During election season, what stirs the male imagination more than female candidates? Hustler Video picked up on the instant popularity of Alaskan sex kitten/vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin by rushing into production Who’s Nailin’ Paylin. It follows in the footsteps of 1976’s Union of American Socialists (whose alarming storyline follows Constance Blomen and Willie Mae Reid surrogates through a depraved, expressionistic vision of post-Watergate Washington) and 1984’s Ferraro Fever, notable primarily for the Geraldine Ferraro-Nancy Reagan sapphic gymnastics that close the picture.
Unfortunately, Who’s Nailin’ Paylin lacks the variety and vivacity of older titles. The film suffers from an overall lack of focus and mostly atrocious casting. Much as I wanted to enjoy director Jerome Tanner and writer Roger Krypton’s absurd take on the circus the 2008 campaign became, the plot never jells and the humor never rises to the heights of great political satire. Instead, they rely on cheap stereotypes (portraying “Serra Paylin” as an airhead) and lame-brained humor.
Take, for example, the intermittent breaks featuring legend Mike Horner (All the President’s Women, Jiggly Queens 4) as “Bill Orally,” host of “The Orally Factor.” To his credit, Horner does a brilliant, dead-on send-up of notorious pundit Bill O’Reilly; unfortunately, the writing doesn’t enhance his portrayal. They do a poor job of spoofing O’Reilly’s infamous Inside Edition meltdown, and how could a sex comedy possibly ignore his falafel-related shenanigans? Despite a whiz-bang opening (in more ways than one) spoofing Palin’s supposed “foreign policy experience,” the entire film reeks of missed opportunities for humor and story.
The ludicrous story follows Paylin from that initial Russian double-teaming through the subsequent scandal, which barely makes a blip on anything. From there, roughly 40% of the movie consists of extended dream sequences, with a scene of marital infidelity and a bland lesbian threesome to pad out the runtime. Thanks in part to this narrative, what promised to be an instant classic landed with a dull thud.
The rushed nature of the production doesn’t help sell the film’s quality. On occasion, Who’s Nailin’ Paylin incorporates special effects; while this is rarely a good sign in any adult venture, the “effects” here are exceptionally bad. Take, for example, a scandalous newspaper headline that’s clearly just a combination of pasting dark-gray material over the actual headline while superimposing a cheap Windows Movie Maker-quality text effect over it. They didn’t even try to color-match the headline-covering material in post! And the less said about the “snowmobile dealership” exterior, the better.
Truly, though, the film’s weakest link is the casting of veteran Lisa Ann (Juicy Juggs, Barbie Wire: A Dyke with an Attitude) as Serra Paylin. In casting films inspired by real public figures, the filmmakers have to fulfill one of two qualifications: the actors either have to share a physical resemblance with their real-life counterparts, or they have to do such a good job inhabiting who the person is that it doesn’t quite matter that they look nothing alike. If filmmakers can fulfill both of these qualifications, all the better. Even with the trademark glasses, Ann doesn’t come close to looking like Sarah Palin, and she certainly does a poor job of acting like her.
A comic scene has an intern trying to convince Paylin to stop saying “You betcha,” but Ann doesn’t quite seem in on the joke. On some level, Ann’s apparent real-world stupidity does help satirize Palin, but it’s not nearly enough. Compare Ann’s performance to that of relative newcomer SinDee Jennings, who plays Paylin as a young, fresh-faced college student in a dream sequence. In the film’s single funniest and most erotic scene, Jennings (Girlgasmic) answers a series of historical questions with fundamentalist rhetoric, then discovers a sexy new ritual to ward off all forms of witchcraft (no, really), courtesy of her college professor. Maybe it’s a result of pairing her with comic genius Evan Stone (Pirates), but Jennings matches Palin’s mannerisms and irritating voice. She also looks a hell of a lot more like her, despite her youth. I’m sure casting Lisa Ann is a result of the fast-paced production schedule, but I can’t believe Tanner couldn’t find someone as suited to the role as Jennings—only older.
Similarly, the surrogates for Hillary Clinton (Nina Hartley, whose many sexual guides changed my life), Todd Palin (Alec Knight of Hot Blooded) and especially Condoleezza Rice (Jada Fire from Belladonna: Manhandled 2) do a simply atrocious job of capturing the spirit of their real-life counterparts. They don’t look the part, they don’t act the part—so why did they get the part? On a personal note, Ann and Hartley’s massive, awful fake breasts made a bad movie even worse. I know it’s subjective, but if you hate implants as much as I do, you will loathe the bulk of this film.
All in all, I just couldn’t love this movie. Jake Tanner’s Da Vinci Load films showed a lot of promise, but it goes unfulfilled here. I wished for a masterpiece and got a dud. Better luck in 2012, folks.