The Imperial Reviews: Volume 28

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Imperator Reviews and Compares EVN Productions

About two months ago, Sky Henderson of EVN wrote me a letter wondering why I haven't been reviewing his company's material. My reply was simple: I haven't watched any; for some reason EVN material either fails to stand out in my eyes in the store, or -more probably - falls under those categories I do not actively pursue. Sky insisted that he is interested in my opinion (my thanks) and to this effect he sent me 5 tapes of his more recent material for me to review.

Why am I saying all this? I want to pre-empt any suspicions that this communication may have affected my -supposed :-)- objectivity. I just want to stress that, much as I'm grateful to Sky for singling me out (I am a sucker for flattery :-)), I'm still aware that my responsibilty is towards the consumer.

OK, this is out of the way. Even though this EVN material will take up most of this Part, you will have noticed in the TOC that I have included three other tapes as well. They are here for the purposes of comparison.

The Law of Averages

Buttsizer: The King of Rears

If I were ever assigned to teach a course of my porn consumer's wisdom :-), my lecture about the 90s one-day wonder and why it sucks would be centered exclusively around "Buttsizer, King of Rears". This 1992 little horror -for it will soon be apparent that it is just that- can proudly claim the title of the "Most Average One Day Wonder Ever". It is no Leisure Time barfulation by any means (these tapes all take 0.00s by default), but it is a showcase of how the glut of modern porn has destroyed quality of the "average tape".

In the 80s, an average cheapo included Candie Evans or Sheri St.Clair or Megan Leigh, had a cute and carefree air, and though undeniably rushed, it could be quite hot sometimes. In the 90s the average video is the pits. This particular one should have never been released. It has no reason to have seen the light of day. It is a textbook case: a cutely punning title; a quite nice boxcover; a cast list with several major cuties (PJ Sparxx, Tracy Wynn, Devon Shire) that of course appear only in one scene each, and if you are unlucky in the same scene as well; a disgracefully misleading blurb that implies that all those lovely gals do anal (I was not fooled of course) when the only active asses are the old anal pros Saki St. Germaine (puke) and Mona Lisa (barf).

The list of woes doesn't end on the boxcover (I wish). The "plot" is not only incredibly inane, it DRAGS. The "actors" show how rushed the production is by simply reciting their lines (screwing up more than once) with all the emotion of a cold fish. Tony Tedeschi wanders around wearing a top hat styling himself as "the King of Rears", supposedly a master of worshipping butts (oh, puh-leaze!). I have not seen such bad acting since I left elementary school.

This silly premise serves to introduce 5 (I told you this was the Most Average Porno) couplings. The only watchable ones are Tracy and PJ getting it on, and Devon Shire doing a b-g. The g-g participants are undeniably pretty and they do smile now and then, but the action is essentially the girls taking turns licking each others' pussy.

The Imperial Verdict: Such tapes have no right and even no market reason to exist any more. The boxcover may fool the first timer, but any experienced renter will steer clear. Furthermore the product has diversified immensely in the last 3 years to address primarily special interest groups; raunch has achieved an intensity and abundance never before imagined, and the "couples crowd" has manifold -if equally bland IMHO- sources catering to its tastes. This specialization has made the generic cheapo tape increasingly irrelevant as well as a disgraceful ripoff.

Rating: 1.00. I do not understand how AFW (whose reviews I generally find useful unlike AVN's) gave this particular thing 3.5 stars and a rather glowing review [shrug].

Prick Power

A primary agent in this recent explosion of specialty product, is the influx of prime European filth. Few American productions can compete with a good, solid Magma tape. There the girls are prettier, more natural (make that "exclusively natural"), the camera work is better (long live Moli), and the raunch levels completely beyond the grasp of ordinary LA porn. America may still rule the high budget area (if Steve Perry and Mario Salieri are excepted), but the quality cheapo filth is almost exclusively European. "Prick Power" is a prime example of why the Old World rules. This Moli production casts the lovely ex-miss France Carole Tennessy in her usual role of a hooker torn between a sentimental customer and her studly pimp. I've seen her play exactly the same part in at least 5 other flicks :-). But it doesn't matter. Carole is in two scenes, analed and DPed well, and looks as lovely as ever. Yum. The rest of the girls were no dogs either, but I only had eyes for her :-).

Rating: 2.85

Buttman v. Breastman

Butt Freak

While we are in the subject of butts (as in "the King Of Rears adores butts" - you may snort in derision :-)) let's have a look at how butt-worship should be really done. John Stagliano is a master; he belongs to that rare category of people who can give you a loose collection of outtakes from their other flicks, and still leave you horny and squirming. "Butt Freak" is perhaps the most famous example of this line of Buttman material. I can't condone it; it borders too close to a ripoff for me to be comfortable watching it. Still, even the rejected footage at John's cutting room floor smolders. I will not go into a detailed analysis of the flick since Ron has written a most comprehensive and well written review of his own. I will just say that the Zara-Silver-Rocco scene is indeed all that is rumoured (i.e. it rules, plus it has Silver doing her only on-screen anal), and that we should for once thank God for plastic surgery. If you are not told that the plain girl with the big nose is Celeste, you would never imagine it. Wow.

Rating: 2.65. Rent only if you are out of a solid insurance rental.

Bend Over Babes

This is another Buttman tape that borders on the ripoff. It has only 4 new scenes (Brandy, Sabrina Dawn, Lauren Brice and another girl), interwined with footage from older Elegant Angel flicks ("Legend of Reggie D.", "Mystic Pieces", "Dance Fire"). Again, what we get is not bad by any means - Sabrina's scene in particular is quite nice. But I can't condone such practices, particularly by a creator of John's calibre and supposed respect towards his fans.

Rating: 2.10

That said, Stagliano remains a master, whatever his slip-ups. His popularity and unprecendented success has inevitably spawned a host of Buttman-wannabes. In an industry that makes a living out of shamelessly ripping off its own fans, it would not come as a surprise to see Evil Angel's formula and even boxcover layout being copied almost to the point of trademark infringement.

Breastman's Wet T-Shirt Contest

The EVN-based wannabe is "Breastman"; unlike that loser "Rumpman", he at least picks a different body part. On the debit side the box layout is one of the most blatant ripoffs I have recently seen (though by far not the worst); furthermore, "Breastman" is not even a "real" camera-toting dude - he's just Jonathan Morgan playing the part. The through-the-camera bit isn't that prominent either; it's there as if alomst by an afterthought.

"Breastman's Wet T-Shirt Contest" has another annoying aspect. The title lies. The "T-Shirt" contest lasts for all of 3 minutes in the end of the movie, after all the sex scenes are through. I am at a loss why this is so; guys like the idea of a wet t-shirt contest followed by sex. It's a frequent fantasy of those who frequent in strip clubs; personally I have this fantasy of oil-wrestling followed by real sex. The industry clearly recognizes this fact and so capitalizes on it. But why don't they bother to follow through? I recognize that oil-wrestling may fall under the "violence" no-no category. But wet T-shirts? Why lie about such a simple and easily implemented premise?

Yet another drawback of "Breastman" flicks is the almost exclusive casting of grossly "enhanced" chests. I mean, you get into the trouble of making a breast-oriented tape, you might as well go natural. But I'm talking to the deaf, I know. This particular tape has way too many silicone disasters to even remotely enjoy it, Bunny Bleu and Kaitlin Ashley being the saddest cases of the lot.

The sex scenes are not badly filmed and the sound is generally acceptable. But I can't advice anybody to waste his hard-earned cash on a frustrating experience such as this.

Rating: 1.55

Breastman's Ultimate Orgy

Jeez, EVN! You ripoff their style, their nickname, their box layout, now you even steal the title format? How can one become a supporter of your product when faced with practices like that? Personally I can forgive slipups, even disasters. But if I get the impression that a company's ONLY concern is to squeeze the last cent out of the customer by blatant misinformation and such petty ripoffs, my patience wears thin. I understand that porn is a money-making business; it doesn't have to be run with the menatlity of a brigand, though.

The particular shame about this movie is that it is quite good sex-wise. Celeste's scene with Woody Long and, more notably, the 3some between Jon Dough, Flame and Valeria, are very nice. All scenes are nicely captured and manage to generate a bit of heat. Makes it doubly frustrating for the reviewer.

The Imperial Verdict: Personally I would never rent it. The cast is ok, but not my cup of tea and the boxcover would drive me miles away with disgust at the shameless emulation (to use a nice word for it). That doesn't mean that of you do rent it you won't enjoy some good moments.

Rating: 2.15

The Go-Go Girls

This is EVN's ambitious effort, produced in film and priding itself of a heavyweight cast: Leena, Tina Tyler (yum), Crystal Wilder (yummie), Brooke Ashley, Mike Horner, Jonathan Morgan and others. In a few words: it could have been great, but rushed production got it. A bit of modesty never hurts either, Sky. Your -excellent in terms of artwork- boxcover makes certain claims that when unfounded (as they indeed are) leave you hanging out on a limb and just make you appear stupid. Your blurb informs us that this is a tape "that is gonna be talked about in years to come" etc. Allow us the consumers to be the judge of that.

I was actually heavily biased in favour of this film, partly because of the girls cast, but mainly because I am very partial to the Sixties. The opening credit sequence is one of the slickest I have seen in a recent porno, with wonderfully edited documentary B/W footage flashing back and forth at the beat of the music. Unfortunately the technical merit of the film fizzles after that. The film clarity isn't the best I've seen (though certainly not the worst) and the sound is just HORRIBLE. In the opening 3some with Leena, Tina and a dude, the voice dubbing was so bad it was embarassing. The music (central to a Sixties theme) is simply unacceptable - too bland, too 90s-like. John Leslie is the only porn director that still has access to really, REALLY good music. Dark opted for the Ninn boys (so long "She Electrifies Me"), and the rest are simply the aforementioned pits. The costumes and makeup on the other hand are very well made, and the dance sequences are very well lit.

Another problem is that the girls, lovely though they all are, are seriously miscast. First of all, much as I like Crystal Wilder, her boobs are not reminicent of the Sixties. Ditto for Leena. Brooke Ashley is supposedly a reticent civil servant type - complete with a pierced navel and weirdly shaved pubes :-). Mike Horner can only play one role - the creepy geek; putting a bandanna on him just makes him look funny. The only member of the cast that really looks sixties-like is the wonderful Tina Tyler. She's got that hippylike, quiet, spaced out look, smiles serenely and is just perfect for the role. Natural -and wonderful- boobs, too.

There are a few other funny bits. Leena dares Tina to beat her in a blowjob competition in the opening scene saying how unbeatable she is. Many though Leena's charms are, cocksucking is NOT one of them. To put it in an other way, only Kelly Jaye gives worse blowjobs -make that "handjobs with the tip in the mouth"). What is also very weird is that a Leena-Morgan b-g, that should have been the flick's central scene, never materializes. Huh?

I'm complaining too much (hey, let's not forget the exclusively indoors action, or that the plot is the zillionth variation of the "club/pub/bar in trouble, saved by some sort of sexual subterfuge" :-)), and I may be giving the impression that this is a poor effort. It's not. It actually appears a very honest effort to entertain, and the sex it contains is almost invariably very good. Horner's scene with Brooke is the best made from an objective point of view, but my personal preference made me enjoy Tina's scenes more - but that's because I really like Tina. YMMV.

The Imperial Verdict: "Patience is Gold" may not be an appropriate proverb when it comes to the porn industry, but in this case EVN should have given this at least another day of shooting and some more hard work at post-production, particularly editing. The material was there; despite the commonality of the plot, a bit of patience might have very well help to achieve some portion of the blurb's exorbitant claims.

Rating: 2.75

Saturday Night Beaver

EVN is also releasiing some of the late John Holmes' material through the Penguin label. "Saturday Night Beaver" is another of those tapes, where the petty practices of the producer detract from the enjoyment of an otherwise very decent tape.

We begin with the cover: this sports the delightfully cute Tracy Wynn. Huh? When John passed away, Tracy must have been just leaving elementary school. What gives? Well, the answer is that Tracy on the cover attracts attention. Apparently it was deemed that there is nothing wrong with lying a bit, and just splicing in Tracy's g-g with PJ Sparxx from...."Buttsizer"! Disgraceful. John Holmes, the flick's other major pole of attraction is only in one scene and thank God for that: he looks very worn and haggard and downright scary in this one.

The "real" flick begins after those two scenes (though John does play a part in the plot). It is Joey Silvera's movie and it's quite good for that matter. The plot, about marriage and infidenlity yet again, is nothing out of the ordinary, but the sex is quite nice and invariably well shot. Angel Kelly, Vanessa D'Oro, Daren Summers, Gary Blue Stone, Tiffany Blake, Bambi Allen accompany Joey in his efforts, and the result is surprisingly (for a tape that began under the poorest of auspices) very enjoyable. Nothing really exceptional from a pervert's point of view, but good BJ's, good sppoinings, good RC's and smiling people. It proves again that the Average Eighties Cheapo was so good, that even when shamelessly adulterated with 90s clips it does not lose its charm.

Rating: 2.45

Table of Contents | Part 27 | Part 29 | Copyright(C)

Created: Saturday, November 04, 1995, 11:23:28 AM