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Best Of Buttman

Studio: Evil Angel » Review by Addison DeLick » Review Date: 2/5/08

XCritic's Advice: Watch On Demand

1991, 138 minutes plus extras
Directed by John Stagliano
With: John “Buttman” Stagliano, Trixie Tyler, Angela Summers, Sasha Strange, Champagne, Belladonna, Tracey Adams, Tanya Devries, Sabrina Dawn, Bionca, Lola, Brande Alexander, Heather Torrance, Tom Byron, others.

John Stagliano pioneered the gonzo genre with his “Buttman” videos, in which he roamed around (often in Venice Beach or Santa Monica, later in far-flung fuck locales like Rio and Budapest) and talked girls into posing for his camera and coming back to his place. The girls, of course, were paid performers, but they did a good job of acting like they weren’t acting. Some of Stagliano’s early efforts are sampled in this hit-and-miss collection from 1991, when much of Buttman’s best work was still to come.
Stagliano (which the man himself pronounces stahl-YAH-no) sits at his crowded little video console going through clips of past work and reminiscing to us about the girls involved. His friendliness and boyish enthusiasm – as much his trademark as his obsession with women’s big, protruding butt cheeks – is much in evidence as his recalls his past adventures; he even occasionally jerks off while watching his own clips.
His early VHS works are represented by clips of varying length, some dating back to around 1984 and including “Rock and Roll Heaven,” “Fantasy Girls,” “De Blonde,” “Bend Over Babes,” “Gang Bangs II,” “Buttman Goes to Rio” and “Adventures of Buttman.” Some of the video clips are generic, pre-Buttman porn, and show signs of serious magnetic-tape deterioration. The color has turned a fairly uniform brown and the nonprofessional lighting at the time of the original shooting is now extremely unflattering to the girls’ skin tone.

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The poor look also detracts from the two “new” scenes from 1991. In one, Stagliano takes a break from the video console to scope out Venice Beach, where he spots a rollerblading hottie in a purple knit dress (Trixie Tyler) but has trouble chasing after her while on skates himself and running the camera. She rebuffs him at first but eventually comes home to try out his butt plugs and dildos and fuck and suck. In the other new seg, at the end of the program, Stagliano is interrupted by a visit from frequent “Buttman” cutie Angela Summers (pre-boob job), who wants to hit the town with her boss but settles for a visit to his bedroom. He smothers himself in butt crack, but Angela does nothing to him in return.
The look improves greatly with other, much briefer segments involving pretty blonde Tanya Devries and porn titan Tracey Adams (whose derriere, Stagliano explains, awakened his butt fetish and led to the creation of his alter ego). Some clips are explained in advance by Stagliano while others just appear out of nowhere. Hottest by Addison’s standards is a scene with young Tom Byron and four naked beauties on their hands and knees, among them Tracey Adams and Victoria Paris.

                                                          THE DVD

Despite every indication that a partially withered, unremastered VHS title has simply been slapped onto disc, some segments do look good here, and the ancillary DVD business is fine. The main menu offers a scene breakdown, cum shot recap and special features. There are sufficient chapter breaks within each scene. The picture is, not surprisingly, in full frame, and the sound, while also showing age, is decent enough.
There’s a photo gallery recapping scenes from the main program, but the real bonus is a set of four lengthy trailers for latter-day Stagliano features: “Buttman Anal Show 5,” “Buttman Comics: Tales From the Crack” and the chic fetish/latex/face-slapping epics “Fashionistas” and “Fashionistas Safada: The Challenge,” both starring Rocco Siffredi. These sleek, high-quality productions are clearly the work of a more mature and experienced filmmaker and they only serve to make the main program look shabby by comparison.

                                                    THE LAST WORD

Buttman completists and fans of vintage fare – women with pubic hair, guys -- may be the only ones interested in this reissue of a 1991 compilation tape. Some of the women from these early scenes are truly blasts from the past (Tracey Adams forever!); others are more anonymous but hot nevertheless. The segments vary wildly in visual quality, but what’s good is good, and the boner-producing bonus trailers will certainly spur further investigation into John Stagliano’s more recent work. We can hope for another best-of collection covering Buttman’s glorious 1990s work with such rear-end wonders as Jasper, Sabina and the late great Krysti Lynn.

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