George C Scott plays Christian fundamentalist Jake Van Dorn from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who is trying to find his runaway daughter Kristen (Ilah Davis) in LA’s seedy porno film-making precincts, where he enlists the help of a sympathetic young prostitute called Niki (Season Hubley).
The beautifully modulated scenes of Van Dorn’s middle-class American home life – Bible readings, saying grace before dinner, strong religious faith in all matters of daily routine, providing gainful employment for many in the community in his successful furniture business – are of little consolation to him now in his rage and grief.
His emotional upheaval as he watches his daughter in a trashy 8mm porno film procured by sleazy private detective Andy Mast (Peter Boyle) is a pure and telling moment.
Jake takes up the hunt, wandering from one gimmicky massage parlour to the next, pretending to be a rich porno-flick producer looking for a tax shelter.
From a putrid motel room in Van Nuys, he gets a hard look at the world of kiddie porn, smarmy personal ads in underground newspapers, skin flicks, drugs, and the kind of corruption and horror that feeds on the tenderloins of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Before his final reunion with his estranged daughter, the audience gets a guided tour of this world of sex for sale, where you can get child prostitutes, rapes, sexual tortures, even murder for a price.
It’s a bloody eye-opener for everybody and probably a stomach-turner for some. The faint of heart should consider themselves forewarned.
Jake Van Dorn
George C Scott
David B Nichols
Kristen Van Dorn
Joe Van Dorn
Big Dick Blaque
Ed Begley Jr