The Annabel Chong Story

Ready to rumble: Annabel Chong (Quek) prepares for her 251-man marathon...
dir Gough Lewis
with Grace Quek, Ron Jeremy, John Bowen, Ed Powers, Lanisha Shanthi Easter, Allen Wong, Charles Conn, Robert Black, Israel Gonzales, Raynard Tan, Calvin Teo, Jasmin St Claire
99/US 2 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
The subject of this documentary is one of the most notorious porn stars in the world--she set a record for having sex with 251 men in 10 hours (then went on Jerry Springer to boast about it). But the filmmakers saw something interesting here, a person quite different from most porn performers. And while the resulting film is both overlong and unfocussed, it's at least intriguing--in a train-wreck sort of way.

As Grace Quek grew up in Singapore and London, she rejected the Christianity of her parents for sexual freedom, and then decided to study sexology at USC in Los Angeles. By the time she was 22 she was also top porn star Annabel Chong ... not out of desperation or a need for money, but because she likes sex. Lots of it. She speaks continually about turning feminist role models on their heads, changing the way society allows people to express their sexuality, and so on. Yet underneath this rhetoric is a frightened, disturbed girl who's terrified of disappointing her parents and craving some sense of physical reality.

Despite the topic's outrageousness and continual ironic humour in interviews with family and friends, this is a disquieting film. Grace is not in control of her life; she needs serious help. And to watch her at the centre of a documentary feels almost like a violation--there are scenes we really shouldn't see! And this makes it both a brilliant documentary and a self-indulgent filmmakers' fantasy. But the main problem is that there's never any resolution for the people involved; the film just kind of peters out without making a point or discovering anything terribly relevant to the viewer. Fascinating, creepy and just a bit too prurient.

[18--strong adult themes and situations, language, nudity] 18.Apr.00
US release 11.Feb.00; UK release 21.Apr.00

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Muliasdi Nil, Singapore: "yo! i love annabel chong - gang bang with 251 men? wow! it was awesome. i wanna see more. i'm a big fan in singapore, a local singapore guy." (26.Jun.04)
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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall