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Beastly Beauty (The Making of Snuff!)

By Lorelei

RC, my filmmaker and photographer friend, asked me if I wanted to be in a porn-horror film he was making. It was to be an experimental film, a combination of horror and porn, about a psychotic killer and his victim. It was to be imrrovised performance art and shot in real-time with no crew whatsoever. Only the two of us.

I had known RC for many years and worked with him many times, most notably on his "Slaves" documentary and, as a sometime poet and performance artist, I could not refuse!

i lora 350x233RC's artistic obsessions are with junkies, prostitutes, rape, murder, necrophilia and very dark sex. He had me play a street prostitute in ugly white boots and mismatched socks, unwittingly led into the home of a psycho who greets her with a video camera, cuffs her, abuses her, kills her and has sex with her corpse. Probably a typical love story from RC's viewpoint!

There is a creepiness to the set which is a large white-on-white room with a bed and a couch with two beautiful but creepy anatomically-correct mannequins. It is a reference to infinity that makes everything feel real. There are two tv sets are in the room, each one hooked up to a video camera. One of the cameras is on a tripod and shoots the whole scene. The other one RC holds or places on a tripod. So the entire time he is pointing a camera at me and I can see my fear reflected on the tv screens and the tv screens are what the viewers now see.

In the film, RC's character treats the two mannequins as real people. He talks lovingly to them. He has me kiss one of them and do a very explicit lesbian sex thing.

In one scene, I shoot up with heroin in the bathroom and pass out, and RC finds me and is overjoyed that I am a junkie. "I don¹t like normal women," he says. Apparently, his character is all used up. He's done it all, and ordinary sex doesn't do it for him. He can't come. He's tied girls up, beat them and raped them and even made them pretend they love him, but nothing has worked. His ultimate fantasy, to have sex with a corpse, is the only thing that will do it for him. And I am a nameless street hooker, addicted to heroin, for which all the joy of sex has been squeezed out. In that way, we are similar, perhaps.

RC disagrees. He says his character isn't about sex at all, that he's only looking for love.

i lora RC 200x400I was inexperienced as a porn actress but I related to the part and the way I played the sex acts reflected the numbness I sometimes feel and exorcised it in some way. I remember, at the point when I was supposed to be dead, lying there staring at the ceiling trying to imagine I was really dead, I had been asphyxiated with a plastic bag. This room, with its high ceilings that sloped with the roof, with its white walls and tv screens and hauntingly beautiful anatomically correct mannequins, were that last thing I'd ever see, burned into the backs of my eyes. The playacted death was profound to me, a unique moment that will never be repeated, a standing still of time.

To me, there is an erotic quality to death, the image of tunneling, dreaming, flying towards the light, away from the sickness of our abused bodies, the purest orgasm and the one that never ends. It turns me on and disturbs me until T am no longer aware of which is the floor and which is the ceiling. This aspect of the film is intriguing, as is RC's sick character's twisted deadpan humor wich adds an odd campy lightness to the messy mix.

I was lying there trying not to laugh as he placed a wedding dress on top of my dead body, smeared lipstick all over my face, a grotesque mask, and performed a fake wedding ceremony replete with roses and candles in preparation for the final violation. A woman who can no longer say no or yes. Why does he need this, to kill her? Is it because of what he took from her, her power, her life force, like a black mass ritual? Is it because sex is inherently brutal to him? How did he feel about his mother, I wonder? RC's explanation is simply that killing her is the only way he can possess her love, the only way he can have her forever.

So, I was dead. My legs spread wide and my sex exposed. My arms and legs cuffed to each corner of the bed. My face smothered in a plastic bag. There was nothing left of me. I tried to put myself into a trance state to make my breathing as slow as possible, to feel dead. Time really had stopped, in that room, one image forever repeated. In the lightness of the final moment, do we long for time to stand still, if even in fear, in terror? Do we long for a fabric heavier than the featherlight film of ordinary time? Do we long for a medium where all our silent screams are audible?

After the wedding, he entered me. Call it sick, but of all the sex scenes in the film, this was the only one that seemed erotic to me. The room seemed almost alive. I could do nothing. It wasn't violation anymore for there was nothing to violate, yet there was my body, still ringing with so recent a life. I didn¹t have to worry about pleasure or pain. Like the swelling of an orgasm, a riding wave carrying all of life, I had swelled beyond the body, washed away.

People ask me, why I made this movie. I have nothing really to say to that except that I don¹t regret it. I put a lot into it that was real. And I¹ll never forget it. It is, in my memory, a solid sliver of infinity.

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