SXSW FILM 2010
By Dave Campbell | March 27, 2010
Director: Sebastian Gutierrez
Writer: Sebastian Gutierrez
Starring: Carla Gugino, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Timothy Olyphant, Malin Akerman, Adrianne Palicki, Marley Shelton, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Justin Kirk, Vincent Kartheiser
The sequel to director Sebastian Gutierrez’s Women in Trouble which premiered at SXSW 2009, takes the name of the now retired porn star driving our story – Elektra Luxx (Carla Gugino). She has evolved into making a living by teaching sex classes to housewives, rather than dressing up like a housewife and having sex for the camera. Elektra’s retirement from the porn industry was triggered when she learned that she was pregnant with her on again/off again rock star boyfriend Nick Chapel (Josh Brolin)…but as it turns out Nick just recently died while having sex with an attractive flight attendant named Cora (Marley Shelton) in an airplane lavatory. Cora seeks out Elektra’s assistance and offers her something valuable in return.
Fellow porn star Holly Rocket (Adrianne Palicki) is conflicted with a crush that she has on her best friend Bambi (Emmanuelle Chriqui), and we meet up with porn star sex blogger Burt Rodriguez (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who brings in outside commentary about Elektra Luxx and her infamous legacy. The subplots all come together in intertwined stories of cheating relationships, private investigators, a long lost twin sister and the virgin Mary.
Just like Women In Trouble, Elektra Luxx is very sexy without needing to give up the goods…if you know what I mean. Carla Gugino knows exactly how to use what she’s got in talent and looks to seduce an audience. Not only that, but Gutierrez gives us Adrianne Palicki, Marley Shelton, Emmanuelle Chriqui & Malin Akerman to entice us even further. The film is driven by story and defined characters are boldly stated and successfully placed.
While there is much to like about Elektra Luxx, there is also plenty to dislike. The look and feel of Elecktra Luxx picks up exactly where Women In Trouble left off; as if they just kept shooting. Continuity wise that’s great, but they both just leave an aftertaste of Soap Opera in my mouth. The elements of the film work in the land of B Movies, but I can’t really see this series capturing a broad audience. It’s shot very cleanly in HD but lacks having any character and style in the photography. It may be your gig if you enjoy the direct to home video releases usually picked up by Cinemax or Showtime, but the kitschy (one step above porn) production value make it a tough egg to crack. Talent and potential are there, but the lack of a consistent tone makes this series confused about what kind of movie it wants to be.