A deeply weird… thing, Tight is a movie about a same-named all-female band — comprised of four porn stars, managed by porn starlet Bree Olson, and the winner of Howard Stern’s “Triple X Factor” contest. A cover blurb on the front bills it as a mockumentary, while the back touts a Best Documentary victory at the 2012 Humboldt International Film Festival. So which is it? Well, it’s as phony as a pair of augmented breasts, to be sure, but no matter the degree to which its participants are supposed to be in on the joke (or, indeed, what exactly the joke is supposed to be), Tight takes most its cues from reality TV, actually, particularly of the partying-catfights-and-histrionics variety.
Clocking in at an unwieldy 114 minutes, Tight charts the band from putative inception (a re-enacted conversation between Olson and selected frontwoman Monica Mayhem, just prior to a shared sex scene) to inevitable disintegration, with all the obligatory direct-address confessionals and boozy trash-talking one might expect. Along with Mayhem, Olson tabs bassist Layla Labelle, guitarist Tuesday Cross and neophyte drummer Alicia Andrews, though how and why these girls are selected is kind of a mystery. They’re then thrown together in a house and given a week to rehearse before opening for another porn-star-turned-singer and then hitting the road. Predictably, these personalities clash. Or I guess “clash” would be the more appropriate phrasing. Olson pops up at shows and phones in to offer advice, while several oddball supporting characters — including Olson’s cousin (billed onscreen as Joel Kane, and as Joel Chanin in the credits), who eats sardines and blocks out her face with his thumb while watching her film porn scenes — abet the rolling chaos.
Shaun Donnelly takes a writer-director credit on Tight, which conspicuously shoots around the crowds (or lack thereof) at the band’s shows, and otherwise trades in set-ups so obviously staged (running out of money on the road, the girls go to a strip club to train and make some extra cash) as to at times make the movie seem like a send-up of the artificial, puffed-up drama of socialite-type TV. Other bits, though — “golden condom” tosses for backstage passes at a show — seem included as part of some porn-fantasy spin-off, and edited-around explicit bathroom footage hints at a hardcore version of the film (or at least gonzo scenes) somewhere out in the ether. So the specter of the adult industry is never far, but the problem is that Tight doesn’t track as a parody — its construction at times leans toward the comedic but is mostly just slapdash, and it’s obviously caught up in the same spin cycle of petty grievances and fragile egos that would ostensibly be the target of any smart, winking tweak of nonfiction. In other words, this ambling, rambling movie is real, but wrapped up in a cloak of mimicry, in an effort to pass that off as smart entertainment.
Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case, Tight comes to DVD on a region-free disc from distributor Wild Eye, presented in 16×9 widescreen with a Dolby digital 2.0 stereo audio track. Under static menu and sub-menu screens, the movie comes divided into four (?) chapters, but with no subtitle options (sorry denizens of Thailand). Bonus features include of an array of trailers, music videos, a photo gallery, and extra live concert footage inclusive of the tunes “Run For It” from a Las Vegas gig, “Slave” from Los Angeles, and “Wasted” from Denver. The main extra, though, is a substantive collection of 22 deleted scenes which is saddled by having no play-all function. Many of these track with the same posed qualities of the movie, but hey — it’s kind of amusing to hear Olson explain the pawning off of a product endorsement of a vibrator that plugs into iPods and, ummm, stimulates to played music. To purchase the DVD, click here. D (Movie) C+ (Disc)