Article first published as DVD Review: Zalman King’s ‘Red Shoe Diaries: The Movie’ and ‘Season One’ on Blogcritics.
Any teenager boy growing up in the ’90s with access to cable were privy
to find skin flicks and adult programming available at their, err…
fingertips. The most popular of these has to be Zalman King’s Red Shoe Diaries.
Featuring the rare female perspective, it ran on Showtime for five
seasons from 1992 through 1997, with 66 episodes and an original TV
movie. What the show is probably known most for now is the introduction
to The X-Files Agent Mulder, David Duchovny. Chock full of guest stars and more nudity than you could shake a stick at, King’s Red Shoe Diaries: The Movie, and Season One, each make their debuts on DVD courtesy of Kino Lorber on June 17.
movie sets the scene with Duchovny playing the mourning widower Jake.
His fiancé Alex (Brigitte Bako) has committed suicide, and Jake finds
her diary explaining her inner turmoil leading to her death. Turns out,
Alex was cheating on him with construction worker Tommy (Billy Wirth),
and she was driven into depression by not being able to have her cake
and eat it too. This is all just an elaborate setup for the upcoming
seasons which all feature different stories sent into a personals ad by
Jake where women can share their dirtiest secrets to help Jake
understand women better.
The movie is available as a standalone release with the first season
on two discs featuring 13 episodes. The TV episodes run around a half
hour each with disc one containing: “Safe Sex,” “Double Dare,” “You Have
the Right to Remain Silent,” “Talk to Me Baby,” “Just Like That,”
“Another Woman’s Lipstick,” and “Auto Erotica.” Disc two includes:
“Jake’s Story,” “Accidents Happen,” “The Bounty Hunter,” “Weekend Pass,”
“Double or Nothing,” and “How I Met My Husband.” Guest stars include
Matt LeBlanc, Steven Bauer, Arnold Vosloo, and Ally Sheedy. The same
special features can be found on both releases: “Zalman King Introduces Red Shoe Diaries,” “The Stars of Red Shoe Diaries,” and a photo gallery.
Anyone who has watched Red Shoe Diaries may find it
nostalgic, which is kind of a funny way to look back on an erotica
series. Unfortunately, considering how much nudity and sex even regular
cable channels like FX can get away with — though they may not feature
any actual nudity — but on-screen cable sex is even more titillating now
than it was back in the show’s heyday. I doubt the show could find an
audience today, so I’m not sure why Kino Lorber is even releasing these
now, but here they are. The rest of the seasons are all scheduled for
release, but who knows if anyone will even bother with these two
releases. I’m sure the DVD cover’s tagline — “Before there was grey…
there was red” — is going to be used to try to push sales, but Red Shoe Diaries: The Movie and Season One are recommended as nostalgia only.