Turned On!Dark Entries
The master sleuths at Dark Entries bring us Forbidden Overture, another tantalizing mystery from the hidden depths of sleaze. It all began years ago when Bijou Video’s Jules Zinn introduced the label to the soundtracks of the pornographic films of legendary filmmaker Steve Scott and gay superstar Al Parker. It wasn’t until The Magazine’s Bob Mainardi gifted a cassette copy of the soundtrack to the film Turned On!—a bathhouse fantasy from 1982—that the wheels started turning. The steamy, hypnotic sounds were credited only to “Forbidden Overture…” but who was that? This question remained unanswered for some time, and countless hours of research, Venn diagramming, and elaborate flow charts all proved fruitless. It wasn’t until a chance screening of Bad Girls Dormitory, a 1986 women-in-prison movie from gay porn director Joe Gage that happened to reuse some of the same music did the answer become clear: Forbidden Overture was none other than the mighty Man Parrish! The soundtrack to Turned On! consists of two epic side-long pieces, both of which employ classic Man Parrish production techniques. “Primal Overture” slinks along with brooding pads and ominous chords, building and oozing throughout its 27 minute runtime like a sultrier Goblin soundtrack. “Strictly Forbidden” takes a similar groove to a major key, but it’s optimistic chirp conceals a wry, mysterious wink. Says director Steve Scott: “It took us about two weeks to find the right piece for the jockstrap scene. But it's like anything else—you know when it’s right.” Turned On! is an exciting musical rediscovery as well as a vital document of queer history.