GREGORY DARK WEEK: Animal Instincts III (1996)

When Joanna Coles falls for blind rock promoter Alex Savage she finds the man who satisfies her desire for experimentation, as he’s a voyeur. But he’s also blind. Can I Do It Until I Need Glasses?

Oh yeah. He’s also a blind knifethrower.

There’s also some music industry ridiculousness — director Gregory Dark would know, seeing as how he directed videos for everyone from Sublime to Britney Spears — and lots of the voodoo masks and rituals that made up so much of the look of Dark’s even dirtier films.

But the most charming thing about this movie is that it was written by Selwyn Harris, whose name combines the Selwyn Theater on 229 West 42nd Street and the Harris Theater on 226 West 42nd Street, a man who also wrote The Devil in Miss Jones 5: The Inferno for Dark. And, in case you didn’t know, Selwyn was really Mike McPadden, perhaps the finest writer on not only 42nd Street, but heavy metal movies, teen movies and just life.

Sadly, Mike is no longer with us, but the books and movies and words he wrote are. He was a major inspiration to me, so seeing his other name appear in the credits made me so overjoyed.

Mike told The Daily Grindhouse so much about this movie: “Greg was a nut. He was a dear friend, a terrific talent, a great guy to work with, and, very much, a nut. At the time we started Animal Instincts III, Greg was heavily into hip-hop music and had expanded his intense martial arts regimen to include knife fighting. So his ONLY instructions to me were: “Make sure the movie has hip hop music and knife fighting.”

And thus the plot centered on a record producer who was an expert knife thrower. The fact that he was supposed to be blind, too, plays into the challenge of showcasing new variations on the oldest form of human interaction. When his wife fucks people in front of him while thinking he can’t see, it adds a deeper component to her exhibitionism and his voyeurism — in theory, at least. The finished movie is an apocalypse.

As a porn screenwriter, both hard and softcore, the sex scenes function as the posts from which the whole rest of the movie hangs. Like haiku, you can write whatever you want, as long as it fits into the form’s singularly defined structure.

One of the movies I wrote for Greg, Devil In Miss Jones 5: The Inferno is great. The rest meander from one near miss, Sex Freaks, to a couple of negligible efforts. Animal Instincts III stands alone as gloriously horrendous.”

Thanks for so much Mike. You still make me laugh and still will, long after you have been gone.

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