In the pre-YouTube (and YouPorn) days, there were only a handful of VHS tapes at the local video store that you were actually able to take home for the night. All the others were behind these swinging wooden doors that said “UNDER 18 NOT ADMITTED” on them in big black letters. And of course, this was all impossible if you couldn’t get past the embarrassment of actually facing the proto-bro at the video store desk eye to eye while renting these tools of enjoyment. Many a good bro fell prey to his nerves.
Some of us, though, had nerves of steel. We were über-men, able to fight back the urge to bolt out the door, and we actually ended up renting these films for our late-night viewing purposes. I clearly remember telling my parents, when renting Red Shoe Diaries (see below), “Oh, it’s a romantic comedy” or something. It definitely had a romantic element, that was for sure.
So we’ve decided to collect the nine best examples of semi-smut from the VHS era for you here on BroBible. More than likely, they’re not available on Netflix or Hulu Plus, so you’ll have to find them using other tactics.
1. Poison Ivy (1992) and Poison Ivy 2 (1996)
If you can find a pirated version of either one of these movies, you will be off to a great start. Save for the totally ridiculous plotlines and bordering-on-annoying dialog (which sounds similar to the back-and-forth in most cheesy pornos), these are must-sees from the VHS Era. Poison Ivy, the first in the series, features Drew Barrymore as a porcelain-skinned lolita — her breasts “exposed” while she lays back on the hood of a car in the rain. The lucky guy she seduces? Tom Skerritt from Top Gun. The sequel doesn’t star Barrymore, but an upgrade, in our opinion: Alyssa Milano, whose bare breasts appear multiple times throughout the flick (as well as a lot of strong sexual content). Sadly, this would be the last time anybody in the world (who hasn’t hooked up with Alyssa Milano) would ever see her naked ever again on screen, so cherish the moments as they unfold.
2. Red Shoe Diaries (1992)
A year before FBI Agent Fox Mulder (a.k.a. David Duchovny) was chasing aliens and solving news-of-the-weird mysteries on Fox’s The X-Files, he was engaging in all sorts of sordid acts on screen in the Red Shoe Diaries as the well-softcore-porn-named Jake Winters. The made-for-TV movie was a VHS staple of the age and comes in both regular and unrated versions (you can buy it in the format on eBay). There was also a follow-up TV series, which ran until 1996; and as far as I can remember, you could also rent those on tape, too. Pretty sure you never had to deal with seeing the ‘ole Dickovny, if you know what I mean, but we’re not positive.
3. Color of Night (1994)
This classic T&A-fest was best seen in its unrated version — which, as long as you could get past seeing Bruce Willis’ manhood for a second in its pool scene, is about as close to a real-life porn as you could get at the time. You see British actress Jane March stark naked and going to town on almost a nonstop loop throughout the film, which has a surprisingly engaging plot and end-twist, despite its strongly spankable content. If the Oscars ever does a Lifetime Achievement Award for softcore porn, this would certainly bring home the gold, phallus-shaped statue.
4. 9 ½ Weeks (1986)
Before Oscar-nominated actor Mickey Rourke started looking like the Elephant Man and scaring the hell out of babies; he was making hot, passionate on-screen love to everybody’s dream girl in the ’80s, blonde bombshell Kim Basinger. The best you’ll get in this flick is a nipple-slip in the regular version, but there’s an uncensored version where you got a lot more Basinger for your buck.
5. Basic Instinct (1992)
If you’re part of the generation that didn’t grow up enjoying the amazing feat of cinematic greatness that is Basic Instinct, we’d suggest you Google it and enjoy it for what it’s worth. And by “it,” we mean Sharon Stone’s seconds-exposed beav.
6. Doppelganger (1993)
Drew Barrymore must’ve been on some sort of drug-induced, naked-soul-searching journey in the ’90s, because she followed up her boob-welcoming party in Poison Ivy in 1993 with the pitifully bad Doppelganger, where she bares it all. According to IMDB, you only see one bare breast (her left one, to be exact), but that’s not a bad payload for such a shitty-ass movie. We can almost guarantee you can find a still of the scene somewhere. Maybe even a GIF!
7. Paradise (1982)
Everybody’s always talking about the pool scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) that features red-bathing-suited Phoebe Cates. But what they don’t mention is that you have to suffer through Judge Reinhold (Beverly Hills Cop’s Billy Rosewood) making like he’s jerking off on the can throughout the entire scene. In Paradise, however, which came out the same year, all you get besides Cates’ criminally well-formed naked body, with steamy water streaming over it, is some dude that looks like The Who’s Roger Daltrey checking her out at a safe, pervy distance. We’ll take “See Me, Feel Me” over seeing Rosewood feel himself up any day.
8. American Pie (1999)
American Pie might as well be the late-’90s bro’s Great Gatsby; it’s full of memorable moments, relatable one-liners, and fantastic nods to the era (remember Blink-182’s random cameo?). But deep down, what we all remember from it is the moment when Shannon and her Elizabeths tumble out for a breath of fresh air while young Jeem struggles to keep the baby batter at bay. Definitely remember this one on VHS — and there being an unrated version. But the latter, I believe, just features Jason Biggs effing the ess out of that apple pie for longer, which is a downer for the bird-watching bro.
9. Wild Things (1998)
Denise Richards, Party of Five’s Neve Campbell, and Matt Dillon having a threesome. ‘Nuff said.
I want more like this!
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