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With Valentine’s Day coming up, I figured February would be a great month to hold Skinamax-A-Palooza. So all month long, I’ll be taking a look at the steamy fare that dominates late night cable. And what better way to kick off Skinamax-A-Palooza than with a double shot of films from the reigning king of Skinamax, Fred Olen Ray?

DIRTY BLONDES FROM BEYOND (2012) **

On the planet Byfrexia, the evil Empress Krell (Christine Nguyen) has made a machine that creates dangerous storms that threaten the planet. Her ship attacks Princess Farra (Brandin Rackley) and she escapes to Earth with her loyal bodyguard (Jazy Berlin) in tow. A drunk sees their ship land and reports it to the authorities and two agents investigate. Meanwhile the alien babes have never seen an Earth man before, and they become intrigued with their “third leg”.

There’s lots of special effects in Dirty Blondes from Beyond (besides the silicone that is). The CGI space battles are brief, but they are well done on a miniscule budget. (There’s even a spaceship chase through an asteroid field.) But although the effects look like a million bucks (okay, half a million), they aren’t enough to save the movie.

When you watch a Fred Olen Ray Skinamax movie, you at least expect to get a few laughs from it. I’ll admit, I did get a chuckle over the twist ending where we learn the alien ships run on vibrators, but it’s actually funnier seeing the female cast struggling through the jargon-filled exposition dialogue. But for the most part, Dirty Blondes from Beyond suffers from a been there-done that feeling.

Although the film is fairly watchable, the lack of quality sex scenes knocks it down a notch. There’s a decent Rackley-Berlin scene that features some nice scissoring action, as well as a good Erika Jordan-Christine Nguyen coupling, but other than that; the rest of the sex scenes are pretty weak. (The Guy on Girl scenes are especially disappointing.) We get seven sex scenes in all. There are two Girl on Girl scenes, four Guy on Girl scenes, and one Guy on Girl on Girl scene. The flick clocks in at 81 minutes, which means we get a sex scene just about every 11 ½ minutes. If you’ve watched as many as these things as I have, you’ll know that’s not a great average.

BABY DOLLS BEHIND BARS (2012) ***

Fred Olen Ray got together much of the same cast as Dirty Blondes from Beyond for this Women in Prison softcore sex flick. This one is a heck of a lot more fun. Not only that, but the flick features a couple of standout sex scenes too.

Maggie (Erika Jordan) is a famous cat burglar who gets caught and is sent to jail. Sissy (Jazy Berlin) is a meter maid who goes undercover in the prison to get the goods on Maggie’s operation. With the help of the sexy prison matron (Christine Nguyen), Maggie has been sneaking out of jail to continue her crimes. Eventually, Maggie asks Sissy to become part of her crew. Double-crosses, set-ups, and of course lesbian sex scenes ensue.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good Women in Prison Skinamax flick. And while only about half the film is actually set in the prison, the behind bars action we do get to see is pretty great. The shower scene between Berlin, Nguyen, and Jordan is one of the best prison shower scenes in recent memory. The sex scenes that take place outside the prison walls are equally fine. Berlin and Jordan get a nice scissoring scene in a van and Jordan and Nguyen’s tryst in a country cottage is pretty good too.

Overall, there are seven sex scenes throughout the film’s 80 minute running time. We get three Guy on Girl scenes, three Girl on Girl scenes, and as previously mentioned, one Girl on Girl on Girl in the Shower scene. That means we get a sex scene every 11 ½ minutes or so, but this is one case where the quality of the scenes far outweighs the quantity.

What makes the scenes so much fun is that the cast really seem to be enjoying themselves. They bring an energy to the sex scenes that make them stand out. Jordan is particularly enthusiastic. Throw in a great fake Pink Panther theme song and you have the makings for one of the better Ray directed late night romps.

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