I’m not sure what the deal is with Tight, Shaun Donnelly’s “mockumentary” about an all-female porn star rock band. Despite the marketing campaign, this is really only half a mockumentary (at best) and nothing at all like This is Spinal Tap. No one seems to have bothered figuring out what was being mocked. Mockumentaries, pretty much by definition, consist of completely fictional events that have been staged to appear real. Basically, here we have four real porn actresses who were assembled to form a real band. Dubbed Tight, they set out on the road and play real gigs at dive bars in various cities.
I don’t know exactly what was staged and what wasn’t, but Tight actually seems to be more documentary than mockumentary. Monica Mayhem is the band’s lead singer. Now retired from the porn industry, the 32-year-old Australian bombshell fronts a metal band outside of anything to do with this film. They’re called Sweet Avenge and Mayhem brought her singing experience to this project. Layla Labelle was recruited as guitarist. The 19-year-old explains in the film that she started playing at age 12. Also 19, Tuesday Cross plays bass. According to the production notes, no porn star drummers could be found, so Alicia Andrews took lessons for a couple months in order to fill the role. In a way, the 21-year-old leaves the greatest impression from a musical standpoint. It’s not that she’s a great drummer, but she actually kicks some ass for someone who literally just started playing.
Former Charlie Sheen “goddess” Bree Olson plays Tight’s “manager.” Olson was presumably cast based on her marquee value, as she doesn’t really have much of a part in the film. She doesn’t tour with the band. They simply check in with her when encountering problems in various cities. I’m not sure if Joel Kane is actually Olson’s cousin, but that’s who he’s identified as here. Olson hires him as the band’s road manager, a job at which he fails miserably. Unfortunately, none of this is all that funny—usually another prerequisite for mockumentaries.
The interesting part of Tight is seeing the band rehearse and play their gigs. In between shows they get smashed, fight mercilessly (at one point Andrews viciously smacks Labelle so realistically, I don’t think it could’ve have been faked), and shoot sex scenes. Depending on your expectations of Tight, you will either be relieved or disappointed that these are only softcore scenes. For the record, I happen to fall into the latter category, especially when it comes to the delectable Labelle. Let’s be honest, if you’re going to include this type of material in an unrated film starring adult performers, they might as well let us see it all.
So no, Tight is not porn. There’s plenty of nudity throughout (again, entirely of the tame T&A variety), not only from the band members but also from some of their randier female audience members. None of the girls get along particularly well with each other, but their arguments—no matter how heated—aren’t really that interesting. Instead of the silly, sporadic mockumentary elements, Donnelly should’ve made this a full-on documentary and told us a little more about the band members. I’m not going to try and argue that Tight is a good band. However, for four women thrown together with very little rehearsal and sent out on the road, they do manage to muster up some energetic, punkish energy. The most genuinely funny sequence involves some joker who insists on sitting in with the band one night. His guitar licks are hopeless—and frequently in the wrong key. Tight does their best with a limited repertoire (how many times must we hear “Yellow Line Fever?”) and largely indifferent audiences.
The DVD includes a slew of bonus materials. There are lots of deleted scenes (unfortunately without a “play all” option), music videos, and—best of all—a couple of uninterrupted live performances. The film (which at nearly two hours is overlong by at least a half hour) unwisely chops up their live performances, never really giving us a chance to hear them play a song all the way through. And Alicia Andrews (who strongly resembles a hotter, younger Anna Gasteyer) is seen playing drums in an audition video. Again, the fact that she was able to hold the band together with steady drum patterns after only a few weeks of lessons (paid for at her own expense) is quite impressive.
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