it.

Given its nearly four-hour (!) running time, there's clearly a lot of bang for your buck here. The script is frequently funny, the girls are hot - in a rockabilly gangster moll sort of way - and Joanna remains one of the most charismatic adult performers around. She also does a great Kat Von D, from the dull-eyed stare, to the rash of stars on her face, to her inability to process any information not directly relating to tattooing. Would it work as straight satire, without the nine (!) fuck scenes sandwiched between the gags? Probably not. I mean, give or take a dozen or two IQ points, there really isn't much difference between the mocker and her target. Both are tattooed millionaires with very specific talents. Miss Von D could just as easily do a 'Kat Von Angel' parody on her show.

But, you know, who cares? There's nine fuckin' sex scenes, man.

- Ken McIntyre

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