Filmed entirely on location in Hawaii, Stanley Kiran's 1978 potboiler, Eruption, stars John Holmes and Leslie Bovee as a pair of schemers who take out an insurance policy on Leslie's husband without him knowing about it. Their plan? To knock him off so that Leslie can get the cash and split the loot fifty-fifty. You see, Holmes is a corrupt insurance salesman and Leslie is a gold digger so they make a good team. The only problem is how to kill the poor bastard off, and who's going to do it? They set into motion an overly complicated plan where Holmes doubles for Bovee's husband and intentionally and very visibly falls off of a boat and pretends to drown, so that the witnesses will see his death as an accident. With that out of the way with, they can get down to actually murdering the poor sod and then live happily ever after on the pay off.
Of course, nothing goes as planned...
Eruption isn't too far removed from your typical XXX crime film of the late seventies. For a period there, pornographic detective movies were quite popular (Holmes' own Johnny Wadd series being a prime example) and this film obviously attempted to cash in on that phase. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The storyline is unnecessarily convoluted and the acting is about what you'd expect from a cast of adult film stars (read: amusingly bad). The plot really only exists to show off the locations and string the sex scenes along but in spite of itself the film is pretty entertaining as a B-movie as well as a fuck film. A prime example being a scene where Holmes' character, in the midst of his scheme, enters a parking garage, climbs the stairs, then scales down the side of the building only to run around to the entrance again - why he does this is never explained, it doesn't seemingly have anything to do with the plot and it was probably put in so that Holmes could do some sort of stunt scene. Regardless, it's moments like this that give the film some charm - and there are a few of them.
But what about the sex scenes? They're brief, but there are a few of them. Here's a quick run down...
Scene 1 - Leslie Bovee And John Holmes: After a brief walk on the beach, John gets Leslie's bikini off and they start to smooch a bit. She drops to her knees and sucks him off and then he fucks her missionary style and spoon style on the beach before pulling out and shooting a load on her sand covered belly.
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Scene 2 - Susan Hart And John Holmes: John's driving her to her boyfriends house when he decides to pull over and see what's what. They get a nice ocean view and then she starts to get frisky with him. Before you know it, she's sucking on him until he blows his load onto her face.
Scene 3 - Susan Hart, Eric Evol And Brenard Addison: Susan and Eric are fooling around in the pool when the mood strikes. They start making out and she gives him head before riding him reverse cowgirl style. Bernard comes into the room and is noon too pleased that they're fucking in his pool until Susan decides to bring him in on the action too. She blows him and then he fucks her from behind while she works Eric over with her mouth and both men pull out and spank it all over her.
Scene 4 - Leslie Bovee And John Holmes: These two start off by making out in the car but soon Holmes is lying on his back and Leslie is riding him reverse cowgirl style. She sucks him off to a big finish and he unloads all over her face and breasts.
Scene 5 - Leslie Bovee And John Holmes: Leslie shows up at John's apartment and they start making out on the bed. John sucks her tits and then eats her out and soon she returns the favor and gives him head. She rides him cowgirl and reverse cowgirl style and then he fucks her missionary style for a bit. He pulls out and shoots his goop onto her face and into her mouth.
Scene 6 - Susan Hart, Carry Welton And Wynne Colburn: Carry and Wynne (who has so much body oil on him it's a miracle he isn't slipping all over the place!) are pumping iron in the gym when Susan shows up and stars feeling frisky. She gives Wynne head and then he bends her over a weight machine and fucks her from behind. Carry eats and fingers Susan while Wynne fucks her and then Wynne fucks the both of them with a dildo, one at a time. He fucks them both one last time with his cock and then he pulls out and comes all over Susan's face and tits.
Anyone looking for a well made film can keep moving but fans of kitschy seventies XXX films will certainly find a lot to love about this turd of a film. It is reasonably well shot and it the locations add some charm, but the real reason to watch the film is for Holmes' excellent non-performance. He sleazeballs his way through the film with his own kind of dirtbag charm and makes for an enjoyable enough anti-hero in the film. Is he good? No, not at all, but at least he's amusing as is the rest of the cast.
Eruption is presented fullframe in what looks to be its original aspect ratio as the compositions all seem intact. Unfortunately, that's where the praise ends. While the back of the packaging claims that this is re-mastered, the fact of the matter is that this DVD looks like crap. There are compression artifacts everywhere, there are macro-blocking issues galore, and the colors are completely blown meaning that everyone looks like they've been doused in orange paint. Detail is washed out and two or three times during playback a 'VCX' bug appears on the bottom of the screen. This transfer is awful and there are visible tape roll lines present on the bottom of the screen indicating where the picture was sourced from...
The English language Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack does fair a little bit better than the video on this release, though it too leaves plenty of room for improvement. There's background hiss throughout the film and the levels are a bit wacky (the menu is deafeningly loud compared to the movie so be prepared to reach for that remote as soon as the movie starts up!) but once the movie starts you won't have any problem following it. Make no mistake, this mix doesn't sound good, but at least you can understand the performers. Faint praise, mind you.
VCX/Cal Vista have supplied a few minor supplements on this release starting with a brief still gallery, a second gallery of pressbook and poster art material, and a copy of the original script presented in slideshow format in case you want to reenact the movie with your friends and family at home. Bonus scenes are included from Suzie Superstar, Nothing To Hide, and the Legendary Hardcore and Legendary Softcore compilations, and trailers are included for Suzie Superstar, Easy, Nothing To Hide and the John Holmes Extreme Facials compilation. Ridiculously loud animated menus and chapter selection submenus are also included.
Eruption is a fun film that completely exploits its exotic location shooting to cover up what is essentially a terrible story. Holmes is in reasonably good shape here and while this is far from his best work, the horrendously dated aspects of the film provide plenty of unintentional hilarity and camp value. The sex scenes are more sporadic than most XXX films but they are moderately hot when they do occur. It's a shame the presentation on this DVD is so piss poor as it would have been an easy recommendation. As it stands, the film is worth a rental for fans of older pornos, the video quality is just too sub-par to be able to recommend this one as a purchase.