Portions of this review also appeared on Fleshbot
One of the classics of porn’s Golden Age, the recently re-released “Aunt Peg” (1979) is the story of Peg Norton (Juliet Anderson), a predatory, high class smut producer. There is no arc in this movie whatsoever, as Anderson remains a predatory, high class smut producer throughout.
Among the many noteworthy elements of this movie is the disco catchiness of the “Aunt Peg” theme, a blend of the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” theme and “I Will Survive” with its empowering message of women on the move. But there’s a twist:
“You’re a winner! You know that you are!
Everyone loves you!
They hang on your side!
Nobody knows what you’re feeling inside!”
Now what the hell does that mean?
We as moviegoers yearn to find out what Peg’s inner conflict is, based on the carrot dangled by the last line of the theme song. And what makes this movie a porn trendsetter is that we never find out. The lyric leads nowhere. It is as if – shocking – the uncredited lyricist just needed something to rhyme with “they hang on your side.”
Juliet Anderson was just past 40 when she made this movie and she looks fantastic in it. Peg fucks everybody. In fact, there are only two scenes she’s not involved in.
One is between the adorable Dotty Hart and John Holmes. According to Holmes biography “John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches,” short brunettes like Hart were just Holmes’ type. They play two characters on one of Peg’s porn sets stealing a little alone type in between filming, and their chemistry is palpable. Holmes massages Hart and we actually see the elusive, oft-referenced but seldom seen 69.
(Anderson never liked John Holmes, “Inches” reports, and was one of the few people in porndom who never succumbed to his coke-addled charms, possibly because she was older and less gullible.)
“Aunt Peg” also is a pioneer of porn tropes like the Ridiculous Pickup Line.
Soon after the credits roll, Peg gives her production assistant of four years (the still-around Mike Horner) a handjob. For reasons that are utterly unclear given her promiscuous behavior throughout the movie, she has never coupled with him before. Her pickup line: “How long have you been working for me, Bill?”
It is not, however (and as I had erroneously thought) the source of the term “pegging.” There is no such behavior in this movie.
Later Peg and an actress named Holly McCall team up on Billy Dee, an afro’d performer who obviously took his nom de porn from the actor who originated the role of Lando Calrissian but who instead was a ringer for Ted Lange.
“I want his hot tongue in my juicy clit,” says Peg.
Meanwhile Peg’s niece, Sheila (Sharon Kane) is in the Midwest hoping to visit her favorite aunt in liberal San Francisco. She has admired her older relative ever since she caught Peg fucking her dad.
(Wait for it…)
“I saw you and Daddy making love,” Sheila says. “I got so wet that I had to run out to the living room and fuck my boyfriend.”
This, dear friends, is why porn thrived despite poor acting (the exception in this movie is Jamie Gillis, who can teach Evan Stone about the word “ham”): there are things in some of these early movies that are just a little shocking. Then there’s more: Sheila is only 16.
As she’s packing to go, her boyfriend laments her impending absence.
“Who will I have to hold? And to hug?” he pleads.
“School will be starting in three weeks,” she says. “You know? 12th grade?”
By now we can see that the movie only has a little more left to go and we wonder what the possible resolution could be. Well, there is none. Sheila gets to San Francisco (we see Anderson and Kane at the arrivals terminal of SFO), they get in a car, and they fuck. Related? No problem. Just 16? No problem. This was 1979.
“You’re only 16 and you have the body of a woman, Sheila,” says Peg, laying it on. Then the movie ends.
Of course, it is only illegal for actual minors to perform in porn movies. Kane was 24 playing Peg’s 16-year-old niece. And “simulated incest” is only creepy, not a crime.
I can’t imagine that anyone has ever thought “Aunt Peg” was a good movie. But it is a sensational movie. And sensational movies aren’t usually good. That said, “Aunt Peg” is pretty damn good for a sensational movie.