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Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy Back in what is now referred to, with only a twinge of irony, as the Golden Age of Porn (i.e., the pre-video '70s), Ron Jeremy, a failed young Off Off...Porn Star: The Legend of Ron JeremyDocumentaryPT80MUnrated Back in what is now referred to, with only a twinge of irony, as the Golden Age of Porn (i.e., the pre-video '70s), Ron Jeremy, a failed young Off Off...2001-12-07Maelstrom
B+

Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy

Genre: Documentary; Director: Scott J. Gill; Author: Scott J. Gill; Release Date Limited: 11/30/2001; Runtime (in minutes): 80; MPAA Rating: Unrated; Distributor: Maelstrom

Back in what is now referred to, with only a twinge of irony, as the Golden Age of Porn (i.e., the pre-video ’70s), Ron Jeremy, a failed young Off Off Broadway actor from Queens, got a job performing in a hardcore feature film, then another one, then about a million more. He wasn’t as overweight as he is now, but with his slight pudge, his gopherish front teeth, and his singular ability to ad-lib lousy vaudeville jokes in the middle of an act of fellatio, Jeremy, in his nudnick-satyr way, incarnated the indiscriminate hedonistic fever of the era. His very presence in a porn film said, If this guy can get laid, so can you.

A quarter of a century later, Ron Jeremy is still making that statement—more than ever, in fact, when you consider that he now looks like Andy Kaufman and Tony Clifton merged into one bloated yet insatiable middle-aged stud. In the scurrilously enjoyable documentary Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy, we get to know the man whom Al Goldstein dubbed ”the hedgehog of porn,” and he turns out to be a charming bantam hustler whose soul consists of little more than the sum of its appetites.

There are a few telling glimpses of the inner Jeremy. We live through his anxiety as he awaits the results of his monthly HIV test, and he blurts out a fleeting confession of loneliness during a 4 a.m. interview. In essence, though, whatever private Ron Jeremy once existed has now been eclipsed, if not eliminated, by the cult celebrity of Ron Jeremy’s privates. Darting from porn shoots to Hollywood parties, from strip clubs to Jerry Springer, he’s a horndog hardwired for exhibitionism. With little talent beyond his utter lack of shame, he turned underground notoriety into a kind of put-on trash stardom. What that says about America comes down to whether you view Jeremy as a fleshpot hero or simply as the ultimate lucky putz. B+