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Bulletin from the Ministry of Naughty Bits: The Midnight Blue Collection

Released by: Blue Underground.

As your Minister of Naughty Bits, I wanted to bring to your attention that the Ministry will be issuing bulletins to keep the public advised of media that deals with the sexy. Because it’s all about the sexy. This is all for your health, so grin and bear it.

In this Bulletin, we go old-school. Al Goldstein was the king of New York smut with his “magazine,” Screw, which covered the New York sexual underground. Goldstein saw the growth of cable in the 70s and wanted to expand his empire with a video version of his magazine. So began Midnight Blue, a public access cable show that for almost twenty years pushed the boundaries of good taste and sexual conformity. Blue Underground has been releasing DVDs collections of the “best” of the show. Volume 4 of this series, Freaks & Geeks, features segments of some seriously fucked up shit from a cathouse for dogs to sex cults with hermaphroditic priests/priestesses to the first public sex marathon since the days of the Roman empress, Messilina. The disc comes with “Filthy Facts” subtitles that offer informative and snarky context to the smutty segments. It brings whole new meaning to “Pop-Up Video”. (Buy it)

If the previous disc shows the “heights” of Goldstein’s career, the next volume, Porn King, shows his decline. In the new millennium, Goldstein is failing to deal with post-Giuliani New York, the Internet pornucopia, and his own combative personality. So he turns a misdemeanor verbal harassment trial into a media circus. But even that cannot save Goldstein from ruin and eventual homelessness. This documentary shows Goldstein as a man so used to fighting the system, he can’t do anything else. The fight is all he has left. At the end you can’t tell if he’s a valiant defender of the 1st Amendment or just a sad annoying asshole. The only extra on the disc, “The Last Days of Midnight Blue“, is a collection of “editorials” Goldstein made during the final episodes of the infamous public access cable show. After seeing Goldstein spew massive amount of bile and vitriol, you find yourself leaning towards the “sad, annoying asshole” option. While it is an interesting portrayal of the man, it does kind of kill the mood. (Buy it)