In porn film history 1973 will be remembered as the year of Damiano's "Devil in Miss Jones" starring Georgina Spelvin, with porno chic soon proliferating as the fledgling art form rose to its heights, only to soon be decimated by the advent of video. "Hot Channels" is a very effective movie from that year which deserves more notice.
Its format is familiar, a forerunner of our current craze on the horizon, Virtual Reality. Of course when VR really takes off in the next few years a pornographic version will undoubtedly be popular, as the inevitable masturbation vehicle. "Channels" presents that prospect in low-tech fashion, with a little black box called the Mark III Sensulator peddled by a huckster very well-played by Emmet Gregory, an actor in a non-sex role who truly fits the part.
The husband, played by handsome Davey Jones, prefers the new toy to his wife (superstar Darby Lloyd Rains). What he watches are cassettecartridges supplied by Emmet, which are adaptable to either a male or a female watcher (gender vs. sexual preference is not an issue addressed in this still-primitive porn effort). After his wife finds the box in his closet, she tries watching it, setting the controls for female user, and gets to see a stud in action instead of the femme beauties (notably Andrea True) hubby likes to view.
Far-fetched element in the minimal story is wife Darby contacting Emmet and buying a Mark III for herself, moving out on her own (who needs Davey when you have Mark III?). This is essential for the film's structure as we witness vignettes in VR form through the eyesbrains of each of the two lead players, but is not believable, especially when the unit has a price tag of $8X250 (that Emmet knocks down to $7X500 but would be the equivalent of nearly $100,000 today).
The sex scenes are arousing, the acting excellent and the film coming off as far more professional than most of its peers. Ironically, it has far more interesting content than the lion's share of 21st Century porn, now that video and gonzo have taken over.
Review by lor_ from the Internet Movie Database.