The Imperial Reviews: Volume 19

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The Dinner Party

The second Cameron Grant movie I've seen. The other is of course the (IMHO) overrated "Elements of Desire" where Grant essentially rips off Blake's boring formula with disappointing results. The thing is, Grant is a decent porn director; and I don't mean in terms of photography or cool special effects, but in his capability to genrate sexual heat. He is no deRenzy by any means and lags far behind the great European creators; Blake however, he easily surpasses.

The Dinner Party is a good flick, far superior to "Elements". The cast, though somewhat plasticised, is good: Celeste, Catalina, Kaylan Nicole, Misty Rain, the unedifying Debi Diamond :-), Asia Carrera, Norma Jeane, Vanessa Chase and more; plus the standard load of guys (incl. Randy West and Steve Drake in prominent roles). Resources are not wasted; we get 9 or 10 longish vignettes, incl. an "orgy" scene in the end (3 couples scenes) for a sum total of almost 2 hours worth of smut. I will not go into details of each scene -there have been other reviews of this same flick incl. one I believe by Dunbar. I will just mention my general impressions as well as the highlights of the show.

Grant is a competent director and apparently takes his job seriously. Instead of smothering us with lame visual effects like Ninn and Blake, he rather concentrates in giving us a good vantage point and getting his lighting right. This is a sign of respect towards the audience and accordingly I commend it. I can also commend his lighting, camera angles and even position selection: there are several RCs, and one RAC with Vanessa Chase. There are three (as I rememeber) outdoor scenes, one of them after hours, all handled very nicely from a technical point of view. He has also broken free from the usual curse of high budget directing: overloading the scene with position changes. "Elements" particularly suffered from this; even golden oldie directors like McCallum fall victim to their own eagerness to show us a good time (e.g. in the recent "Erotika"). On the down side, Grant overdoes it a bit with the closeup, especially during the RCs for some strange reason (the scene with Asia Carrera is almost spoiled from this deficiency in full body shots).

The sex is quite hot. Not in a Private sort of way, but hot nonetheless. Of note are: (a) the excellent g-g scene in the kitchen, featuring Juli Ashton (if I've got this right); as is well known g-g scene are very easily bungled, but this one did the trick for me; (b) the brilliant campfire scene between Steve Drake and the delectable Vanessa Chase, that includes RC, RAC and normal anal; (c) The gynaecologist scene between Debbi D., Celeste and Misty Rain. Celeste and Misty are mouth-wateringly beautiful (for the first time I felt that the nipple rings actually added to Misty's beauty). The scene is "notable" but that doesn't mean I liked it: there is Debi of course, so by default my stomach is unsettled :-). Furthermore, there is way too much emphasis put on toys and orifice stretching, rather than those aspects of g-g interaction that I personally prefer, i.e. massaging and breast play.

The Imperial Verdict: Certainly a worthwhile rental. There are really only three things wrong with this flick. Firstly, a slight waste of resources. I would like to see more of Misty for example, and also of Norma Jeane who is only in a mutual masturbation sceen with Sean Michaels -a good scene otherwise. Secondly, the plot is mind-numbingly lame; the usual corny bullshit about the private fantasies of the dinner particpants -yawn. Finally, the flick doesn't really decide WHAT sort of movie it wishes to be: it begins as a "couples" video, with soft, "romantic" couplings, then switches to raunchier stuff, including anal and pseudo-domination, and throws in the antics of Debi D. for good effect. The result is an elephantine movie, where the director is clearly trying too much and where his good efforts are sometimes swamped out by his anxiety to put more and more specialties to satisfy everybody. A classic case of featuritis.

Still, a good rental. Rating: 2.95

A Taste of Victoria

Another of the "taste of" compo series. The usual fare: fans of Victoria who have not caught some of her older efforts should rent this; most of the material is from 89-90 as I gathered. By far the best scenes are a g-g with Busty Belle, and a b-g with Robert Bullock. No rating (compilation).

Too Naughty to Say No

Rather nondescript (one could also say rather inane) title for what is an absolutely superb 1984 Suze Randall film, now released through Cabalerro. Every aspect of the production seems very deliberate and very thoughtful. The casting is stupendous: Angel, Ginger Lynn, Lisa de Leeuw, Cody Nicole, Sondra Stillman (Lois Ayres), Bunny Bleu, Raven, Eric Edwards, Jamie Gillis to name but a few (and this is not a figure of speech; there are at least another 8-10 people involved). Eight scenes, brilliantly arranged and lit, excellent soundtrack (by porn standards always), decent plot. The latter is a modern adaptation of de Sade's archetypal tale of the ingenue (in our case the delectable Angel) trapped in a world of jaded perverts. This premise is somewhat watered down in order that the non-consentual aspects of the storyline be not as jarring; effectively the whole story is supposed to be a dream - a rather trodden device which eventually detracts from the film's undeniable merit.

Our heroine is led by her naughty friend, Ginger, to a world of sex maniacs (Jamie Gillis - complete with a dildo decorated appartment), brothels (Lisa is the madam, and the customers include a senator, a cardinal and a Nazi(!) colonel), necrophiliac undertakers and lesbian motorists (the always lovely Cody Nicole). The action is searing hot and every scene just exudes sexuality. To illustrate this let me just say that the girl-girl scene (singular), normally so boring, is perhaps the best part of the movie.

All girls look great and the lovely Angel is a very good choice for the ingenue. Ginger looks absolutely ravishin. I could only guffaw at remembering the, so popular recently, comparisons with Traci. Even at her prime Traci was little more than a bloated little git with an annoyingly insolent scowl. I could not then, not now, understand her appeal.

Anyway, enough with the flame fuel. This film is a veritable 80s gem. A bit too late to include in the Golden Age repertoire but definetely up there with the best.

Rating 3.60 and the Imperial Seal of Approval.

Rocking with Seka

Compare this with a genuine Golden Age feature. "Rocking with Seka", a 1980 Swedish Erotica production (this means that all girls wear those confounded scarves around their necks all the time; anybody know *why*?). Seka, Juliet Anderson, Desiree West, Jamie Gillis, John Holmes and loads of others. It's not bad, but it's somewhat disappointing for an golden Oldie. Too much closeup and the hallmark S. Erotica bad sound. The action is decent and includes a brief anal by Seka (*not* with John H., so don't get your hopes high).

Speaking of old Johnnie, I must say that as years pass I like him more and more and grieve his passing. It's not that I am fascinated with dick lengths and scrotum capacities - I'm too busy looking at the girls. It's just that John has always given me the impression of being a nice* fella. Even when he talked dirty he never apeared sleazy or a scumbag. Jamie Gillis on the other hand, an infinetely better actor and an equally likeable fella, can sometimes look like an indefensible slimeball. Holmes never did -perhaps because he was such a terrible actor :-)

Anyway, "Rocking with Seka" could 've been better. Since it's an oldie I have to be even harsher with my rating -they should 've known better. A 2.50

A Taste of Candy

Careful, this is not Candie Evans, it's the older and top-heavier Candy Samples. There is a "Taste of Candie" compo out there with the lovely Ms. Evans as a subject; the one I am reviewing is an early 80s Cal Vista feature video. Ms. Samples looks old; think about it: she used to star in *stag* loops. The flick's main appeal is Stacey Donovan, doing a nice 3some with Herschel Savage and Paul Thomas. As usual with her later films Ms. Samples only does Herschel and doesn't do penetrational sex (BJ and tit-fuck only). She is also in a g-g (receiving end) with Summer Rose.

Overall a very average feature. Recommended only to the mammary-obsessed who haven't had a glimpse of Ms. Samples' daunting superstructure before. Rating 2.35

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Created: Saturday, November 04, 1995, 10:27:31 AM