The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
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SKINAMAX-A-PALOOZA: MAINLINE RELEASING-A-PALOOZA

CARNAL AWAKENING (2013) **

Aging ‘80s porn star Steven St. Croix gets shot by a mysterious gunman after performing a decent Girl-on-Top scene with his girlfriend (Nicole Oring). He tries to get over the traumatizing incident by having even more sex with her. She then tells Steven that he needs to get over his fears by going out and having new experiences. While out jogging, he meets a sexy damsel in distress (Reena Sky) and falls in love with her. As it turns out, her skeevy ex was actually the one who shot Steven and he’s looking to finish the job.

Most of Mainline Releasing’s Skinamax films are forgettable and interchangeable. If we are measuring Carnal Awakening by those standards, then it is definitely better than their usual fare. The sex scenes have more energy than most of their other movies and benefit from performers that seem to be actually enjoying what they’re doing. Reena Sky is quite sexy and Nicole Oring has a good screen presence. Both girls are energetic in their sex scenes, which is definitely a plus.

Now that the compliments are out of the way, I do have to address the biggest shortcoming of the flick; namely the lack of variety. During the film’s 80 minutes, there are seven sex scenes, which means we get a sex scene every 11 minutes or so. That’s not a bad average, but they are all Guy on Girl scenes. And since there are only two girls in the cast, it pretty much limits our options. (We see St. Croix and Oring three times together, which is probably two times too many.) There’s also an odd Sixth Sense twist in the third act that ends things on a goofy note.

AKA: Carnal Awakenings.

OBSESSION (2013) * ½

Sophie (Kiara Diane) is a reporter doing a story on Max (Jason Sarcinelli), a successful businessman. He takes her out to dinner and seduces her. This of course makes her boyfriend Jake (Rocco Reed) jealous and they break up. Max showers Sophie with gifts and soon, they have a torrid love affair. Eventually, she grows tired of Max’s mind games and returns to the waiting arms of Jake.

Obsession has a generic title, which perfectly fits the generic material. I guess they were trying to ride the 50 Shades wave with this one (there’s a light bondage scene). But if you’re going to chronicle the ups and downs of a chick’s love affair with a kinky rich dude, you’ve got to make sure the sex scenes are hot and you actually care about the characters.

Throughout the film’s 83 minute running time there are seven sex scenes. That means we get a sex scene about every 12 minutes. However, since most of the scenes are between Diane and Reed, there are interchangeable and unmemorable. And while Diane looks fairly hot, she acts rather lifeless during her sex scenes. As a result, the scenes aren’t very sexy and represent some of the most generic bumping and grinding I’ve ever seen on late night cable. To make matters worse, they seemingly go on forever.

I don’t really get bothered too much by the performances in these kinds of movies, but it must be said that Kiara Diane gives one of the most wooden performances in Skinamax history. Her robotic monotone delivery pretty much sucks the life out of nearly every dialogue scene she’s in. She often mumbles her lines and sometimes she slurs her words together, which makes me think she either had some sort of dental procedure done shortly before filming. Her awful performance alone plummets Obsession to the lower rungs of the Skinamax ladder.

HIDDEN TREASURES (2013) **

Michelle Maylene invites some friends over to her house for a weekend getaway. Once they are all gathered together, she tells them that her dead father apparently has a fortune hidden away somewhere on the grounds. Michelle then enlists her friends to help her find the treasure, but this naturally leads to a lot of double-crossing; as well as a lot of bed-hopping.

Unlike the last two films, Hidden Treasures is really light on plot. It more or less just serves as an excuse to keep things confined to one set to keep the budget down. Like the last two films, there is very little variety to the sex scenes. We get seven sex scenes in the film’s 82 minute running time (an average of one sex scene almost every 12 minutes); all of them Guy on Girl scenes. Would it have killed them to put a couple of Girl on Girl scenes in there, just to spice things up a little bit?

The sex scenes aren’t particularly great or anything, but they’re watchable. There might not be a lot of variety in the couplings, but there is some variety in the various positions the performers get into within any given scene. Notably, Sadie Katz gets a good scene where she’s boned on a couch.

Maylene is pretty hot and is a decent actress to boot. And Katz has a raspy voice that makes her pretty sexy too. Their efforts aren’t enough to make Hidden Treasures worthwhile, but it does keep you watching.

DARK SECRETS (2012) **

Kelli McCarty stars as a psychiatrist holding group therapy sessions for three couples. They sit around in a circle and discuss their various problems while McCarty takes notes. Jayden Cole’s abrasive boyfriend Tony Marino alienates most of the group with his passive-aggressive obnoxious comments, but he is still able to worm his way into McCarty’s panties. When Cole finds out and threatens to leave him, Marino blows up at her and is arrested for assault; leaving her to pick up the pieces of her life.

The group therapy setting seems like an ideal scenario for a Skinamax flick. But notice how I said “scenario” and not “plot”. That’s because the film is mostly a sequence of dull therapy scenes with so-so sex scenes interspersed to keep you from dozing off.

During the film’s 82 minute running time, there are seven Guy on Girl scenes. Since Dark Secrets is more of a “couples’ movie” than an out-and-out Skinamax flick, it’s not nearly as fun as something from Fred Olen Ray or Jim Wynorski. And since all of the sex scenes are all limited to Guy on Girl scenes, they get a little repetitive. And the final two sex scenes are a bit weak since the editor keeps going back and forth between the couples. Because of this, neither scene is really able to gain much momentum.

The good news is that the girls in the cast are pretty hot. Kelli McCarty is especially appealing as the sexy therapist. And the leggy redhead Jayden Cole yet again proves that she’s one of the sexiest of the newest crop of Skinamax actresses. Dark Secrets maybe yet another ho-hum late night cable flick from Mainline Releasing, but if you’re a fan of either lady, you may consider wasting 82 minutes of your life on it.

Tags: .skinamax-a-palooza, c, d, h, o, skinamax
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