Plot: Pauleen (Jonna Lee) is a small town girl with big city dreams, fresh out of school and ready for real life. But she can’t do much on what she can earn in the area, not to mention her parents are always up in her business. Tired of being poor and criticized, she makes a drastic decision and heads to California, with visions of fame, fortune, and a better life. Once she arrives, her good looks earn her a foot in the door at a modeling house, but these photos make her a little uncomfortable, as some of them involve being unclothed. The money is too good to pass up however, so she bares all and enjoys her new, exciting lifestyle, perhaps a little too much. As she can’t find consistent work, but loves the easy money, she finds herself in a tough spot, as she could earn a lot more if she’d do some sex scenes for porn producers. The money, drugs, and excitement have carried her through to this point, but will it be enough to make a career in hardcore porn tolerable?
Entertainment Value: A melodrama drenched cautionary tale about sex, drugs, and assault rifles, Shattered Innocence is a made for tv masterpiece. The movie refuses to reel in the performances or off the rails melodrama, so the entire movie runs at a high emotional pitch and never fails to entertain. Of course, that assumes you appreciate wild melodrama and over the top performances, as that is what Shattered Innocence brings to the table in strong doses. This is like a Lifetime movie, but on steroids and in the midst of a total nervous breakdown, glorious melodrama and dysfunction. The movie is based on the real life story of teen turned porn star Colleen Applegate, but it never aims to be poignant or take a social stance. The porn business is being shown as seedy, but never overly demonized and is shown as being populated with both troubled souls and folks just looking to earn a living. Jonna Lee has the lead and she runs with it, giving us a wild, over the top performance that is a pleasure to watch. She revels in the melodrama, tonal shifts, and emotional instability of her role, which ensures every scene delivers great fun for the viewers. The rest of the cast is fine, but Lee is the real draw here and no one else really stands out. I suppose Melinda Dillion as the judgmental mother has some bright spots, however. In the end, I found Shattered Innocence to be wall to wall fun and camp, but I love these kind of lurid, over the top made for tv movies. For genre fans, it should be an instant addition to your own archive.
No nakedness. This is an 80s made for tv movie, so despite being in the porn business, no naked flesh is shown. But the movie tows the line well, providing a lot of almost nudity and some creepiness. I also appreciated how the movie was open about the positives and negatives of the business, as despite her intense regrets and mood shifts, she did have some fun, though that could have been the cocaine. So it has about as sleaze as possible, given the nature of the production. No blood. Well, Pauleen’s excessive cocaine use prompts some nose bleeds, but that’s all the red stuff. As a fan of melodrama, mood swings, and dysfunction, I loved the dialogue in this one, as it is rarely from a stable place and is often just out of control. Pauleen herself has the lion’s share of great lines, thanks to the almost constant emotional roller coaster she endures, drowning in melodrama the entire ride. The other characters aren’t as over the top as her, but they do provide fun moments as they react (or don’t) to Pauleen’s antics, especially the man she eventually kind of settles down with. On the craziness scale, this is wall to wall madness and melodrama. Some movies have a few charged, memorable scenes, but for fans of melodrama and dysfunction, Shattered Innocence is unrelenting and is an unstable, off the rails ride throughout.
Overall Insanity: 10/10