After Porn Ends (2012)

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By: Rob Perez (A Toast) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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For those of you who occasionally dabble in the viewing of the pornographic arts, have you ever wondered what happens when the performers we all love to watch suddenly decide to keep their clothes on and walk away from the business that made them famous by lying on their backs? Sure, having porn on your resume cancels some of your career options later on in life but in After Porn Ends, director Bryce Wagoner tells a very compelling and objective look at the performers—male and female—and how they cope with life after porn. The film looks at both types of performers—those who struggled and those who managed to put their past behind them—as well as those who really haven’t been able to escape their past and have become “lifers” in a business that has its ups (no pun intended), downs, and plenty of T&A (tans and awards; what did you think I meant?)

We want our porn, we want our porn, we want our porn!
We want our porn, we want our porn, we want our porn!

A Toast

Ask people about the porn industry and surprisingly, most people will be pretty open and honest about their porn viewing habits today. We all enjoy porn to some extent. But when it comes to interacting or working side by side with someone with even a touch of blue in their past, then it becomes a different story. After Porn Ends deals with what several prominent performers have had to go through once their agents stop calling them for work, leave on their own, or are forced out. We come to see the performers, many of whom are glammed up and covered in makeup as if they’re about to head to a porn set, as they are today. We hear their stories, struggles, achievements, their regrets, and their proudest moments, but they never blame the industry for whatever troubles, and virtually all of them talk about their porn past pretty fondly.

At one time, thousands of people use to fantasize about them, at one time!
At one time, thousands of people use to fantasize about them, at one time!

We of course have the performers who do feel the industry has a little to do with their shortcomings in their personal lives. Male performer Randy West kind of implies porn is one of the reasons why, at age 60, he lives alone, with no children and even forgetting how to date. Mary Carey, a bubbly performer who can talk a few miles a minute, talks about how she used porn to her advantage when she twice ran for governor, but was honest in saying that if she returned to porn it would only be because she’s had financial trouble and would even (perish the thought) “do a Black guy.”

They don't call me "Randy" Randy West for nothing, baby!
They don’t call me “Randy” Randy West for nothing, baby!

Porn’s only MENSA performer (can you believe there’s only been one?) Asia Carrera talks about her days as one of porn’s most well-known performers, which only came about after living on the streets and having no other options. Despite having a host of financial and personal problems since leaving the business (the death of her husband, recovering alcoholic, debt), at the end of the documentary she looks back at the industry with fondness, including her fans, who came to her aid with financial contributions when she needed it most.

So how's that MENSA thing going for you now?
So how’s that MENSA thing going for you now?

After Porn Ends does have its share of performers who don’t look back on the industry without regret. Former porn star Houston describes how at one point she was the biggest porn star in the world and even includes footage of her gangbang film The Houston 500 (where she almost had sex with everyone in the world). But because of her notoriety she’s lost jobs and can’t even show up to events her daughter participates in—at the request of her daughter—because, as Houston implies, is embarrassed by her mom’s former profession. She flat out says she regrets doing porn but then talks about how she tried getting a discount on a sex toy by mentioning who she is and the clerk having no idea who she was.

Verdict

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I watched this documentary two nights in a row because I really wanted to give an objective review of After Porn Ends, especially since I don’t hide the fact that I dabble in the occasional porn review and have for years. Although I went into this documentary with a bit more knowledge about the adult industry than most, my final thoughts are that this documentary will completely change many people’s view of the business or at the very least teach you something. Not every performer comes into the business as a result of a tragic home life, not every performer who’s been on top (no pun intended again) has a happy ending. But most performers, even those who came into the industry knowing they were limiting their options for life after porn, came out of it unscathed minus a few who did find it difficult to leave their past behind. It happens. After Porn Ends doesn’t glamorize the life but it also doesn’t pass harsh judgment on those who choose porn as a profession.

Drinking Game

Do A Double Shot: When you see 70’s era porn acting.

Take A Drink: Whenever Mary Carey begins talking in run-off sentences.

Do A Triple Shot: When you see the before and after of some of the pornstars of the past.

Take Two Drinks: When Mary Carey returns to talk in more incoherent run-off sentences.

About Rob Perez

I come from Long Island, NY where I was born, raised and currently still live. I grew up with New York City literally right next door to me where I get to experience everything great about the greatest city in the world, anytime I want to. Look me up especially if your film tastes are in sync with mine. I enjoy comedies, sci-fi, action, spy thrillers, indie films, just about anything with a decent plot. I've been reviewing music and films for 15 years and I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts with MovieBoozer.com.

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