By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
The world premiere of Elektra Luxx at the South by Southwest film festival broke an hour and 10 minutes into the film. The digital projector malfunctioned and they couldn’t repair it. Technically this is a review of an incomplete film, but the filmmakers have suffered enough from that incident. It seems appropriate to throw them a bone, since it was going to be a positive review anyway.
Review: Elektra Luxx
The sequel to Women in Trouble, Elektra Luxx follows the title character (Carla Gugino) after her retirement from the adult film industry. She gets involved with new sexual misadventures involving her dead rock star lover, the fiancé of one of her fans and a private investigator she accidentally seduces.
Gugino is so hot, happy and sweet, her character is delightful. The porno world is portrayed so innocently it’s funny. It shows you can talk dirty but not be vulgar. It’s not sanitized because they go there. It’s just real and funny.
All the characters are adorable. They’re sincere about their not quite perceptive decisions and statements. Joseph Gordon Levitt as a wannabe porn mogul is great. He plays is totally straight and expresses overt thoughts as if it’s informative.
There’s a bit of a high concept where a guilty bride-to-be (Marley Shelton) asks Elektra to seduce her fiancé. It goes wrong and gets even more complicated, but that’s good farce and there are lots of sweet moments too. The private investigator sacrifices part of his bounty to give Elektra something of sentimental value.
The film makes women look gorgeous. Elektra has bra sex but what can you do? It’s a movie and Gugino is an A-list actor. I’m just happy I get to look at Carla Gugino at all. Some of those shots, lying on her tummy in shadow, doing the cabaret number in fishnets, break my heart they’re so sexy. Look, I’d lovingly admire anything Gugino cared to share, but you can tell a sexual story without exploitation, or empowerment. It’s not making any bullsh** statement about how empowering sexual women are either. It’s just telling a story about them.
Other women benefit from director Sebastian Guttierez’s vision. Emmanuelle Chriqui does a fabulous dance and Emma Bell shows boobies and butt in a glamorous side view. It could just be he chose the most gorgeous specimens to begin with, but I definitely felt like I could ogle and not even feel remotely bad about it.
I will want to see how it ends, and I’m sure it’ll do fine. They’ll only benefit from the sympathy incurred by the festival incident. As indies go, Elektra Luxx is just going for entertainment. That makes it hold up better than the average Hollywood filler movie. It may not rock your world like Clerks or Swingers but those would be like the Avatar of the indie world. This is the solid entertaining indie movie.