Bone Up Your Shakespeare
A Study Guide to the Complete Porno Films of the Bard of Avon
By Daniel Radosh
Considering that William Shakespeare coined the phrase, making
the beast with two backs (Othello, I, i), it should be no surprise
that there are numerous X-rated movies based on his plays. Amherst Professor
Burt has devoted a good chunk of his career to "bardcore"
films. But are any of them worth watching? Ay, theres the
The Play: A Midsummer Nights Cream
How Much Bard: 70%
Cliff Notes: Certain subplots have been trimmed, the rest have
had trim added, but the story and spirit of the original are intact. While
there are benefits to this double entendres like I could
munch your good dry oats really come alive there are also
drawbacks when it comes to porn, a guy with the head (and bray)
of a donkey is more nightmare than dream. The acting isnt exactly
RSC-worthy either. But then you wouldnt want to see Dame Judi Dench
in this particular production.
The Play: X Hamlet
How Much Bard: 30%
Cliff Notes: Something is pervy in the state of Denmark. It seems
the kings brother, knowing the monarchs penchant for cunnilingus,
poisoned the queens good dry oats. Now the kings ghost wants
Hamlet to avenge him. Also, he wants Hamlet to have as much sex as possible.
Some lines are familiar from Hamlet (To screw or not to screw, that
is the question). Some recall other Shakespeare plays (My
kingdom for a fuck). And some, Shakespeare could only have dreamed
of writing (Theres a present for you in my pants).
The Play: Othello: Dangerous Desire
How Much Bard: 2%
Cliff Notes: Life is pretty strange. Your name is Desdimona
and mine is Othello. Not to say that has anything to do with Shakespeare.
I just thought it was funny. Actually, whats funny is that
Othello speaks dialogue with an American accent and voiceover with an
Italian one, but this line is worth noting because its virtually
the only connection at all to the alleged source material. The plot of
this Othello involves the planning of a crime. Which in turn involves
having lots of sex. The only other glimpse of Shakespeare comes when Othello
wonders how Cassio got hold of Desdimonas strawberry-spotted handkerchief.
Or, in this version, her leopard-print thong.
The Play: Taming of the Screw
How Much Bard: 25%
Cliff Notes: Finally, an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew
for everyone who thought Ten Things I Hate About You was too cleverly
written. In this modern undress production, Kates witty banter stays
at the level of, Shut the fuck up! Fuck you! Once tamed by
her husband, with the help of various friends and waiters, Kate teaches
other wives the meaning of marriage: All they have to do is their
husbands bidding. Is that so much to give for the love you get in
return. Here my husband, let me return the love you have given me. Suck
Petes cock, you two dumb bitches!
The Play: Juliet and Romeo
How Much Bard: 40%
Cliff Notes: Montagues dont fall in love with Capulets, they
just have sex with them. My heart is Montague, explains Mercutio,
but my prick is nonpartisan. So its a scandal when Romeo
becomes so smitten by Juliet that he can barely bring himself to bone
the servant girls. And when Romeo kills Tybalt in an ensuing feud he must
flee to Mantua, where he can barely bring himself to bone his hostess.
At the end, Romeo is about to take his life but Juliet awakens
just in time to stop him! When the mourners arrive, Romeo and Juliet hide
inside her coffin, where he can barely bring himself to bone her. Apparently
this movie was made before Viagra.
The Play: In The Flesh (an adaptation of Macbeth)
How Much Bard: 75%
Cliff Notes: This ambitiously artsy interpretation blends classical
and contemporary. Though staged in gloomy stone castles, the text is modernized
and the characters drive Jeeps and carry guns. As a reminder that this
is the Scottish play, the men wear kilts and the women, um,
blow bagpipes. Shakespeare left the explicit sex out of his version, but
you can imagine hed approve of, for example, Lady Macbeths
leather-dom style and Banquos ghost presiding over an hallucinatory
orgy. Unlike Juliet and Romeo, Flesh stays true to its tragic heritage.
Everyone ends up dead, and even when alive even when screwing their
courage to the sticking place they dont seem to be having