Insatiable (1980)

One-sheet poster for Insatiable starring Marilyn Chambers

Sandra Chase is a model and actress who's left a fortune when her parents die in an accident. She's got everything she's ever wanted -- except someone to keep up with her insatiable lust for sex. So she goes searching for it...again and again and again.

What Insatiable lacked in plot it made up for in sheer animal magnetism. Marilyn's return to X was an event and no expense was spared on this $500K blockbuster, considered by many to be one of the last great films of the golden age of pornography. This is Marilyn's shining moment, and her most important contribution to the adult film industry. She also contributed vocals to the main title song "Shame on You."

 

The film earned approximately $2 million in its initial run (nearly $6 million in today's money) -- a big box-office success for an adult film -- despite playing in just New York, San Francisco and Denver. On video, however, it performed even better, selling 12,000 copies on the first day of release, at a cool $99 apiece. It went on to become the top-selling video (not just adult) for two years. Marilyn promoted the video aggressively, including personal appearances at adult video stores and, most notably, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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"[Insatiable] is an absolutely devastating piece of erotica, reaching new heights of technical excellence and offering the American public the kind of quality sexual material they have long demanded. Chambers is perfectly cast in [a] brilliant portrayal...Truly, Insatiable is a film not to be missed. It's erotic, it's entertaining, and above all else, it features that paradigm of provocativeness Marilyn Chambers! 100%"

-- Al Goldstein, Screw, October 27, 1980

 

"[Marilyn] looks as fresh and sexy as ever. And in Insatiable she gives the most inspired erotic performance of her illustrious career. There won't be a dry lap in the house...Although the sex if often exceptionally lusty and the technical aspects are fine, Insatiable is ultimately a dumb story. The plot is extremely slow moving, and the dialogue is nothing short of insipid. But Marilyn Chambers's portrayal of a woman delirious with passion will turn on audiences everywhere. Her electric, sensuous characterization makes all other criticisms of the film seem petty by comparison."

-- Hustler, November 1980

 

"History, they say, is made at night. And Insatiable, not only has all the hallmarks of having been shot after dark, but actually does, in at least two respects, make history. It is, in fact, the first 'hard core' porn movie ever to be passed by the British Censor as suitable for The British Public: no pretensions to Art -- nothing but the presence of Marilyn Chambers. 'The world famous porno movie Queen' herself, playing a model with a yen for anything on two legs."

-- Eric Braun, films (UK), April 1982

The June 1980 issue of Club magazine offered the public some of the first photos from the set of Insatiable (that's the picture below, in the middle). Among those were several photos of Marilyn getting fucked by Mike Ranger outside on some patio furniture. Ranger appears only in the final scene of Insatiable, alongside David Morris and Jessie St. James, and his presence is never really explained. (However, since the final scene is a masturbation fantasy, his presence could be explained as just a figment of Sandra Chase's imagination.) It's unclear if the footage of Marilyn and Ranger on the patio still exists, or if it was ever even filmed. I've never seen it mentioned in any interviews with Marilyn or anyone associated with the film. But it offers a titillating glimpse at what could have been. Ranger, by the way, went on to appear with Marilyn in Private Fantasies #1, in the book Sensual Secrets, and in a couple Club magazine photo spreads.

 

There was also talk of footage being shot of Serena fisting Marilyn in the pool scene. Allegedly the film was trimmed to remove the shot of Serena's fist going into Marilyn, as it was deemed too controversial for 1980 audiences, but it's unclear if the footage still exists.

Considered by many, including Marilyn, to be her greatest scene, the pool table scene in Insatiable is a model of carnal perfection. Nothing faked here, folks; David Morris and Marilyn have obvious chemistry. Marilyn recounted in a 2005 interview that she picked Morris up at the airport the night before they were scheduled to film. He was exactly her type but blew her off and showed no interest. She was taken aback at his rebuff but believes it added to their on-screen chemistry the next day when they filmed the scene. The scene was so hot it was reused in Insatiable II in 1984.  

On May 23, 1980, The Pussycat Theater in West Hollywood immortalized Marilyn with her hand and footprints in cement on the sidewalk outside the theater's entrance. Only the second actress to receive the honor (Linda Lovelace was the first), Marilyn was placed alongside such other adult icons as John Holmes and Harry Reems. They're still visible today in their original location at 7734 Santa Monica Boulevard outside the gay strip club Studs. Inset: the finished product many years later.

Marilyn Chambers placing her hand and footprints outside the Pussycat Theater, West Hollywood, 1980

Starring: Marilyn Chambers, Jessie St. James, Serena, Richard Pacheco, David Morris, John Leslie, Mike Ranger and John Holmes

Producer & Director: Godfrey Daniels (aka Stu Segall)

Writer: Daniel Short

Title Song Sung By: Marilyn Chambers

Released: September 24, 1980 (US - wide release), Miracle Films

Availability: In print, DVD

What the Critics Said:
B-style poster for Insatiable starring Marilyn Chambers
Marilyn Chambers on the set of Insatiable, 1980
Marilyn Chambers and Mike Ranger in a deleted scene from Insatiable, 1980
Marilyn Chambers and David Morris in the pool table scene from Insatiable, 1980
Marilyn Chambers on the set of Insatiable, 1980
Marilyn Chambers on the set of Insatiable, 1980
Marilyn Chambers and Serena in a deleted scene from Insatiable, 1980
Advertising material for Insatiable starring Marilyn Chambers
Marilyn Chambers on the cover of Club Magazine, 1981
Marilyn Chambers and Mike Ranger in a deleted scene from Insatiable, 1980

Left to right: style B poster for Insatiable; the t-shirt featured on the cover proved so popular that Club magazine offered an iron-on transfer in a later issue; newspaper advertising material from the pressbook

Marilyn on the set of Insatiable, 1979.

Marilyn Chambers on the set of Insatiable, 1980
Marilyn Chambers' hand and footprints outside the Pussycat Theater, West Hollywood, 1980