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Smoker (1983)

Directed, Produced, Written & Photographed by Veronika Rocket
Original Music by Gerry Gabinelli
Vocals by Sharon Mitchell
Sharon Mitchell is a leftist revolutionary whose sex boutique serves as very effective cover. But now she’s blown it big time. One of the vibrators in her shop contained a super-sophisticated bomb. But Sharon lost track of it and sold it to Troye Layn who intends to give it to her girlfriend Diana Sloan. When she gets the gift home and her girl unwraps it, they try it out together. Little do they know that their kinky landlord Davis Christopher is watching through a two-way mirror. When the girls go out for a bite to eat, David steals into their apartment, puts on some of their clothes and makes off with the vibrator. But Sharon is right after him, on the trail of the vibrator and she’s willing to do anything to get it back.
Early stag films were often referred to as ‘smokers’. They had little plot, a sleazy atmosphere, a mean-spirited tone, the women were treated like receptacles and they were watched by faceless men in smoky basements (thus the term). Veronica Rocket’s film is an attempt to recapture the odious vibe of those pioneering skinflicks. She doesn’t really succeed because much of this admittedly odd film is slow going.
The plot involves a private detective investigating a bunch of people who are gathering vibrators containing bombs that will be used to blow up the world. Yes, you heard it right. Sharon Mitchell, reliable as always, is the kooky Madame Suque, owner of a sex shop and S/M dungeon and the brains behind the vibrator build-up. Ron Jeremy is Mitchell’s Igor-like right hand man.

The concept that pleasure and pain are somehow intertwined is not really a new idea. Nor is the idea that bondage is a possessive form of love just as voyeurism is a way of loving without risking rejection. Smoker is a surreal film from bygone days when porn films dared to be different and attempted to ask difficult questions. Sharon Mitchell is Madame Suck, a woman who dominates, brutalises and bombs :)the men around her to the point where they don’t know who they are. After years in the wilderness, a fucked-up John Leslie reappears on the scene just as Madame suck loses an exploding Vibrator thanks to her incompetent assistant Ron Jeremy.
Containing much kinky bondage and voyeurism, Smoker is something of a cult masterpiece. The version I had was not without it’s problems, however. The scene between Troy Lane and Leslie (a scorcher with the landlord watching though a two way mirror), is just too damn dark, and something has gone awry in the narrative thread making the story confusing (or maybe the film is just deliberately choppy, it has that arthouse feel.) Despite this, there is a vibe to a lot of these scenes that makes it obvious that these actors really knew how to turn each other on.The film has a very detached feel, almost otherworldly, as one struggles to follow the story which is very disjointed and hard to follow. No music soundtrack, either, and many scenes with few words.

Date: May 24, 2021