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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Filmmaking > Sex Industry > Murder > Exploitation > AIDS > John Holmes Exposed (Umbrella Entertainment PAL DVD/Region 0/Zero)

John Holmes Exposed (Umbrella Entertainment PAL DVD/Region 0/Zero)



PLEASE NOTE: These John Holmes DVDs can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Zero/0, PAL format software, and can be ordered from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the review.



Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Documentary: B-



No matter how mainstream or legitimate any film media is, sooner or later, they have to deal with the phenomenon that was John Holmes.  Such a product of the 1970s, though also timeless as far as explicit XXX cinema is concerned, several films have recently been made about him directly and indirectly.  People always have something to laugh about since, despite supposedly sexually more open societies, it is not real sex and becomes a subject people have issues with.  John Holmes Exposed is a new DVD set that tries to set the record straight.


The main attraction here is a documentary that this set would commit commercial suicide by being named after: Wadd – The Life & Times Of John Holmes that does an exceptional job documenting his discovery, success, exploitation, crazy times and shocking death of a star the industry built itself on before VHS & Beta brought it down a few notches and how it could not protect (or cared to protect) one of the biggest stars it will ever have in (of course sexual organ size) and name.  The big surprise is how when Holmes starts to try doing crime dramas, many will recognize it as the same story as Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights.


Though Holmes only appears in one scene in the first film for a few minutes, one of the few that has any ambition, Fantasm and Fantasm Comes Again are here as a double feature on one DVD by virtue of being two of the few films at the time co-produced by the Australians.  They are not that good, have just enough explicit action to be NC-17 and are more a novelty than anything else.  Oddly, few of Holmes films are in print on DVD as of this posting despite reportedly having sex with something like 3,500 persons in his short career.  They seem incidental to the documentary in any case.


The 1.78 X 1 letterboxed image on Times should have been anamorphically enhanced, but still plays back as well as the 1.33 X 1 films included.  The various clips of past film releases and other vault footage is in better shape than expected.  That leaves the Fantasm films passable, but nothing particularly impressive except that they look better than the majority of XXX material shot on analog NTSC tape from that same industry in the last 25+ years.  All are Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, with all mono, though parts of Times are in simple stereo at best.  The only extra is deleted scenes from the documentary.


As noted above, you can order this import John Holmes set exclusively from Umbrella at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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