Summary : Recommended on nostalgia only.
Any teenagers growing up in the ’90s with access to cable were privy to find skin flicks and adult programming available at their, err… fingertips. The most popular of these has to be Zalman King’s Red Shoe Diaries. Featuring the rare female perspective, it ran on Showtime for five seasons from 1992 through 1997, with 66 episodes and an original TV movie. What the show is probably known most for now is the introduction to The X-Files Agent Mulder, David Duchovny. Chock full of guest stars and more nudity than you could shake a stick at, King’s Red Shoe Diaries: The Movie, and Season One, each make their debuts on DVD courtesy of Kino Lorber on June 17.
The movie sets the scene with Duchovny playing the mourning widower Jake. His fiancé Alex (Brigitte Bako) has committed suicide, and Jake finds her diary explaining her inner turmoil leading to her death. Turns out, Alex was cheating on him with construction worker Tommy (Billy Wirth), and she was driven into depression by not being able to have her cake and eat it too. This is all just an elaborate setup for the upcoming seasons which all feature different stories sent into a personals ad by Jake where women can share their dirtiest secrets to help Jake understand women better.
The movie is available as a standalone release with the first season on two discs featuring 13 episodes. The TV episodes run around a half hour each with disc one containing: “Safe Sex,” “Double Dare,” “You Have the Right to Remain Silent,” “Talk to Me Baby,” “Just Like That,” “Another Woman’s Lipstick,” and “Auto Erotica.” Disc two includes: “Jake’s Story,” “Accidents Happen,” “The Bounty Hunter,” “Weekend Pass,” “Double or Nothing,” and “How I Met My Husband.” Guest stars include Matt LeBlanc, Steven Bauer, Arnold Vosloo, and Ally Sheedy. The same special features can be found on both releases: “Zalman King Introduces Red Shoe Diaries,” “The Stars of Red Shoe Diaries,” and a photo gallery.
Anyone who has watched Red Shoe Diaries may find it nostalgic, which is kind of a funny way to look back on an erotica series. Unfortunately, considering how much nudity and sex even regular cable channels like FX can get away with — though they may not feature any actual nudity — but on-screen cable sex is even more titillating now than it was back in the show’s heyday. I doubt the show could find an audience today, so I’m not sure why Kino Lorber is even releasing these now, but here they are. The rest of the seasons are all scheduled for release, but who knows if anyone will even bother with these two releases. I’m sure the DVD cover’s tagline — “Before there was grey… there was red” — is going to be used to try to push sales, but Red Shoe Diaries: The Movie and Season One are recommended as nostalgia only.Powered by Sidelines