rame.net : reviews : The Imperial Reviews: Volume 33

Write to Imperator at imp@rame.net


On this scale of 0 to 4, with a precision of 0.05:

  • Anything below 2 rent at your own risk, 'cos it sucks
  • Between 2 and 2.50, rent only if you are an ardent fan of the particular star/genre featured
  • 2.50 to 3.35 are all good to great rentals
  • 3.35 to 3.50 are good for purchasing if you can spare the bucks
  • Anything higher than 3.50 is a keeper
    4.00 is impossible for anything later than 1984 :-)


This message is copyright (c) by Imperator, email imp@rame.net Anybody wishing to archive/redistribute my reposts and new reviews for non-commercial purposes can do so as long as:

  • The message is not edited, transcribed or abridged in any way.
  • I am notified by email in advance and asked for final authorization. Inability to reach me through email will mean that the same procedure will have to be done in rec.arts.movies.erotica
  • I am acknowledged as the author and retainer of copyright.
  • This notice is appended in full.

Commercial use of the material without my express written permission is prohibited.

Well, it's been a long time since the last installment, but Imperator has never forgotten his former domain (although *they* have probably forgotten there was ever an Imperator :-)). You must forgive the sometimes dated titles I refer to (and I don't mean the classics this time), but I have not been able to keep up with current developments as well as I would have liked to. Still, I hope that casual consumers at least will find this useful. Like most people who are not 30- tapes-a-month addicts (this is not meant as a criticism, I wish I were still able to count myself among them), I tend to view the high profile releases when I get the chance. The advantages I do have compared with the majority are long years of porn viewing experience and my helpful and knowledgable friends, although as you will see this doesn't stop me from getting burnt on occassion. I hope I can share this advantage with the readership.

An important note to those who simply skip over my notice below: I am no longer reacheable at imp@paranoia.com. Stick to imp@rame.net. I do prefer your whining, praising and flaming to be done in public though.

All my reviews are on the RAME website and accessible (as complete parts only, not individual flicks) through the AMRI.


PART 33 TABLE OF CONTENTS (12 titles reviewed):

  • More Manga Fun: "La Blue Girl"
  • Stagliano Rules OK: "Buttman In The Crack"
  • Seymore Butts Truly Sucks: "Gluteus To The Maximus" & "Behind The Sphinc Door"
  • Enough With That Clown Shit Already: Greg Dark's "Sex Freaks"
  • Rob Black Is One Talentless Fuck: "Gang Bang Angels"
  • Comeback Tommy: Tom Byron's "Comeback Pussy 6"
  • VCA Can't Even Do Gonzo Properly ... : "Essentially Juli"
  • ...But Misty Rain Can: "Misty Cam's International Sex Tour 1"
  • The One With The Plastic Blondes: "Discipline"
  • More From The Woodman Assmebly Line: "Tatiana" (3 parts)
  • In Memoria: D'Amato's "Erectus X" (one of many aliases)

More Manga Fun: "La Blue Girl"

After the success of my last diversion away from porn and into the wonders of adult Japanese anime with "Legend Of The Overfiend" (see Chapter 32), I decided to come back for more. Thus my hapless procuror was instructed to furnish me with a copy of that other wondeful artistic oevre, "La Blue Girl". Forgive my heavy handed sarcasm here, but it is only a natural reaction to the incredibly inane introduction to the US version of the tape. I don't know if this is the required "redeeming social value", but before the wholesome fun-and-games of demons raping Japanese schoolgirls begin, the poor viewer is subjected to a long, boring rant about the "anime art form", and how this is not a cheap turn-on for dirty old men without actually breaking any laws, and how the girls depicted are not supposed to be underage schoolgirls (no, not at all, honest) but 18-year old junior college students, and honestly we're not a bunch of pedophiles so please don't sue us.

What utter bollocks. If you are a dirty old man (I know I'm one) but can make the distinction between legally protecting real people with an arbitrary age of consent and harmlessly fantasizing about attractive girls who may be below that watershed (I know *I* can), then you don't need any patronising idiot making dubious excuses for you. 18-year old junior college students, my ass!

The series itself (6 45-minute parts; it's worth making the effort to get the original Japanese version with subtitles, rather than the annoying dubbed one) is great trashy fun. Unlike "Overfiend", there is no serious attempt here to construct a convincing world or spin a good tale - it is all shameless, light-hearted titillation. The threadbare story revolves around the fortunes of Miko Mido, our typical, saucer-eyed, blue-haired, UNDERAGE, manga pin-up, complete with white socks and school uniform. Miko-san (or is that Mido-san? I forget if the surname goes first in Japanese) is in her private time a ninja whose martial arts are exclusively centered on masturbation and sex (you have to suspend disbelief here, folks). Our heroine is also unaware that her father is the king of the Shikima, our standard tentacle-endowed demon. Miko and her sisters, girlfriends and (female) schoolmates get in sexual situations (usually hanging from the aforementioned tentacles) at the drop of a hat and under the flimsiest of excuses.

It's all wonderfully good fun, ideal fare for stag parties and the like. Gory violence is surprisingly minimal, although of course NC sex is abundant. The series dramatically improves after the first 2 parts which, in an obvious attempt to keep costs down, are replete with still drawings at points where animated sequences would normally have been required. The quality of the drawing is consistently good, certainly better than "Overfiend", although of course nowhere near that of "Akira" or "Ghost in The Shell".

Overall I give this a wholehearted recommendation, although, not being proper porn, it does not merit a rating.

Stagliano Rules OK: "Buttman In The Crack"

On to regular porn. I have finally lost even the last remains of patience I had with current American product. It is, with very rare exceptions, crap. All I have ever asked for is reasonably attractive people having reasonably good-natured sex under a reasonably titillating premise, filmed by a reasonably competent crew. All the rest, beautiful women, raunch, "production values", are just welcome additions. But today's US pornsters will never even give you the basics. The choices the poor consumer is faced with always seem to boil down to: (1) incredibly crappy, run-of-the-mill, Vivid/VCA "porn thrillers" or "art porn", featuring cookie-cutter plastic bimbos who wear a perpetual scowl on their faces while having cold and unerotic sex on grainy film, edited by some talentless bozo who believes MTV video clips and car commercials are the pinnacle of art; or (2) incredibly crappy, run-of-the-mill, "gonzo" videos featuring badly made-up trailer park trash getting abused by teams of ex-convict types and captured by some idiot holding a cheap video camera as if he has Parkinson's disease (and most probably Alzheimer's as well).

The few exceptions all seem to bunch in the "gonzo" field, but that may simply be because everybody and his uncle are shooting gonzo these days. The virtually lone example of *real* quality remains the wonderfully talented and funny John Stagliano. A typical example of why he is so great is his 1996 video "Buttman In The Crack". Not that it is without its problems: one of the five very long sex scenes is completely destroyed by the extreme closeup, and a damn shame it is too since the featured girls (Gabrialla Gotti in particular) are very attractive and natural. Also, some of the visual effects are a little too annoying, particularly the flickering strobe light that seems to be on for about one-third of the video. But Stagliano's strengths shine through these problems: funny premise, hilarious dialogue, pretty girls (the cast here includes some truly beautiful women, with Sabina and Lea Martini having pride of place), very rare instances of plastic (Kimberly Kyle is the only guilty one here and she is nice enough in other respects that I forgive her) and hot sex scenes.

The premise is perhaps the greatest asset of the film; it is the typical example of what I have always droned about: simple, cheap but effective. John is (again) editing his videos at home when suddenly the bell rings. Once again it is a girl (Ruby, a very, very pretty girl with a very, very bad boobjob) who lures him to a nearby hilltop. John worships Ruby's admittedly very impressive derriere a little too intensely with the unfortunate result of falling into the crack in the best surrealist tradition. Naturally, the world he falls into has its own inhabitants so Buttman has plenty of worthwhile material to shoot. Some of the gags are extremely funny, particularly the pisstakes of Greg Dark (of whom more later on in this chapter), but I will not spoil them since a funny porn video is a rare enough commodity. As mentioned, the girls are almost invariably very pretty and they all get very down and dirty. This is a solid outing by the inventor of pro gonzo and proof that you need some talent as well a cheap camera to make good video porn. By John's standards, this is above average, although not reaching the stratospheric heights of a "European Vacation". Rating 3.20.

Seymore Butts Truly Sucks: "Gluteus To The Maximus" & "Behind The Sphinc Door"

An example of a talentless gonzo maker is Seymore Butts. Yes, I can hear the horrified gasp (Rog!), as well as the axes being ground (Torris!). But let's face it guys. Seymore has two great assets, which I will not deny: he always secures great looking talent for his videos and he always ensures that everybody seems to be having a whale of a time making them. Indeed, I have never seen such happy looking performers other than in a Seymore video. His enthusiasm is undoubted and apparently infectious. I'm sure this is because he is a genuinely nice person, and this makes it doubly hard to say what I'm going to say next, but well, how shall I put it, when it comes to shooting sex he's an idiot. No, let me be fair: he's a total moron.

I am normally forgiving with incompetence (because it's better than malicious ripoffs) but this is a bit over the top. Seymore must be the single greatest waster of resources ever. He wasted Shane (I recently watched her anal scene in "Busting Out: My best anal" and was frothing at the mouth at the bungled camera work- in short, you can't see a bloody thing). He disgracefully wasted Taylor Hayes with all those endless point-of-view blowjobs. Now he seems to be hell bent on acquainting us with detailed closeups of the pubic hair of yet another packet of raw sexual energy: Alisha Klass.

Alisha is a bit like Angelica Bella: not as beautiful perhaps, but pretty enough to make you wonder *how* she ended up in porn and so incredibly raunchy to also start wondering *why*. The only turn-off she has (apart from the dumbass tatoo on her back) is the same one that derstroys Missy's performances for me: the horrible noise she makes during sex. I love vocal actresses and simply adore dirty talking, but it must be done right. Missy and Alyssa are both sirens, and I don't mean the mythical creatures.

The video introducing Alisha has the idiotic title "Behind the Sphinc Door" and is the follow-up to the last (AFAIK) Taylor Hayes title, "Gluteus to the Maximus". They are both extremely frustrating movies. The girls in both movies are very, very hot and the sex acts they perform are wonderfully raunchy (I like raunch a lot). But there are virtually no full body shots in 4 hours of running time for both titles. The only scene that is watchable in "Gluteus" is the one with Jordan McKnight and Sean Michaels; in "Sphinc Door" (this is *really* a dumb title!) the one with Wendy Knight and two guys and bits of the Alisha-Tom Byron one. That's all. In all other cases, Seymore will hapilly give you an extreme closeup either of the girl's face or of her butt, but never both at the same time. That may be because the performances seem to have taken place in incredibly small and cramped rooms, but that's no excuse.

What makes this even more frustrating is that you can be positive that the sex would be just great to watch were you only given the opportunity to watch it. I was personally doubly frustrated because "Gluteus" was the first Shanna McCullough comeback movie I had the opportunity of watching, and Shanna used to be a colossal favourite of mine back in the 80s. Despite the passage of time and the stupid and completely unneccessary boobjob she got after her original retirement, Shanna remains a wonderful woman. Now, if only I could actually *see* what she was doing in those bloody scenes.

Rating: 0.95 for "Gluteus" and 1.30 for "Behind". Objectively, one should add at least 0.5-0.75 to the ratings, but I can't be objective when faced with such crass Waste Of Resources (TM).

Enough With That Clown Shit Already: Greg Dark's "Sex Freaks"

I earlier mentioned Greg Dark. What a sad story this has been. As recently as 1995 (with "DMJ 5") he could still rise above his pretentiousness and cheap attempts to shock by delivering incredibly hot sex scenes. Now it appears that this was but a last aberration in the long decline of one of porn's greatest directorial talents. I recently had the misfortune of watching the disgraceful "Sex Freaks" and it was sheer torture. Everything, from the grainy film and bad lighting, down to the stupid, offensive plot and the badly made-up girls was truly the pits of bad taste and incompetence. The cast itself is not bad: Stephanie Swift is one of the best porn recruits we have had for some time, Missy is always a delight (when she keeps quiet at least), and for some strange reason I find Lovette eerily sexy, although she is the type of woman I should normally consider repulsive (she definetely has a good ass). But Greg Dark does his utmost to make the girls look ugly, and not just through atrocious makeup. The crudely misogynous tirades that Greg Dark has that idiot, Rip Hymen, orate and the degrading setups he comes up with have finally gone past "amusing" and are not only repetitive and boring, but also seem to affect performances. I have seldom seen porn actresses perform with such obvious ill humour; their faces are perpetually fixed in a grimace. "Sex Freaks" definetely fails the "reasonably good-natured sex" criterion.

Rating: 0.50, solely on the strength of some good shots in the final scene.

Rob Black Is One Talentless Fuck: "Gang Bang Angels"

Even more annoying in his inane attempt to be at some sort of delusional anti-PC "cutting edge" is that other poseur, Robert Black. My antipathy has nothing to do with bleeding heart liberalism, or feminism, or the rest of the labels that so-called "raincoaters" seem to so readily affix to his critics. It has everything to do with the fact that he's a talentless, unimaginative yob who cares not a dime about shooting sex when there is cheap publicity to be made by "shocking" the public. Well, I watched "Gang Bang Angels" with Stephanie Swift, and neither the choke-fucking, nor the verbal abuse, nor the spitting shocked me. I am not shocked to see murder, rape or drug-abuse depicted in mainstream movies either and I certainly do not believe that porn has to be "non-violent" to be erotic. The quality of the movie (be that mainstream, B-list or XXX) is what matters, not the events and acts it depicts; and Rob Black is desperately short of quality. His camera work is barely passable, his sound is bad, and he generates zero heat, despite all the anals that Stephanie undergoes. His cheap and inane attempts to offend are not only unsuccessful but also completely divert what little energy he shows in his work to matters other than hot sex, which is what non-storyline porn should be about in the first place.

Total and utter dreck. Rating 0.60. Slightly higher rating than "Sex Freaks" on account of the slightly better camera angles.

Comeback Tommy: Tom Byron's "Comeback Pussy 6"

If we are to have former porn stars making and starring in gonzo, at least let them be somebody remotely likeable and competent and not Grandpa West or Old Joey Silvera (who I personally find very likeable but his retirement has been 15 years overdue). Tom Byron is such a case and has been curiously late in jumping onto the gonzo bandwagon. With "Cumback Pussy" Tommy hasn't done a bad job by gonzo crowd standards, although he's certainly no Stagliano. With the exception of his greasy-hair-and-piercings phase, Tom Byron has been consistently a very likeable male porn star and thankfully he's got rid of the hair and kept the nice attitude. He also clearly makes an effort to give the customer value. "Comeback Pussy 6" promises, and delivers, anal scenes for a whole posse of A-list stars: Stephanie Swift, Asia Carrera, Micki Lynn, Kaitlin Ashley (I know she always does anal, but she IS popular), Tiffany Mynx (ditto) all pass in front of his camera and do the dirty. The result is a bit industrially efficient, with every scene having almost identical structure and length, but the girls look nice and I've always liked anal scenes. The camera work and the rest of the technical quality are not of European standards (see further on for related rant) and the close-ups can get annoyingly long at some points, but the result is watchable and certainly better than Seymore or Greg Dark. Nothing you can't live without, but not a waste of rental money either.

Rating: 2.75. All Tommy needs now is some imagination and a French camera crew :-) and the 3.0 rating will be easily scaled.

VCA Can't Even Do Gonzo Properly ... : "Essentially Juli"

Extremely dissapointing is the VCA gonzo-like vehicle for the lovely Juli Ashton, "Essentially Juli". My admiration for Juli has been extensively documented in past Chapters and *she* isn't the one who disappoints here. She remains delightfully fresh and lively and belongs to that unique group of porn actresses who do not need to disrobe to make you drool. In fact one can say that the best sequences in "Essentially Juli" are the fully-dressed bits where she introduces every scene. Juli is the quintessential blonde cheerleader-type that sends the pulse of dark Southern Europeans :-) racing (Shane is another good archetype of this sort). Just her purring voice is sufficient to work you up.

Unfortunately, when she finally tackles out and gets on with business, the result is strangely flat. Of the 6 or so very long scenes (this movie may be poor, but it's no ripoff by any means), only one stands out: Juli is blindfolded and subjected to the tender attentions first of Serenity and some dude (Steve Justice as Peter kindly points out), then of the ageless Veronica Hart who still looks awesome (very brief scene, dammit, I want more Veronica!!!), and finally of the always likeable Sean Michaels; this last segment includes a reasonably well shot anal, although from the unflattering missionary position.

The rest of the scenes fail to generate any heat. The g-g ones in particular are tremendously disappointing since foreplay is minimal and toy use paramount; it should be the other way round folks! Overall, this is only recommended to big Juli fans, or as an insurance rental (Never forget: Always Rent In Pairs). Rating: 2.35

...But Misty Rain Can: "Misty Cam's International Sex Tour 1"

Another great favourite of mine who has been dabbling in gonzo is Misty Rain, and on initial evidence she hasn't done a bad job of it. "Misty Cam's International Sex Tour 1" has the simple structure of Misty showing a bunch of clips from her travels to her girlfriends before a final g-g orgy. This last scene is really the only poor one in the whole video, despite the presence of the adorable Sindee Coxx (boobjob forgiven beacuse of 60s go-go girl looks); this is once again due to the complete absence of foreplay and the fascination with hot pink dildos and the like. The clips themselves range from OK to very hot, the best naturally being the ones with the highest Misty content, particularly of the anal sort (2 instances of this variety, both of good quality). The camera work is surprisingly solid considering the supposedly inexperienced Misty holds it for about half the time (she's better than Grandpa West). The only serious drawback, apart from the botched g-g orgy at the end, is Misty's ex-convict faced boyfriend, Chad Thomas. Give me Ron Jeremy any day, this guy makes me retch. He sure has a fat dick though; it takes a huge effort to stuff it into Alyssa Love's far from inexperienced ass. This is the best scene of the flick BTW, and not only because Misty also does an anal. I find Alyssa Love incredibly sexy, although again I should normally be turned off by twin tongue studs and badly dyed hair. In fact, she steals the show in this one for me, and knowing my fascination with Misty Rain that says a lot.

Well done Misty. You've given me another reason to like you. Rating: 2.90. Add another 0.25 if you collect Misty anals, like I do.

The One With The Plastic Blondes: "Discipline"

So much for the cheapos. The sole example of high budget (non-Private) crap in today's monster is the dreary "Discipline", starring Heidi Kovucks and featuring the yummy Tina Tyler and the yucky Toni Tedeschi. This film is typical of the pretentious crap that masquerades as "artistic" porn these days. A smattering of very cold and soulless scenes, in the worst tradition of Andrew Blake, are demarcated by some incredibly inane "plot" filler which mainly involves the annoying Toni grimacing in various annoying ways. The technical quality of the sex scenes is undeniably superior despite some annoying B/W slow-mo shit, with crystal clear picture, acceptable camera angles and patient editing. Strangely for this type of film, the almost obligatory 3-second MTV cuts are absent; this is more of the "car commercial" sort of art(less) porn. Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly since this copies Blake, we also get Corny Porno Music (TM) drowining out any natural sounds. As mentioned, the sex is stone cold despite the abundant anals and the fairly attractive girls; Tina is of course shatteringly beautiful as always, and Heidi Kovucks should have once been an attractive girl, before she opted for the LA hooker look of bleach, collagen and silicone. If only she were allowed to smile a little I could forgive her; unfortunately she keeps the Art Porn Vamp Grimace (TM) on for the duration, and this ranks only below Waste Of Resources in my gripe list.

Avoid. Rating 1.20.

More From The Woodman Assmebly Line: "Tatiana" (3 parts)

OK, time for our friends at Private. This won't take long. To review "Tatiana" (all 3 parts thereof), simply copy any other of my Pierre Woodman reviews and paste. Incredibly beautiful, natural Russian girls, wonderful locations, perfect photography and camera work, raunchy sex performed according to strict recipe, dubbing (even in the original French version). Violence against women and cries of "salope" are curiously infrequent, but this pleasant surprise is more than counterbalanced by the horror of seeing Tanya Russof sporting a pair of bad bolt-ons. Is Europe too going the way of LA? Are boobjobs only the start, with incompetent cameramen and excessive closeups next in the list of ghastly US imports? If this happens, I'll have to quit watching porn and stick to my collection.

Oh, the usual Private rating: 2.25-3.25 according to your personal liking of Pierre Woodman (for me it's a 2.85, tops).

In Memoria: D'Amato's "Erectus X" (one of many aliases)

I recently learned that Joe D'Amato passed away. This is a great loss for European porn. Despite his many limitations, D'Amato produced consistently decent high budget porn. Indeed, with the passing of Michel Ricaud in 1993 (VMD remains the best porn company in the world though) and the steady deterioration on Mario Salieri to unwatchable depths, D'Amato was the last big name to make big budget porn without stooping to Private practices. As a tribute, I'll review one of his decidedly better films. This is known as "Die Neanderthaler" in Germany, "Erectus-X" in Holland and "L'Homo Erectus" in France (I won't trouble you with the Greek one :-)). The "plot" involves Valentino, Gerry Pike and Roberto Malone (the European Ron Jeremy) grunting a lot, rather amusingly at places, and shagging a delectable host of stars which include Laura Palmer (yum), Roxanne Hall (yummy!) and a bunch of Italian girs (most of them extremely yummy as well). All the action is outdoor, a huge plus in my book, and can get quite hot, particularly the lesbian gang-up on Roxanne Hall.

Good stuff, indeed so good that I will forgive the Corny Porno Music blanketing all the action. I have bought this movie for 5 bucks in Athens and it's been worth it. On the other hand, it's not worth paying top dollar for it. Rating 3.25 (this movie is virtually the *definition* of an Imperial 3.25)

Since this has got way too long, even by my standards, I'm gonna stop here and cover the classics I meant to review in Chapter 34, whenever I get around to completing it (hopefully sooner that in another two years :-)). Until that moment, au revoir. I'm dying with excitement to read your upcoming comments, particularly Torris roasting my ass for not mentioning condoms (am I, of all people, a VCA (!) stooge?), and Patrick Riley telling me that the women I like (and he doesn't) are OBJECTIVELY ugly because corporate beauty ideals developed in the last 35 years and supported by the lucrative weight loss and gym&workout industries say so. Unless of course we are honoured with the "biological basis of beauty ideals" rant instead.

No offence to anybody I hope. I'm just delirious with joy to be back. It will pass, I'm sure, once I read some of those racism threads.


RAME moderator and pompous bastard)

Table of Contents | Part 32 | Copyright(C)

Created: Monday, March 1, 1999