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The Sensous Detective
Let's begin with a rare tape. The copy of "The Sensuous Detective" I rented yesterday was antique looking, worn and with a faded label. It is obvious why new prints have not been released since 1981 and why they never will. You see, this is a liberated 70s flick, with quite a bit of heavy-NC material. It stars the lovely Serena, Jessie St. James, Laurien Dominique, John Leslie, Jamie Gillis and a ton of unknowns. As I said, this is a fairly typical 70s wall-to-waller, with a simplistic plot and a lot of screwing. The plot devices are old and tired; however just the fact that the director didn't have the spectre of self-censorship at the back of his mind makes them easier to digest than the bland premises of modern flicks. Even if you take the rape scene out (which personally did not excite me, though Serena was in it and though the action was very nicely captured) the director clearly does not bite his nails all the time to secure the "X-rated, Non-Violent" label on the box. All this makes the film more watchable as a movie and not just as a fuck-a-thon.
It is not that I condone violence in adult-movies; and I certainly find the idea of rape as a titillating device despicable. I do find however that modern flicks have gone to the other extreme. I know they had little choice, taking into account the fuss by Ms. MacKinnon and her ilk; however this does not make recent porn any more watchable. Another example: "The Filthy Rich" and "Bad Girls", both excellent classics, cannot be found in their entirety any more -at least not here in the US. I watched both in Greece; it didn't make me a rapist and, as far as I know, the US still has a higher per capita rape incidence than Greece (and I guess most of Europe). It is unfortunate that movies, the medium that by definition requires willing suspension of disbelief, are being quoted as a motive for real crimes.
But enough with the preaching. My point is that you can watch "The Sensuous Detective" with the remote control safely stashed on the coffee table; it is watchable in its entirety. As with most classics, it is a serious filming effort, with tons of external shots (no sex however) in SF, and with very good technical qualities; in particular the clarity of the picture is remarkable. The movie is liberally sprinkled with sex scenes, including a few 3somes and an orgy. Nothing fancy in terms of repertoire, but all the action is very nicely filmed and there is not a gram of silicone in sight. My only real gripe is that Jessie is not featured as prominently as I would like. Oh well, I guess even once is better than nothing.
The Imperial Verdict: If you do come across it, rent it. Serious Golden Age collectors should also consider purchasing such a rare film.
Lasse Braun's "American Desire" is another of those classics with a NC element somewhere in the storyline, and as such its availability might be questionable. Still, Caballero is the distributor so your chances are better than, say, Select Tape (the distributor of "The Sensuous Detective"). This is a very nice tape and I heartily recommend it. It is an East Coast film, shot in its entirety on location in Connecticut and NY. As far as I could tell only one scene was shot in a studio. The lineup is also very impressive: Veronica Hart, R. Bolla, Lysa Thatcher (billed as Lisa Adams in this one), Mai Lin. The plot is again the weakest point, being the trodden story of an uptight lady who eventually discards her reservations about sex. Once again however, the FF key need not be called to the rescue. Both Veronica and R. Bolla are good actors and Lysa is a delight to watch, even when dressed.
Things do get decidedly more interesting however once the principals start to tackle out. All three leading ladies are gorgeous, particularly so Ms. Thatcher whose body is looking more smashing than ever. The sex is plentiful and, as a rule, well captured on film, and the technical qualities, including the soundtrack, are impeccable. There is some brief and light B&D in the scene between Bolla and Lysa which I believe should avoid chopping in future re-releases. I'm not so sure however about the NC-scene between Veronica and a fella. It is not as aggravating as the Serena scene in the "Sensuous Detective", as Veronica eventually "likes it" (though this annoys me personally more than a rape scene) and brings along another guy to join the fun. The action develops in a full-fledged 3some with some brief anal. The high point of the tape however is its final scene: R. Bolla with Veronica as Lysa masturbates (Frans, pay attention :-)), that develops in a g-g between the ladies, and eventually a 3some. Lots of nice positions including RC, but the scene could have been longer.
All in all this is a must rent, and personally I would have bought it had I had any use for NTSC tapes. Rating: 3.40
This is an 1982 Swedish Erotica release that is very notable for containing one of those rare scenes between the gorgeous Bridgette Monet and someone other than Dave Cannon. The lucky stiff in this case is Mike Horner. Dave does get his chance with wifey in another scene that immediately follows a very nice Monet-Lisa De Leeuw (this name will kill me! :-)) girl-girl. Other than that, the film is a typical Swedish Erotica thingy, with lots and lots of screwing with little plot aspirations. This doesn't mean "I like to watch" is a bad film. I sure like to watch Ms. Monet in every opportunity and this film also features the lovely Little Oral Annie displaying her trademark accomplishment as well as her willingness to do anal. If only she had picked a less silly nom de porn :-). Rating: 3.10. A must for big boobs fans (Monet, DeLeeuw and L.O.A. are all very well endowed as everybody knows)
Jim Holliday's "Real Legends of the Adult Cinema" series can be annoyingly patronizing in tone and disappointing in his scene selection. "The Cult Superstars" is however a very notable exception. The material presented is top-of-the-crop: The Silvera-Desiree Cousteau scene from "Pretty Peaches"; two scenes with the lovely Constance Money, one of which is a 3some with the even lovelier Annete Haven and John Leslie (in last week's IRC we determined this scene to originate in "Anna Obsessed"). There is also some Nancy Suiter, Candy Samples, Jeniffer Welles, Barbara Dare and Loni Sanders thrown in. And the _piece de resistance_ is of course the heartbreakingly beautiful Abigail Clayton in the famous scene with Paul Thomas from "7 into Snowy". Very fittingly, Holliday kept this latter scene to conclude his review; he also had a lot of good things to say about Abby so I forgive him for being a patronizing ass now and then (not to mention an incompetent director :-)). Holliday's co-host is Victoria Paris, desperately -and unconvincingly- trying to shed the dumb blonde image. She undergoes (and I use this verb because she is so passive and disinterested) an interview segment (a yawner) and a brief and lukewarm g-g with Deidre Holland. FF material.
Still, this tape (though not meriting a rating, being a compilation) is a good rental. I had personally not seen Nanci Suiter and the "Anna Obsessed" 3some for agaes. For those unfamiliar with the Golden Age this is an excellent quick-and-dirty introduction.
OK, now for our modern stuff. "Buttman's Wet Dream" is the sequel to the exquisite "Inferno" I reviewed in months past. It begins by showing Stagliano finding out that his house was after all NOT harmed by the Malibu fires (and making me feel an idiot in the process for feeling sorry for him :-)). Unfortunately it is a pale shadow of its sister tape. It stars Krysti Lynn, Krysti Lynn and some more Krysti Lynn :-). Somewhere in between there is some stuff with Heather St.Clair, a plain, bleached, sad looking plastic bimbo with TERRIBLE boob-job scars, another unattractive plastic brunette and a "mystery pair from London" (they have names but I've forgotten them -so, sue me :-)).
Don't get me wrong. I like Krysti Lynn and was pleased to see her getting fucked nice and hard from every available orifice. I am not however such a big fan of female masturbation (Frans if you like Krysti, you should give this tape a go, as there are TONS of her solo) and after the novelty wore off I went to sleep. The two British girls looked ok, though their faces were nothing exceptional. The plastic segment in between I resent quite a lot. I am not an expert on Stagliano's work but from the 5 or so tapes of his I have seen, I was led to expect natural looking women as the rule or, if plastic, at least extremely beautiful in all other respects. Heather St.Clair has no business in a Stagliano video and should go back to the strip-club she came from. She also struck me as nervous and the two guys (Byron and some other ass) she did as extremely insensitive (in a TT-boyish manner). She undergoes a ton of anal treatment including DP and barely moves in the process.
The Imperial Verdict: John, you have let me down. I give you two raving reviews, including a 4.00, and you give me shit. A 2.40, salvaged only by the Krysti segment in the end. A disappointment.
Also very disappointing is Private's "Anal Academy". This is a far cry from the great looking Steve Perry and Marcel Ricaud films the series prides in having. The girls look nice (the cast includes Tabitha Cash and the gorgeous Debbi Van Gils in her original unbleached version) but the camera work is odious. TONS UPON TONS of closeup destroy the RCs, the RACs and the other European delicacies one has come to expect from Private. Debbi does RAC but this doesn't save the day.
Rating: 2.00. Avoid.
One day wonder starring Sharon Kane and Cheri Taylor. I only rented this because of a 4 for 3 deal and I had run out of classics at the day. Typical cheapo but at least the action is clearly shot and there is some variety in the positions. Sharon gets a finger up the butt at some point. Honest effort but I can't recommend it.
Buck Adams wastes money to shoot one of his typical pseudo-action pornies. Of course he is the macho guy screwing most of the ladies. He annoys me a lot and I'm glad he's rubbed out at the end (oh no, I spoiled the mystery! :-)). Still there are lots of great looking gals: Tracey Adams (very brief scene), K.C. Williams, Raven and, more notably Silver. The sex scenes are lukewarm and mechanical with the exception of the final b-g between Silver and Buck. This is good stuff. Silver is captured in all her radiant glory and screwed very nicely indeed. The action finishes with a nicely captured RC which is always a good trick to make tough Imperator more generous. Still, it is barely rent-able.
Article 12851 of alt.sex.movies: From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Imperator) Date: Tue, 12 Jul 1994 13:32:59 UTC Subject: Re: A POLL ...voice your opinion (PLUS REVIEWS) [. . . ]The mid-80s. My favourite rental porn era, even more than the Golden Age. I mean alright, I *love* "7 Into Snowy" and "Insatiable" and the original "Debbie" and "Taboo" and "Sex Boat". But you can BUY these; they are your pals for life. But since I am a sucker for novelty, I keep on renting mid-80s videos when I find them because of their delightful simplicity and generally hot sex. Sure, they made some crap then too, but the average quality is so much better. Since I like to be specific here come three examples. I rented these in one batch and they were all brilliant:
The high production stuff: "Panty Raid" (1984). Gorgeous Hawaiian scenery and lovely youthful performers: Ginger Lynn, Raven, Stacy Donovan, Jerry Butler and more. Lovely stuff, the director is really excellent, all camera angles are flawless. I absolutely *love* the atmosphere of the film, so carefree and youthful. Excellent (rating 3.35). The scene with Stacy Donovan on the wave swash had me steaming :-)
The newer, 3-day shoot. Paul Thomas' "Romeo and Juliet". A absolutely gorgeous young Kim Alexis(Angeli) accompanied by Keisha (rather fleshy in this one), Alicia Monet (original brunette here and positively stunning), Heather Newman, Nina Hartley, Tom Byron, Robert Bullock, Joey Silvera. Paul Thomas keeps on surprising me: impeccable lighting and camera angles and the performers smile a lot. 3 Reverse Cowgirls for the friends of the genre (Kim, Nina and Alicia). On the down side, the final fuckathon was rather botched. One can't have everything.
Good stuff (rating 3.15)
The one day thingy: Suze Randall's "Miss Passion" (1984). A series of couples scenes, in a lightly new-wavish flavour. Rachel Ashley, Crystal Breeze, Ginger Lynn (with two guys) and a very thin and firm Keisha. Lisa de Leeuw doesn't have penetrational sex. Of the guys check out a young Peter North looking like a bodybuilder freak more than ever :-) Sure, this is not sophisticated but check it out: Camera work is brilliant, positions are varied (Crystal Breeze is excellent on the Reverse Cowgirl), and boy, I haven't seen so many real tits for a long time :-).
[Update 4/15/95: It appears that Traci Lords also starred in the original which may explain the absence of more Lisa D. footage -she was supposed to be judging the fuck-offs between the ladies. I watched the version without Traci so I don't know how much was chopped from the original. As usual these are my guesses and no, I'm not betting the farm on them]