Once Upon A Girl

Director: Don Juwich              
Hal Smith

Special guest review!

By Michael Sullivan

I think it's safe to say that porno films are more mainstream today than they've ever been. It's not surprising to see porno actresses appear on everything from CD covers to sitcoms, or that terrible triple-X writers like Greg Poirier now churn out terrible mainstream comedies like See Spot Run and Tomcats. Most disturbing of all is the fact that the cult status of the ape-like Ron Jeremy has grown so much, I'm sure we'll soon see the pudgy goofball crammed into his own cubicle on The Hollywood Squares.

This is all very ironic, considering that the industry has never been this ugly, cold, lifeless, and unimaginative. It's truly a far cry from Mother Goose prepares to give the D.A. "the bird" the days when gutter auteurs like Roberta Findlay, Doris Wishman, and Stephen Sayadian were trying to add some decent acting and involving storylines in-between the wetshots. It was a time when porno parodies were more than just a stupid pun in the title. (CONSUMER ALERT! The movie Dante's Dick is not about a volcano, but I did hear that Pierce Brosnan has a cameo in this as a fisting seismologist.) It was also a time when half-assed adult versions of fairy tales were released every other week. Once Upon A Girl is probably the best of the lot.

According to a D.J., an old woman claiming to be Mother Goose is being put on trial for telling, as the D.J. put it, "The low-downdest stories you've ever heard." At the Jack plants his beanstalk! trial, Mother Goose is revealed to be none other than Hal Smith in drag. That's right, Otis The Drunk himself shows up in a pseudo-Little Bo Peep outfit and drags along an unconvincing stuffed goose. The trial is really just an ineffective wraparound segment for the perverse cartoons. It's kind of like Creepshow, except that Creepshow was a horror film that paid tribute to the old Tales From The Crypt comic book and didn't have live action wraparound segments. And I'm not too sure of this, but I don't think Creepshow featured a man trapped inside a giant vagina. (That was in Creepshow 2.)

Otis Goose goes on to tell us the true story of Jack And The Beanstalk, and through the magic of animation we're transported to Jack's whimsical fairy kingdom which resembles a lost collaboration between Walt Disney and Larry Flynt (but on a Hanna-Barbera budget.) Like most stories about Jack And The Beanstalk, this one begins with Jack and his pet frog playing voyeur on a masturbating milkmaid. In fact, this fairy tale is so ingrained in all of our memories that I'm sure you won't mind if I skip over the famous cunnilingus and bestiality scenes we all grew up with. So let's jump to the scene where Jack's mother grows increasingly disgusted with Jack's nasty habit of sucking milk out of the cow's udder (has Tom Green seen this?), and forces him to sell the cow.

However, Jack is conned out of his cow when Pimpy the eighth dwarf fools him to trading it in for a gypsy queen. To make a long screw session short, the queen gives the infamous magic beans to our hero, and Cinderella's father learns what "coyote ugly" is all about just to remind us that we're watching porn, Jack loses his juice all over the beans. The beans then magically grow into... well, you know the rest of the story, just throw in a scene where a giantess uses Jack as a dildo and you get the idea. This is now nearly as vile as it sounds. In fact, it's more goofy than disgusting, thanks to weird tidbits like Pimpy's photographs that catch fairytale characters in the act (like Red Riding Hood, Grandma, and The Big Bad Wolf involved in a three way) and bizarre throwaway gags that feature inanimate objects getting it on.

In Cinderella, a hag named Morta visits a witch's porno shop so that she can cast a spell on a rich widower and marry him. Once the spell wears off, the widower frantically runs to the mountains and unfortunately leaves his daughter Cinderella behind to become a servant to Morta and her incestuous lesbian daughters (which seems to be a theme in adult versions of Cinderella.) Once again, you know the story here. A royal ball is held, Cindy can't go, a naked fairy godmother visits her etc. etc. The only slight differences are that instead of a glass slipper, Cindy's a virgin, and we also get a cynical look at what "happily ever after" is really like.

The last tale, Little Red Riding Hood, is the lamest and seems to be included to pad out the running time. Basically, it's just Red screwing various men on route to a wedding. The segment's only saving grace is a stereotypical gay troll who comments on how stupid the story is. Meanwhile, these smutty tales have reached a fever pitch at the trial and everybody (except for Hal, thank God) is participating in a (fully clothed) orgy.

Despite the subject matter and the various close-ups of animated penises and vaginas, This amount of censoring is starting to get ridiculous this has all the eroticism of a toaster, especially when you consider that wet shots are creeping their way into R-rated comedies. All of this has become extremely tame, and if you cut on one or two minutes, you could easily see this running endlessly on Comedy Central. (Speaking of Comedy Central movies, do they intentionally buy shitty movies? As you read this, are Comedy Central executives in the middle of a vicious bidding war with he USA network on who'll get to air Joe Dirt relentlessly for the next decade?)

The film's animation resembles Hanna-Barbera's stiff and limited house style of the seventies. That's not too surprising, when you realize it was directed by former Josie And The Pussycats' layout artist Don Jurwich. Jurwich had a long career at H-B, and also directed GI Joe: The Movie! The H-B connection doesn't end there; I also heard the familiar voice of Frank Welker (Scooby-Doo's Fred) in a couple of bit roles.

What could have been a charmless and disgusting little film actually turns out to be a witty adult version of Jay Ward's Fractured Fairy Tales, with surprisingly lush background paintings. (You'll never believe how beautiful a witch's porno show can look.) Much like the adult version of Alice In Wonderland, this is a fun tacky porno for the whole family.

UPDATE: Robert Kanndes sent in this information:

"Hi, I was reading your review of Once Upon a Girl and saw that you referred to Greg Poirier as a triple-X writer who also writes mainstream movies. I looked him up on IMDB and found a comment that he left on the message board stating that he had not written any of the porn films listed. Those films have also seemed to have been removed from the filmography. I guess somebody spread some rumors, and they got far enough for him to hear about them.  P.S. Great site!"

Check for availability on Amazon (DVD)

See also: Cinderella, Hey! There's Naked Bodies..., Prime Time