During the 2000s, the softcore survived the crisis that hit the genre in the late 90s (with the disappearance of many stars) thanks to a man, Fred Olen Ray, and his company: Retromedia.
Thanks to Fred Olen Ray, during the 2000s the softcore genre lived a second youth, which led to the re-launch of the “Bikini Movies”, making the public aware of a new generation of actors who, in different ways and with different careers, entered the heart of the lovers of this genre.
The peculiarity of Retromedia films are many. One of the fundamental factors, which must be remembered, is to having, for the first time, presented softcore movies in a more realistic manner, with the choreography of very explicit sex scenes (always simulated), also with the use of many actors and actresses from the hardcore genre.
The use of porn stars such as Evan Stone, Nicole Sheridan, Randy Spears, Voodoo, Jezebelle Bond, Michelle Maylene, Eric Masterson, Cailey Taylor, Michelle Lay, Syren, Rebecca Love, Mary Carey, Jayden Cole, Christie Stevens and Jazy Berlin it’s been as a kind of salvation for the genre, but also a confirmation that it was increasingly difficult to find new softcore stars not coming from the adult industry.
For many years, instead, Retromedia has been able to mix two worlds, the hardcore and the softcore, managing to build movies with homogenous cast, and with personalities from both these worlds.
Christine Nguyen and Beverly Lynne, Nikki Fritz, Brandin Rackley and Kylee Nash, Erika Jordan and Sarah Hunter, without forgetting Danielle Petty, Frankie Cullen, Brad Bartram, Kelly McCarthy, Tony Marino, Heather Vandeven, Dena Kollar, Andy Espinoza Long, Frankie Dell and many others.
Thanks to this professionalism, thanks to directors like Dean McKendrick, Retromedia over the years has entertained (and made horny, let’s say!) the viewers through comedies contaminated by science fiction, where sexy aliens who land on our planet meet the legendary “third leg” of terrestrial males, or where sexy amazons, after a time travel, let themselves go to erotic effusions in the modern world.
But not only Sci-Fi (Sexy Warriors, Teenage Cavegirl, Bikini Time Machine), espionage (Bikini Royale), slapsticks comedies (Busty Housewives of Beverly Hills), horror (Twilight Vamps, Bikini Frankenstein) and superheroes (Bikini Avengers, Super Ninja Doll). Retromedia was the symbol of eroticism that contaminated film genres. Many detractors have always disputed this, stating that despite everything, these movies were only comedies and that there was no attempt to do something more serious. And, if it’s been done, was been done late.
Perhaps this is true, but it is true that, in any case, the very last films of the softcore genre were serious, and that perhaps this reflects two phases of softcore. The first, amusing, was the phase the softcore was alive, and the second, the seriousness, where the softcore slowly die.
Maybe, one day, the softcore genre will come back to life. And, maybe, the first movie of this new wave will be a comedy.