Extra's: I'll be up front with you and say that the extras from Video Team have never impressed me as being very well thought out or plentiful on their DVDs. I guess they've decided to change their ways since this release of the long-running series had a decent Behind the Scenes feature, partially hosted by a personal favorite performer, Kylie Ireland (sans make up no less) and the rest by Mar Callan. It showed most of the cast getting ready for their scenes and had a short interview with some of the gals, making it fun to watch. There were also the very minimal biographies the series has had in the past, a short photogallery, some trailers, and some spam but the BTS feature was by far the best extra of the DVD.
Audio/Video Quality: The picture was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color, as most porn is released these days. The quality of the picture was directly related to the level of lighting in each scene so it should come as no surprise to viewers that the night scenes often looked grainy and weak while the outdoor scene (shot during the day) looked really good. As with most porn, the equipment can only compensate for so much variation in the lighting levels and this release was no exception. On a stylish note, a couple of the darker scenes had some level of mystery to them but when you can't see the action, it's tough to like it all that much. There was also some of the slow motion effect going on at times and I've almost always disliked that type of thing as pretentious (and heat dampening). The audio was presented in the usual stereo English soundtrack with some music playing in the background during much of the sexual action. For the most part, it fit the nightmare theme but I'm not a fan of music in the sex scenes unless it really sounds great. The music here, while on sale on CD's at Amazon.com, wasn't much better than the usual outing from Vivid so you'll have to take into account my tastes versus your own in this area.
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Body of Review: Over the years, fans have asked porn companies to offer a buffet of sexual practices in which to get off viewing. One of the most requested acts over the last three decades has been lesbian sex (or at least lipstick lesbian sex) and for many years, virtually all straight porn had at least one scene where a couple of gals went at one another in a hot and heavy fashion. These days, fewer companies follow that lead as the demand for circus act sex is growing and the money chases the demand in porn. One of the last holdouts to this growing trend has been a series released by Video Team known as No Man's Land. In the series, a group of popular gals will have a series of vignettes all loosely tied to a theme or story. My past experience with the series includes Volume 17 and Volume 15; each of which display the strengths and weaknesses of the show's past. Recently, I had a chance to see No Man's Land 39: The Nightmare Edition, and found out there was a new director, Ren Savant, who is probably best known as one of Vivid's former directors. While I've always found his style to be somewhat hit or miss itself, I was hoping the series has been revitalized under his guidance, even if the theme of this release was about various fears people have. That said; let's take a look at the five scenes on the DVD:
Scene One: Sequiphobia: Anita and Sandra were the two hotties kissing on the front DVD cover. When I saw the title of the scene, I thought it related to a fear of wearing sequins but apparently, it referred to a fear of being chased (the director discussed the fears in the BTS feature but, like most guys, I was watching the eye candy and not paying much attention to what that hillbilly said). Each gal played her role to the hilt and the scene was strengthened by the action that included oral and rubbing only. There were no large dildos or other toys to ruin the heat and this helped the chemistry be established. If you're looking for circus act sex, pass this one up but it seemed far more real to me than most lesbian scenes.
Scene Two: Odontophobia: Avy, playing a mad dentist (of sorts), had lovely Julie trapped in her laboratory (it wasn't really a dentist chair but use your imagination) as she prepared to drill away at young Julie's mouth. Needless to say, she changed her tune and did some lesbian massaging and licking when push came to shove, totally altering the passion of the darker intent it started off with. They worked well together here but I kind of wish they kept the theme going a little bit longer to make the energy level higher. Fans of dildo action will appreciate that the gals employed one here and it did seem fitting in the context of the scene.
Scene Three: Aquaphobia: Dominica and Kimberly were next up in a scene that involved the fear of Aquaman (well, not really but I always wanted to say that). In reality, it centered on the fear of drowning and after a brief rescue sequence, the gals took the mouth to mouth resuscitation and made it a mouth to muff resuscitation scene. For starters, let me tell you that the lighting this time was exceptionally good, due primarily to the outdoor afternoon setting. I wish all porn looked as good but that'll never happen. In any case, the gals were kind of mechanical in how they approached the sex after some passionate kissing and that was a shame since the scene started off with such potential. There was a bit of dildo action here but not enough to kill off all the heat.
Scene Four: Agoragynophobia: Kylie, Bridgette, Keiko, Aria, Lauren, had a scene where the theme centered on Keiko (a very lean white gal who claimed the name was Japanese for submissive or obedient girl) running around in public undressed, looking for someplace to shelter herself. I'm guessing the actual fear was more complicated than that, probably something like fear of being gang raped by a group of attractive gals in public when caught nude, but I could be wrong. Whatever the actual definition of the term is, the scene was actually pretty hot as the gang all took turns with each other, using tongues, hands, and toys to get one another off more than once. There was some squirting going on but it still looked like Lauren and company taking a leak.
Scene Five: Scelerophobia: Laura and Anita, two of the premiere hotties of the movie, had a scene where the fear seemed to relate to being attacked by a burglar or bad person (okay, I cheated and looked it up). I would've guessed it meant fear of catching multiple sclerosis but what do I know about fear (the Daredevil in me-thanks to Matt Murdoch)? The scene was mostly filler for me and the use of oral and toys didn't change my mind even after checking it out twice. Sometimes porn is like that and while I'd eat dirt to have either one of them in my bed, I'm not going to mislead you into thinking the scene was more than a mechanical romp in the hay.
Summary: I'll give Mr. Savant credit for trying something different but I'd have appreciated it far more if he had taken more steps to break away from the pack in this release. I know he is capable of the technical matters in directing porn but the true masters will always try and engage the viewer's mind (usually the largest sex organ in your body unless you're Lexington Steele). The ladies looked lovely and the technical matters pretty solid (mostly) so you might want to check it out. On average, the scenes were pretty good but still too limited in the action as well as themes so I'm hoping he takes a bit more time to develop the future releases I'm sure he has planned to make. The idea was sound; perhaps if he tries other phobias in a follow-up release, he'll nail it the next time. I don't want him to get Reviewophobia (fear of bad reviews) or Houstondonophobia (fear of my reviews in particular) since he did provide enough entertainment for me to rate this release as a Rent It with big fans of lipstick lesbian action probably wanting to boost that up a bit. The premise overall is sound and there was a fair amount to like here but the inconsistent nature of the sex limited the replay value for me and the extras weren't enough to compensate for it.
Note: You can see recent candid shots of several of these performers by visiting: My Photo's and read about their antics at 2004 AEE Show.
---- You can email me with questions at Houstondon @ hotmail.com if you have any constructive criticism of the review too. :) Also you can follow me on twitter @HoustonDon