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Title: Shock  
Reviewer: Nick Nite  
Overall rating: A
Female looks: n/a
Male looks: n/a
Sex: n/a
Plot/Acting: n/a
Extras: A
A/V Quality: n/a


This one comes with the cachet of "important must-see porn" -- you know, five stars from Adam Film World, the highest rating from AVN, "Best DVD" at the 1999 AVN Awards, that sort of thing. The sort of cachet, in other words, that makes me suspicious. Too often I''ve rented or bought tapes based on such ratings, only to take them home and be disappointed by flicks in which the director is in love with his camera and not with the fucking his camera is capturing. Why do so many critics like this stuff? Because they get tired of watching the same ol'' stroke material over and over again. They crave ingenuity. They crave visionaries. Myself, I always though the true visionaries were guys like John Leslie and Alex de Renzy and Gerard Damiano and, hell, John Stagliano. Why? Because they found amazingly original ways to capture the hottest, most basic yet most explosive sex on film and not make it seem like the same ol'' stroke material. You don''t need "Blade Runner" sets and "Dune" costumes to make your sex flick work brilliantly. You really just need normal people acting like normal people and getting laid in interesting, believable ways with a worthwhile story to accompany it. (And oddness, mind you, is welcome: see "Chameleon" or "Bad Wives" or the original "Devil in Miss Jones.") Future-sex is fine and dandy, but it can leave me awfully cold in its plasticity. That said, I approach Michael Ninn flicks with major apprehension. They always, ALWAYS have some of the hottest sex I have ever seen on film, but they always, ALWAYS come surrouned by some of the strangest shit to distract. I can''t give any of them a bad grade, because 1) the fucking gets me off every time, at some point, and even when it''s at its weirdest, something steamy hot is just around the corner; and 2) his visuals are mesmerizing. Why Ninn hasn''t left porn altogether yet is beyond me. He has so much technical talent to offer beyond this. The story of "Shock" focuses once again on the anti-hero of the equally wild and weird "Latex," Malcom Stevens (Jon Dough). He''s trapped in his own insanity, yet we can see and understand both sides of him (the insane one within and the catatonic one on the outside). Don''t ask too much about the plot; it''s not hard to follow, necessarily, it''s just downright absurd, and on paper it looks even stranger. The point is merely that Dough wants to reunite his mind (which is razor-sharp and downright criminal) with his body (which is limp and near dead). We get this explained to us in an opening scene that has the intense Jeanna Fine done up as Marilyn Monroe, but in black and white -- which is to say that her body has been painted black and white, but her lips (all four of them) are still colorful. She gets it on with a dildo for a while, before we cut away to a different guy (not Dough) nailing her in color (but still with the Monroe frightwig). Cutting back and forth between that and Dough banging her, we get some striking shots of Jeanna taking it up the ass (as only Jeanna can), some great dirty talk (again, as only Jeanna can) and it''s really two scenes in one, with Jeanna dealing with two separate cumshots. The cyberpunkish nonsense continues in a "Johnny Mnemonic" way as Dr. Ona Zee tries to revive Dough with some electro-shock therapy, then fails, then calls in Dr. Tyffany Million, the doc from "Latex" who went nuts because of Dough. During the treatment, however, Dough sucks Gwen (super-hottie Shayla Laveaux) into his warped mindworld, where she''s deposited into never-never-land (a freaky one where sex rules) and is fucked by two gargoyles come to life (played in heavy makeup by T.T. Boy and Vince Voyeur). (Though isn''t it interesting how these gargoyles have impeccably clean dicks? See, something always takes away from the fantasy.) The sex here is intensely hot, naturally, with Shayla taking a strong anal pounding before milking two loads of creamy cum onto her face. Back in "Mindgate," Tyffany has decided to do some "psycho tracking" and enters Dough''s weird world, but not before we get some girl-girl action in French maid uniforms that is clearly inspired by Duran Duran''s video for "The Chauffeur" as well as "House of Dreams." There''s some flogging and spanking, with one girl taking a cunt-whipping and having to count off the whips until she reaches 10. Shayla and Sunset Thomas, the two key sluts in the scene, share a double-headed dildo. It''s all hot, but a bit out of pacing with the rest of the story. Tyff and her two henchmen (Peter North and John Decker) enter Dough''s mindwarp -- don''t ask how, just accept it -- and upon arrival Tyff instantly dives into some double-cocksucking to a Gipsy Kings-ish score. Tyff gets totally slammed as only she can -- when she''s on fire, she can hardly be beat; see the finale of the "Face Dances" trilogy for proof -- doing a great DP and then taking both blasts to her face and chest. A mighty scene. As Tyff and the boys go off searching for their psycho -- with Tyff''s great line, "I love the smell of grey matter in the morning" -- they stumble upon a harem of Asian sluts (Tricia Yen and Kia among them, as well as Caressa Savage) getting wild with themselves, ramming dildos up their twats in full "Cafe Flesh" style. It''s as if the French maids from the previous scene have gone wild in "Aladdin Sane" makeup, which is probably the case. I started to lose track of the story at this point, especially as water sprite Kia starts to bathe and a Buddha-like guy watches, but the erotica level was still sky high. There''s a few Lynchian moments next, including a symphony scene with Dough in his best "Rocky Horror" makeup -- again, these scenes are so visually mind-blowing that they almost seem wasted on porn. There''s some girl-girl in Elizabethan wear that''s pretty hot, including a fuck in front of Jeanna Fine that she naturally commands (and damn, is she a good dominatrix or what?). Jeanna fucks her hole with a dildo, then feeds it to her "Emmanuelle"-ish slave who''s getting boffed from behind. The best bit is the cum shot, onto Jeanna''s tit for her slut to lick off. Sprite Kia, meanwhile, has decided she needs some cock, and takes on Peter and John with wild abandon, while everyone else involved (Buddha, Tyff, other Asian sluts) watch on charged. There''s some good doggy here and the tag-teaming is captured in perfect detail. By now, of course, I couldn''t tell you what the point of the story is -- essentially it''s all set up to get us into the fuck zone of Dough''s mindwarp so we can wander around for 90 minutes or so. The next scene is a five-girl orgy in leather get-ups that is absolutely wild, with steel dildos probing every last cunt in sight. To tell too much more would spoil the surprise, but let it be known that there are butt plugs, gags, anal play and doggie chains galore. And it ends in a fake cumbath on Shayla, who has been suitably initiated (I guess that''s the point) by Misty Rain, Felecia, Jill Kelly and Juli Ashton, all extremely hot themselves. Naturally, it all must end in a sequence with Dough and his captive, Shayla, and I don''t want to give away too much of the ending. And despite my ranting about futuristic nonsense, this is well worth seeing, though I would have gone ga-ga if Ona Zee would have just done one brief scene, even just stroked a cock. (God help me but the older she gets the sexier she gets; I''m just damn horny for her every time she comes on screen, though I may be the only one left like that.) It''s all fascinating and fantastically sexual, but it''s not for everyone. My girlfriend, for instance, was into it for a bit but ultimately fell alseep. Who could blame her? This isn''t the sort of fucking you can imagine yourself participating in -- you can''t put yourself into the action. This is the sort of hardcore erotica you step back and admire. And I do. I just prefer something a bit more, oh, accessible after a while.  

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