Sunday, April 20, 2014

Class Reunion by Ken Marcus

Class Reunion was the second three girl pictorial published by Penthouse after Robert Farber's Moulin Rouge in March 1976.  This time a Ken Marcus shoot, it displayed his characteristic soft focus effect, which he employed extensively from his first shoots at Penthouse in the early seventies.

This pictorial appeared in the February 1977 issue, so a month after the previous "Love Set" The Lady and the Lusty Scamp.  In the UK it appeared in the same issue as Scamp, Volume 11 number 12, which was published the following month, in March.  The UK cover was completely different and shows how much more upfront the UK covers could be compared with the American edition which had taken nipples off the cover from July 1976.

We have sourced the pictures for this post from both UK and US issues, although the pictorials were identical, unlike The Lady and the Lusty Scamp which had some pictures removed in the UK edition.

The story behind this pictorial is not as complex as some Penthouse had had in the past.  In fact basically it is just about three "very, very close friends" and their "voluptuous reunion".  That's it really.

Harking back to the outdoor settings of Penthouse's original girl/girl sets we have a lot of frolicking about outside. The setting is very much a garden rather than the countryside, though.

We soon move inside and find the girls posing in exactly the same gently sensuous way seen in the magazine five years earlier.

Gradually, however, the caresses become more intimate; lips are kissed, breasts are fondled.  "There is an urgency about their movements now, their hearts beating wildly as they kiss, stroke, and tenderly explore each mouth and body."

Oddly, in all the diffused, washed out colour there is this one crisper full page shot and a very nice shot it is too.  Kissing, nipple sucking and the first of only two pubic shots in the pictorial. 

The shots get bolder with more nipple sucking and several pictures of heads nestling between thighs.  Likewise, the accompanying text gets more lurid.  "White thighs move against each other in the moist, ecstatic rhythms of love.  Two women gently hold down the third - her wrists and legs pinioned as they suck each nipple in turn before descending to the moist cleft between her legs."

These two pictures combine nuzzling with tactile-looking gripping as bottom and bust are clasped.  "As she moans and writhes on the floor she is brought to a shuddering climax by her playmates."  Not Playmates of course, that would be a whole different magazine.

Finally, in only the second pubic shot in the pictorial, we have one girl sliding her hand dangerously close to the other's vulva although the soft focus reaches new heights (depths?) of fuzziness. 

This was only Ken Marcus' second "love set" for Penthouse, five years after his first, One and one make free from 1972.  After this he wouldn't do another Penthouse pictorial for ten years.  Marcus was the first American photographer to shoot for Penthouse but he had left the magazine in 1974 to become West Coast contributing photographer at Playboy.  We suspect that, given the style, this may be an old set, which Marcus did prior to his move to Playboy, as it looks more typical of 1973 or 1974 than 1977.

Happy Easter!

Agent Triple P hopes the Easter Bunny came for you!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Room in Rome: Natasha Yarovenko and Elena Anaya

Yesterday Triple P decided to watch a film that he has had in his pile (along with about a thousand others!) for some time.  Super-glossy lipstick lesbian movie Room in Rome (2010).  It's a favourite of our particular friend S, from Vancouver.   There has been a lot of fuss about Blue is the Warmest Colour lately but one area where Room in Rome trumped it was in particularly striking stills, from three scenes in the film, which appeared in publicity for it.

The most striking, of course, was the picture of the two stars in the bath; particularly as it was shifted to a vertical format for things such as the DVD cover where it no doubt helped shift a lot more copies than it would have done with a different photograph on the cover.

Indeed, these two US versions of the DVD (middle and bottom) just serve to demonstrate how much more striking the UK version of the cover is (top).

In the film the bath scene is shot with the bath horizontally across the screen, naturally, but as stills they work nuch better in the vertical format.

The next effective image is a still from a love scene under a shower (top).  The positioning of the actresses hands and arms really makes this shot.  In the scene we see their hands in action, as they mutually finger each other in what is the most intense love scene in the film; although it's not really explicit.

The third sequence of stills comes from a love scene in bed which, again, is passionate without being explicit.

The two beautiful actresses in this are, firstly, the Ukrainian born, but Barcelona based, actress Natasha Yarovenko.

Secondly, Spanish actress Elena Anaya, who is best know for her small part in Van Helsing (2004), as one of Dracula's brides but is an experienced actress who has regularly been appearing in films for nearly twenty years (she was 35 when Room in Rome came out -Yarovenko was 30).  She was also the heroine of the Justin Timberlake video for his song SexyBack, where she looks quite sensational.

Elena had already appeared in Room in Rome director Julio Médem's equally steamy Sex and Lucia (2004).

In 2011 a Spanish magazine published pictures of Anaya kissing a woman film director, Beatriz Sanchís, who she later admitted had been her girlfriend for three years, although they broke up last year.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Lady and the Lusty Scamp by Jeff Dunas

The month after The Housebreakers, Jeff Dunas was back with another boy/girl Love Set in Penthouse.  This was only the second time that the magazine had had two successive boy/girl pictorials.

Appearing in the January 1977 issue there would be only three boy/girl pictorials in 1977 compared with four in 1976.  But then 1977 would see the most girl/girl pictorials; a record five.

This was undoubtedly the first Penthouse pictorial to feature a goat.  The story being that the heroine and her brother were taking their goat to an "animal healer" by water but after being caught in a current they were "rescued" by a "ruffian or outlaw" who, not surprisingly grabbed the girl and left the brother to float away.  From this picture it also appears that he took the goat on board too.  Perhaps to serve as a substitute if the girl jumped overboard. 

Anyway, this being one of Penthouse's big budget period pieces we have a full sized pirate ship as a location. This was shot, like many of the pictures in the pictorial in a mock through-a-telescope way.  Perhaps it's supposed to be the view the brother had of his poor sister as he floated away without even the goat to keep him company. 

Also, most unusually the pictorial has three out of eighteen pictures consisting of just the pirate, posing in a very dubious pink shirt.  Although it has to be said that pink did not become identified as particularly a "girls" colour until the late nineteenth century.  These shots would have been more at home in Penthouse's sister magazine for women, Viva.

Oddly, in some of the pictures the pirate is depicted with an eye patch, although for the most part this isn't seen again.  This is also the first Penthouse pictorial which depicts a scene of coercion as the girl is, at first, unwilling to succumb to the pirates advances.

The accompanying text for the pictorial (which was unusually long) was written in the first person from the girl's point of view.  "I became very furious and in a trembling voice, demanded to be immediately released.  The blackguard only grinned more broadly and plucked up my skirt with his sword..."

The girl's struggle continues as "I fought in vain, for the scamp paid not a whit of attention to my entreaties and answered only by roughly tearing off my clothes, forcing a goblet of potent liquid down my throat and, threatening to summon his entire crew to enjoy my favors."

So now we have physical assault, drugging and threats against the girl as well.  Whatever is in the drink seems to work pretty quickly, however, as she is soon indulging in some passionate kissing.

The rest of the pictorial moves away from the deck of the pirate ship down below to the pirate's cabin where he soon removes both her and his clothes.  The whole feature was shot in pretty diffuse soft-focus and its sometimes quite difficult to see what's going on in some of these pictures.

Without his bandana the pirate looks alarmingly like one of the Bee Gees.  Who knew that men had such big hair in days of yore?  Despite the Beverly Hills hairdresser vibe it doesn't mean that he can't enjoy the girls succulent breast and rear end though.

The girl is still demanding to be freed but "He roared with mirth and buried his head between my legs, licking me until I thought I would go mad with pleasure."  Or, more accurately, he actually kisses her leg where her thigh meets her bottom.  The shot looks more explicit than it is.

Again, the angles don't look quite right in the faux intercourse shots but the text makes up for it in lusty, bodice-ripper style:  "With a sardonic smile at my discomposed demeanor, he began slowly to pull my legs apart, trying to force his large, rock-hard organ inside of me.  As his thrusts began to hit home, I again thought I might faint; but the feeling passed, to be replaced by one of delicious ecstasy!"

The text concludes by revealing that the girl happily stays with the pirate and gives us this post-coital shot.  This was cut from the UK edition; probably because the girl's face was just that bit too close to the pirates organ.  Despite the male model boldly displaying his penis this couples pictorial is remarkable in that it was the only one where the female model doesn't show her pubic hair.

So, quite a successful period piece with, perhaps, too much soft focus, too much of the pirate on his own and not enough of the lovely girl, who actually doesn't appear at all in five out of the eighteen pictures.

Next up, from the following month's issue, we will have the first lesbian pictorial of the year in Penthouse's second ever three girl shoot by Ken Marcus.