Powerful visual symbols, good acting and characterization, realism, irony. Sounds like a review for Cannes or Sundance, but it is in fact a review for Steve Scott's Inches, though you need to add in all the great sex that's in this vintage gay porn classic film as well. Almost all the men are bearded, with average athletic bodies. The sex ranges from sleazy to romantic, with two great anonymous sex scenes. If you like strong plotted films with great sex, this is a sure bet.
The opening sequence starts with eerie but sexy heavy breathing. Al Parker is in a dream sequence looking for someone, but is then woken by the alarm. He is in bed with his lover, Steve Taylor, and initiates foreplay, but his advances are resisted. There is tension between the lovers, and the dialogue is subtle and realistic in showing they are breaking apart. And there is a poignancy in the scene as Taylor goes off to the shower to beat off alone while Parker masturbates in bed, as the two men are so close, yet distant. Parker's famous cock is meaty and his balls huge, and you feel like you're watching a real man masturbate for his own needy pleasure, not for the camera and a paycheck. The two men come together, yet alone, each in his own room.
In the next scene, Bob Blount comes onto Al Parker, but is rebuked because Parker is already in a relationship, albeit one that is coming apart. Parker goes home and again tries to initiate sex with Taylor. Taylor gives in. The scene is absolutely fascinating and unique in porn because it depicts functional sex, the kind most men have with their wives and lovers most of the time in missionary position. How real people have sex. The sound of Al Parker slamming up against his lover's ass while they fuck is highly erotic and you feel like a true voyeur seeing and hearing them.
The next scene is a wild dream sequence, famous for its visual imagery. Steve Taylor breaks up with Al Parker, and Parker has a dream in which Taylor is having sex with three men, all wearing eerie white masks, symbolic of all anonymous sex he imagines his ex-lover had during their relationship. Taylor sucks the men off with wanton, greedy enthusiasm, working from one cock to another. He deep-throats the cocks, pressing his nose deep into their dense pubic hair. With wild abandon he rides one of the big cocks, then takes it on his back, his strong hairy legs spread wide in the air. It is eerie and sexy and taunting all at the same time, making for one of the best dream sequences ever done in porn.
Dejected from the breakup but still horny as always, Al Parker picks up Buck Stevens in a hot outdoor scene in a car. Again the feeling is highly authentic and realistic, both in the low key dirty talk and the fact that they never take off their clothes: the cocksucking is done with their hard dicks pulled out of the leg opening of their shorts, which is what real guys usually do when they connect for an anonymous blowjob from a stranger on a secluded stretch of highway. Parker's cumshot is truly impressive. He splatters his load all over Stevens' face, in a long leisurely shot showing cum dripping from his thick hair, eyebrows, and mustache.
At an exhibit of dick photographs called "Inches" (hence the title of the film) Bob Blount gives Al Parker a lecture on the joys of anonymous sex, but Parker claims he's more interested in a relationship. Yet intrigued by Blount's words, he explores a bar where there is a backroom with anonymous sex going on everywhere. This scene captures the milieu of the '70s very well, complete with disco hits "Sunset People" and "Hot Stuff" playing in the background. There is anonymous cocksucking, and a young kid rides a man's cock. Realism is captured in the small details of the scene, like jeans bunched around the ankles and the underarm sweat stain of the kid getting fucked, which make it feel like a real back room. Al Parker runs into Bob Blount and Blount invites him home.
As a final touch of irony, after Blount's tirades on the joys of anonymous sex, this pairing turns out to be the most romantic of all the scenes, with a romp in the snow naked, and sex in front of a fireplace. There is a long, leisurely session of rimming, Parker's beard pressed deep in Bob's hairy hole. Then in a hot cocksucking scene, Bob blows Al, his handsome manly face and full beard slobbering over Parker's thick meaty cock, teasing the plum-like purplish head with his tongue. They finish with some serious hard pounding, Bob's legs in the air, realism captured in the sexy moans and groans and the sweat dripping from their faces. Bob blows his load over his hairy stomach and chest, and the film ends a romantic embrace.
Overall, Inches explores a central theme in gay culture, the conflict between the need for committed relationships and the ease and pleasure of anonymous encounters, but draws no conclusions. We don't know the outcome for Parker and Blount. Was it a one-night stand or true love? And what is the range of relationship models in between? In any event, Inches shows you can mix substance with hot sex and achieve some excellent classic porn.