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Exhausted
DVD disk
10.09.2004 By: Dr. Drew
Exhausted order
Director:
Julia St. Vincent

Actors:
John Holmes
Seka
Jesse St. James

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
For those who don’t know, John Holmes was probably the biggest male star in the history of adult films (Pun fully intended!). With a cool sense of charisma, good looks and a foot long johnson, Holmes went on to revolutionize the adult film industry and confirm himself as its most legendary performer. This is a documentary of his life.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If you’ve ever had the chance to see P.T. Anderson’s BOOGIE NIGHTS, you’re probably pretty familiar with the Dirk Diggler/Brock Landers personas. This movie chronicles the life and exploits of the man who inspired and compelled Anderson to create his porn opus. In Exhausted, we gain insight into the personality, wisdom and philosophy of Holmes through endless clips and interviews with the man himself. Director Julia St. Vincent also seeks to reinforce his infamy by interviewing countless people on the street and asking their opinions and insights on Holmes (Their reactions and answers are priceless). It’s a mesmerizing retrospective, as we learn about his beginnings, childhood and how he managed to find his way into porn movies.

While we often typecast porn stars as braindead and shallow people, Holmes seemed like a genuinely intelligent guy who was a class act, someone who respected his fellow performers and always sought to give audiences their money’s worth. It was extremely cool to watch some of Holmes’ older clips, including several from the Johnny Wadd series, which Anderson basically ripped off scene for scene in NIGHTS. The DVD is a porn documentary, a sort of “Best Of” compilation of Holmes and over 20 other performers (yes, there’s hardcore sex on the DVD), so if you’re offended by the whole skin flick thing, steer clear of this one. While I had often heard of Holmes and the legacy that he left behind (he reportedly slept with over 14,000 women in his life, dying of AIDS in 1988) it was wild to finally gain some real insight into his life and times. hile I would’ve like to have learned more about his tragic downfall into drugs and crime, the documentary delivers in exposing Holmes for what he truly was...a simple man blessed with one “special gift”.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: A track from director Julia St. Vincent, porn director Bob Chinn and commentator Gloria Leonard does a superb job of filling in all the questions I had from the actual documentary. They go into all kinds of behind the scenes discussions and managed to delve deeper into the darker aspects of Holmes' life. This is easily the best extra on the disc.

First up is a 20-minute never before seen interview with Holmes, shot way back in 1980. It’s presented entirely uncut and we manage to get a better look at Holmes when he was first venturing into drugs and addiction. “Julia’s Diary” is a slide show of notes the director kept and as we jump from page to page, we get a commentary from Gloria Leonard as she goes through many of the scribbles and jumbled thoughts, some of them written on a calendar. It was an interesting extra but not terribly vital to the actual John Holmes story. We also get selected cast and crew bios. The DVD does feature some pretty cool animated menus with sound, rare for an independent release.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Exhausted was originally intended to be included on the Platinum Series re-release of BOOGIE NIGHTS (although it would have been heavily edited to remove all of the sex scenes) but never actually made the cut. Despite that, it’s still a fascinating documentary and character study of one of the most misunderstood and legendary figures in porn. While it’s not exactly loaded with extras, the movie itself (a perfect companion piece to NIGHTS) makes it a worthwhile purchase.

If you’re looking to pick up a copy of Exhausted, you won’t be able to find it through Amazon.com or your local DVD shop because it’s a strictly independent release. To order Exhausted, click here. Special thanks to JSV for being so kind to send me a copy of this very cool DVD.
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