Last Monday we finished our 10 week series of the Top 50 All Time Porn Classics. I thank you for the comments and response to that. Staying with that them, Mondays will now become “Classic Monday”. In this new series I will key on one particular performer and their debut film, as best I can. I think it might be another interesting way to know the films, some long forgotten because they were not that good, and the performers who would become stars during porn’s golden age.
To kick off this new segment we go back to 1974 and the film debut of Vanessa Del Rio in a film titled “China Doll” that, believe it or not, can still be found on DVD.
Vanessa was born and bred in New York City and had worked at a number of jobs. She worked as a dancer for a time and that was her introduction into the world of porn. Always a sexual being and realizing she could make good money doing something she loved, she jumped in with both feet. At the time the new York area was a hotbed of porn production, both amateur and pro. While there was a move in California with the Mitchell Brothers and others, New York was still the center of porn activity. This debut, which was hot and steamy to say the least, would get Vanessa noticed by everyone, even though the film was terrible, and her career would take off from that point. It would be a career that would last through the 80′s and then again later in the 90′s before she retired. But today some 40 years later Vanessa Del Rio is still a major draw at conventions, signings, etc.
As for the film directed by Shaun Costello, it was a direct ripoff, not a parody, of the mainstream film “Chinatown” and was just terrible as far as the plot, the acting and the camera work. There were no name stars in it at all and it was another of the “one day wonders” that were shot by l;ess than talented directors trying to break into porn. The best thing it had going for it was Ms. Del Rio’s debut. In her first scene she performs double oral sex on two guys to completion and then later has a double penetration scene, not a bad debut. It was clear she was enjoying every moment and her career, unlike the film, would become a classic.
So as bad as “China Doll” was, thank you for giving us the undisputed first Latinja superstar in Ms. Vanessa Del Rio!
Art Koch, National Features & DVD Editor, NightMoves magazine and AANShare This!
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