Will Ryder Pays Tribute to ’80s Porn Stars in ‘Innocent: Not Traci Lords XXX’

LOS ANGELES—Call it “throwback porn” or just a lighthearted lesson in the history of adult film. But director Will Ryder’s next parody will pay homage to a classic period.

In a unique project the AVN Award-winning shooter has held onto for more than two years, the new generation of performers meets the superstars of the 1980s in Innocent: Not Traci Lords XXX.

The X-Play production from Ryder and his partner Scott David will be released on Sept. 13 through Pulse Distribution.

“It feels like the right time to release this movie,” Ryder told AVN. “I don’t know why. Maybe it’s my personal sense of nostalgia, or hanging with Roy Karch, and getting inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame… The nostalgia is burning a little bit for me, but maybe I’m the only one. I do feel it’s time for a throwback and to see yesterday’s stars portrayed by the girls of today.

“I think it’s an interesting concept. Maybe it’s time to pay a little sexual homage to the people that got it all started before they’re too old and senile to understand what happened.”

The “characters” in the movie are a who’s who of industry legends starting with the notorious Traci Lords, who is played by Lucy Tyler.

Carter Cruise plays Samantha Strong; Zoey Monroe is Bunny Bleu; Cameron Dee portrays Amber Lynn; and Courtney Shea channels Ginger Lynn.

Mia Austin (Nina DePonca), Natasha Vegas (Christy Canyon), Ashley Graham (Nina Hartley) and Angelina Chung (Kristara Barrington) also are cast as their famous predecessors.

“These girls will never be forgotten," said X-Play co-producer Scott David..

Ryder didn’t leave out some of the famous porn studs from that era, hiring Tyler Nixon to play Tom Byron, Richie Calhoun to be John Holmes; and Jay Smooth as Jeff Stryker.

In a bit of a twist, Tom Byron himself plays pioneering talent agent Jim South in Innocent. Jerry Butler (Kurt Lockwood) and Eric Edwards (Eric John) also receive billing, while Ron Jeremy appears as who else—himself.

“Ron Jeremy is in this movie in a non-sex role and adds the right amount of sizzle,” Ryder said. “He actually sums up the whole movie and talks about the ’80s from a perspective of the ’80s. It’s very powerful and very cool he’s in there.”

Ryder, who has helmed more than 130 movies since his directorial debut with Britney Rears in ’04, said Byron is one of the best actors he’s ever directed.

“He played Jim South so perfectly you’d think it was the middle of the 1980s in Jim South’s Van Nuys office [for World Modeling],” Ryder said. “Apparently, Tom Byron had spent many, many months in Jim’s office. It was like a second home almost and he picked up his mannerisms, right down to the Texas drawl Jim South has.”

The director continued, “Young Tom Byron is played by Tyler Nixon. So we have a legend in the flick playing the guy that got his career started. There are all these twists and turns. It’s a very different type of movie for us.”

One of the most prolific parody directors in adult, Ryder has previously found success with takeoffs such as Not Jersey Boys XXX: A Porn Musical, Not the Wizard of Oz XXX, Grease XXX: A Parody, Not the Bradys XXX, Beverly Hillbillies: A XXX Parody and dozens of others.

Pulse Distribution’s Executive VP of Sales Robert Plarksi told AVN, “The incomparable Will Ryder has done it again. We cannot wait to release this spectacular piece of film history!”

Ryder began putting the word out about the title in 2014, finding the initial response to be positive.

“I received a lot of feedback from Amber Lynn and some from Ginger Lynn and Christy Canyon,” he said. “Me and some of the other girls were going to come on a radio show to talk about it and then [the movie] got delayed, and we never took up the publicity opportunities.

“The girls have been really cool about it, the ones we talked to—the ones I am business acquaintances with. Like everything we do, we never try to make a mockery or buffoon the subject matter. We always try to create our own story within the framework of a TV show or a celebrity or a movie.

“We come up with something original that everyone can be proud of and say this is pretty cool. And that’s what we did here. Traci Lords is obviously this incredible, iconic figure in the history of the porn business that we couldn’t not include her, even if it is in a parody and satire way.”

Lords sparked national controversy in the mid-80s after it was discovered she had performed in numerous adult films while underage. Dozens of the movies she shot between ’84-86 had to be pulled from the shelves when the scandal broke in May of ’86.

Ryder said one of his favorite sequences of Innocent is when Lords (Lucy Tyler) has sex with Tom Byron (Tyler Nixon) for the first time.

“She just meets him and has every kind of sex you can think about in Jim South’s office, which is what happened in real life apparently. Or what I was told,” Ryder said.

“As a footnote to my career, Traci Lords changed my complete perspective of the porn industry when I saw her in the movie where she had sex I believe it was with Tom Byron and Peter North in the back of a convertible of a drive-in movie theater. It was the most exciting thing I’d ever seen my life. I never knew sex could be so unbelievably spontaneous. It was a learning moment for me.”

Ryder said the story arc of Innocent: Not Traci Lords XXX focuses on the trials and tribulations of shooting during that decade.

“It’s about how people broke into the industry and what they had to go through on the set back in the day,” he said.

While it’s not a 40-page script like his award-winning original comedy Love, Sex & TV News (Adam & Eve), it’s enough of a narrative to move the action along.

Misty Stone recently recorded the voiceover for the movie.

“It’s important to note we’re entertainers, not educators, but you get a good education when you watch this movie, especially if you lived through the ’80s as a porn fan or just want to know what took place before we got where we are today,” Ryder said.

Even though Ryder is best known for his work in the past 15 years, many may not know he was connected to the porn world since the 80s when he made his living primarily in the music industry. He scored dozens of 80s movies that starred these actual performers, meeting Amber Lynn in the early 80s as well as director Roy Karch.

“Everything for me ties up with this movie because I was there. I did see what was going on,” Ryder said. “I definitely was not on the level of these performers. I was looking up to them and I put every girl on a pedestal. I looked up to these people and was amazed at what they had to go through to create pornography. It’s so much easier nowadays with the ability to shoot it legally. It was illegal a lot of the time to shoot porn in L.A. County and people across the country actually went to prison for obscenity.”

The director, who doesn’t work full-time in adult anymore, also suggested this may perhaps be his final parody feature. He said the current crop of porn talent could use a dose of perspective that he includes in Innocent.

“People need to know what took place. There was a world that existed before you were born. A lot of times this generation is so consumed with selfies and Facebook and Instagram they don’t even realize there was real opposition to what we do that was overcome by the great stars and the great executives of the 1980s.

“And maybe they don’t care, but we’re going to try to make people care. They don’t make stars like they used to that’s for sure.”