Readers beware. This is not ’Pretty Woman’ territory. The hardened hookers in this fascinating documentary are street-wise businesswomen hell-bent on turning a quick buck. If you’re looking for a harmless T & A romp, look elsewhere. If you want the real 411 on what it means to be a modern day ’ho’, you’ve come to right place.
’Hookers at the Point opens with dark and dreary shots of the mean streets of Hunt’s Point in the Bronx. Definitely not a place to take the kids on vacation. Cars cruise in and out of this well-known pickup area, looking to score a quick date with one of many scantily clad bottom feeders hustling the streets and sidewalks. These are not tanned, buxom beauties of Scores or Hooters but everyday women who flaunt their individual, ahem, assets, for the wildly diverse tastes of their clients.
Throughout the film, a handful of hookers chat up the reasons why they got into the biz, how much money they make and who their clients are. Each personality lends a different perspective—some hate what they do but don’t know what else to do, some appear genuinely happy with what they do while others are indifferent to their situation. These aren’t well-rounded types you want to bring home to mom but this reviewer still came away with a newfound respect for the women at The Point.
Alas, the empathy is fleeting and soon erased with murky shots of men receiving ’oral pleasure’ in darkened alleys and exterior shots of gyrating cars. The intention here isn’t to arouse, but to inform. Director Brent Owens wants you to see and feel just how slimy the business of sex really is. Owens also lets us eavesdrop on a few uncensored, back-seat ’transactions’, some of which don’t run too smoothly. You can’t help but feel sorry for the women of The Point but at the same time you can’t help but question their sanity.
’Hookers’ is presented in a mediocre full frame transfer, which is a good thing. Grain, murkiness and an overall lack of clarity actually enhances the film and to be quite honest, additional lighting and better cameras would’ve spoiled the peeping tom feel this documentary captures. Sound and dialogue is clear. On the extras side, there’s a director’s commentary, deleted scenes and trailers (sadly, this screener didn’t come with extras).
Thought provoking, disturbing and downright dirty, ’Hookers at the Point’ is a rare gem of a documentary that delivers the goods. If you find yourself cruising through Blockbuster in search of an alternative to mainstream studio fare, feel free to park at The Point. It’s worth the trip.