World of Wonder turns their lenses on Hollywood’s most notorious whoremonger. Tonight HBO airs “Heidi Fleiss: The Wold-Be Madam of Crystal,” and it’s an exquisitely captivating 70-minute documentary.
Ten years since Heidi’s big bust, the ex-con tries to launch a “stud farm” in Nevada â€” a whorehouse that caters to women.
Gay-owned World of Wonder has given usÂ many great docs: “Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “Party Monster” and “Monica in Black and White.” Usually, they treat their subjects with a healthy dose of camp. Their Heidi story is more restrained.
Heidi now looks like Courtney Love’s sister â€” the one got the short end of the plastic surgery stick. After leaving Los Angles, she moves to barren landscape of Nevada’s desert, and the documenaty starts to take on a hauntingly beautiful tone.
Heidi’s life story is traced (when she got busted, she never named names), and she admits her struggles with crystal meth. She tries to win over the citizens of the town where she bought 60 acres of Nevada land for a ridiculously inexpensive price. Another business owner, saloon operator Miss Kathy, believes the stud farm will be for gay men.
But near the end of the documentary, the pace almost slows to a poetic halt. As her whorehouse plans go on routine hiatus, Heidi befreinds her elderly next-door-neighbor who owns a gazillion exotic birds. A strange “bird mothering” instinct takes over and Heidi’s drive and ambition eventually morphs into a woman who collects rocks in the desert and talks to macaws.
Debuts tonight, July 21 a 8 p.m. on HBO.