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Devil's Playground

Studio: Sin City » Review by Disco Dirge » Review Date: 10/29/04

XCritic's Advice: Highly Recommended

GENRE: Straight Feature
STARS: Hannah Harper, Shy Love, Tory Freeland, Brooke, Hailey Paige, Evan Stone, Randy Spears, Chris Cannon, Alex Sanders
LENGTH: 120 mins with bonus material

At one time or another, we've all contemplated selling our soul to the Devil. Well, maybe not seriously, and maybe not to Satan himself – perhaps just to one of his oily, middle managing, weekly paycheck signing underlings. But at some point in our roller coaster reality we have hit a valley so low we would do anything, including an act of spiritual blasphemy, to get out from under it. But what if we actually managed to conjure up Belial and strike a bargain? What if Lucifer was real and cutting deals like there was no afterlife? Would you actually go through with it? Would you risk having eons of hot pokers shoved up your fudge tunnel just to get a brief insurance actuary table of fame, fortune and a night with one of the Donnas? What if you'd never known the touch of a woman and were more than willing to learn. Would you really call the Man-Goat and broker a bonking? Or would you and "Rosy Palm" be content to spend the next decade getting better acquainted? All these questions come crowning like an unexpected offspring while watching the breezy, cheesy Devil's Playground from Sin City. Director D Cypher (ha, ha, we get it) along with nine of porn's most recognizable...faces, attempt to create a classic Faustian film. Using the story of the world's oldest virgin and the deal he's willing to make to get a little sexual satisfaction, Cypher gets to throw in all his personal knowledge about the black arts (how else do you explain his nom de poon?) while fashioning a familiar fuck fest. The results are a serious/stupid/sexy romp with some of the hottest hardcore around.

The DVD:
The story of Devil's Playground centers around frustrated cable repairman Andrew (played with pluck – and fuck – by the indomitable Evan Stone). Andy needs some action or his thirty-plus year old penis might as well just shrivel up and die (and if you've seen Evan's schlong, you know that's destined to be one long wither session). Anyway, while playing cards with his friends Tom (Randy Spears, always a hoot) Mark (the underused Chris Cannon) and Dave (a curly-headed Alex Sanders), Andrew lucks into some Tarot Cards. Naturally, they can be used to call up the Devil (a decidedly delicious and delectable female version of the Dark Lord) and our horny he-man indeed makes the naughty 911. Once Satan shows, Andy is given a chance to give up his immortal soul for the possibility – the POSSIBILITY, mind you – of some sizzling sexual action. Quicker than you can say "pop shot", he has signed on the dotted line and finds himself head of a swanky orgy. But as the hour of his damnation grows neigh, the desperate dude still ain't had no nookie. So he makes a deal with the she-demon. If this innocent virgin, this untried youth (?) can make the Devil cum, he'll regain his inner spirit. The fiery Fallen Angel agrees, and the scene is set for one final fucking. It's Andy's essence vs. the cloven-hoofed cunt in a metaphysical throw down for placement in the fiery furnace.

Devil's Playground is highly pleasurable, for varying reasons. One, of course, is the casting. Whenever you bring natural hams Evan Stone and Randy Spears near a surreal story like this one, you know some gratuitous goofiness is just around the corner. Indeed, Stone and Spears are great, really playing their parts - and PARTS - well. As the other two guys in the group, Chris Cannon is all cock and no character. We learn very little about Mark before he's making monkey noises with Hailey Paige. Alex Sanders is a rather sad thespian, barely able to hold his own – when it comes to emoting, that is. Thankfully, Stone is the main focus here, so we get lots of his silly surfer dude dimension throughout the storyline. On the female side, only Hannah Harper has reams of exposition to extol, and she does so with grace, style and a smidgen of the sinister. Her Devil may not be the most demonic in the creature's canon of characterization, but she fucks like a firestorm, so who really gives a shit. All the other ladies are just carnal eye candy for the five scenes of shuck and shimmy. And while they will be scored individually, all the sequences here sizzle with passion and power. Credit the 'oh so cleverly' named director D Cypher for keeping the interpersonal dynamic front and center throughout the dicking.

As for the sex installments, we begin the film with a showdown. Satan and Andrew are at odds over his soul, and in order to pass the time, the bodacious Beelzebub demands that a couple of her minions make with the pork product. They willingly obey:

Scene 1: Shy Love, Steve Hatcher
Performance anxiety penetrates each and every aspect of this scene. No matter how hard he tries, Mr. Hatcher just can't produce pole. His taffy-like tool is just so much poor pliable putty, no matter what Shy tries to do with it. After he licks and sticks her – with fingers, that is, Ms. Love gives his log a long, LONG lunching, and still no stiffness can occur. We jump cut and suddenly, cock is inserted into cunt, straight mish method. Steve pounds away for a few minutes as Shy feigns fun. Then it's another editing leap and we're smack dab in the middle of doggy. Again, Steve rams ritualistically until Shy finally decides to climb on top. She ropes in a little reverse cowgirl before its time for member money. Sadly, we see an OFF CAMERA pop, as Shy's face is drizzled with stunt cum. On the commentary track, director Cypher spills the beans about Hatcher's half-staff situation and admits to using some faux ball butter to finish up the fucking. You can tell Steve is sullen over his rod ramifications. He constantly looks down, letting his pageboy hairdo cover up his shame. Thankfully, Shy is such a professional that she almost makes us believe some real bonking went on here. Score: 5.5 out of 10.

Before we continue with the confrontation, Andrew treats us to a flashback, explaining how this all happened. He and his pals are playing poker. They start swapping war stories and Tom comes up with a whopper. Apparently, the notorious loser picked up some floozy in a bar, and took her home for some one night standing:

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Scene 2: Hannah Harper, Randy Spears
Feeling like the hardest, hottest scene in the set thanks to the previous prick paltriness, Hannah and Randy really rock the house in what will end up being only the SECOND best sequence in the film. After some passionate kissing and fondling foreplay, our couple gets down to the business of balling as clothes come off and dick drives deep between pouting lips. Hannah blows Mr. Spears spear with excessive attention to detail and Randy responds with an equally evocative visit to Connie the Linguist. The cowgirl is hot, the laid-back element even hotter and after the holding pattern of spooning, Randy the rod finishes off Ms. Harper in the hottest position possible, a slow straight anal maneuvering. There is so much passion and performance between these two that we tend to forget they're "acting", and when Spears spouts his shaft soda, Hannah looks spent and satisfied. To paraphrase the old adage, never send an amateur in to do a professional's work. Randy and Hannah are resplendent here, creating an erotic, engaging sex scene. Very sensual. Score: 9 out of 10.

When he awoke, Tom found a cool deck of Tarot cards in his bed. Anyway, we move back to the present and Tom needs money to call a bet. Andy loans him the cash, but demands the devilish deck as a down payment. Tom craps out, naturally, and Andy ends up with the cards. While playing around with them, he conjures up the Evil Entity herself. Hungry for a new soul, she-Satan makes Andy a proposition. He can be the king of the greatest fuck fest ever held in the Devil's Playground (Houston, we have a title!) and all he has to give up is his passport to Heaven. Without blinking, our hero says 'Si!" and suddenly, Andy is a ribald raconteur. As the master of ceremonies at his own mega-orgy, Andrew must survey all the sex. He walks outside to find his buddy, Mark, fucking a dog. No, not a bow-wow, and not some honey in the rover realm (physically, or aesthetically). Scratch, you see, has called up one of her Hellhounds and turned the badass beast into a super slick lingerie model. Mark is mindlessly sharking this sweetheart, not knowing her underworld connection:

Scene 3: Hailey Paige, Chris Cannon Perhaps it is best to call these next two scenes "the recovery period" between Hannah's sizzling sequence with Randy and what will end up as the best balling in the film (her one-on-one with Evan). Still for all its mundane mannerisms, Chris and Hailey put on a decent show. It all starts with a slow, sensual blowjob that accentuates Ms. Paige's pretty mouth. After this very long oral workout, the woodworking seems a little anti-climatic. Still, Chris bangs bush like the well-hung stud he is and Hailey loves every foot of the fucking. The pair performs cowgirl, doggy and straight before our Cannon is ready to explode. Sadly his shot is not necessarily powerful enough to be heard around the world. Actually, it barely moistens Ms. Paige's lips. A little last minute V to M is included to continue the inviting oral attributes of the scene. Chris and Hailey look good together and the outdoor setting makes the sequence that much more exotic. But when our man Cannon can't 'cough' up a good cum shot, something is amiss. Sadly this leaves the scene feeling limp, instead of luscious. Score: 5 out of 10.

Moving his maitre-d act inside, Andrew finds his other pal, David, staring at a couple of French kissing lesbians. Try as he might, he can't convince his buddy that these babes are Belial's canine comrades. As Andy leaves, Dave dives in:

Scene 4: Tory Freeland, Brooke, Alex Sanders
Threesomes are a tricky dicky business. The director must be up to the positional possibilities, or the entire enterprise will de-evolve into much mιnage about nothing. Thankfully, Louise's long lost cousin D seems up to the task at hand. Too bad Alex and the gals aren't more adventurous in their antics. Standard fuck free-for-all elements are palpable throughout this entire scene. There are dueling blowjobs (each lady taking turns on Sanders's stogie), tentative tit play, frequent clitoral licking (from both male and female perspectives) alternative twat trouncing (Alex moves from one moist burrow to the other with regularity), and a singular session of both doggy and reverse cowgirl (with the supplemental babe helping out with the hardcore). Finally ready to fling his hot dong fu, Alex drops naughty nookie napalm all over his paramours' pert breasts. They seem relieved. There is a very muddled quality to this interpersonal meeting between Tory, Brooke and Alex that is hard to explain. They don't seem to find the right XXX dimensions to their scene until very late in the game. In many ways, this scene feels like several failed attempts to start, with just the last couple of copulations making the grade. It's not dull or derivative, but clearly pales in comparison to all the other portions of this porno. Score: 5 out of 10.

We're back to the opening confrontation. As time ticks away, Andrew makes a deal with the devil...make that, ANOTHER deal with the devil. If he can make her cum, he can have his soul back. She agrees and they find a friendly place to fornicate:

Scene 5: Hannah Harper, Evan Stone
This is the scene. It's what the entire film has been building toward. Evan is going to release those dangling dewberries along with his massively meaty member and blast the everlovin' liquid out of Ms. Harper's honey hole. Ready for the ramrodding challenge, Ms. Harper hunkers down for some proud pussy positioning all her own. By the time they're private part-to-part, you too will be looking for a little release. Without giving away all the glory here, Evan spends a great deal of time in effective, passionate and aggressive friggin' of Hannah's unholy hot riggin'. They begin slowly, kissing and cuddling. Evan works his way across the chest and down to the snatch. Hannah maneuvers and sits on his face. Soon, 69 is on the menu, Evan adding a little anal fingering to keep things fun. Once penis finds providence, the pile driving begins. Eventually, the lovers launch into doggy and even more heap humping. Drained, tricked out and spent like a bad penny, Evan finally sprays his supernatural fuck buddy's smokin', sweaty bod with nut nougat. The couple then cuddles for a moment, before the final denouement. One of the best scenes seen all year, Evan rocks Hannah's wanton world in a way that will have your hand in love glove in a matter of moments. This is XXX action at its most magnificent. Score: 9.5 out of 10.

Working as both a helping of hardcore and as an innocuous, fluffy bit of feature length fun, Devil's Playground is some good, gratuitous grinding. As said before, part of the reason it all plays so well is our familiarity with the performers. Hannah is a hot property in the business (starring in such stellar titles as Angels, Fidelity, Inc. and Kill for Thrills) and she's a natural on camera. While not quite yet a top notch actresses, her sultry British accent really amplifies the arousal levels in her line readings. Shy Love is also a recognizable asset in Devil's Playground, though she doesn't do much except have some sex. On the guy side, Evan Stone and Randy Spears should be mainstream performers by now. They both come across as powerful yet nuanced onscreen, leaving most of their emotionless membership in the non-dynamic dirt. They have charisma and gravity, and aren't afraid to poke fun at their own super-stud image. Cypher's camera is controlled and creative, giving us access to the important XXX information while framing the fornication to maximize the passion. Since the sex here takes up about 80% of the screen time (and NO ONE is complaining, mind you) the narrative does feel truncated and one-dimensional. A little more plotting would have been perfectly acceptable since the sharking is so hot. Devil's Playground is what makes high end "pretty porn" so potent. You're never bored by the story elements, and the hardcore is certainly spectacular...well, at least most of the time.

The Video:
Utilizing a 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer for this title, Devil's Playground looks wonderful in all its letterboxed luxury. Colors are correct with soft, suggestive skin tones. The balance between shadows and light is exceptionally good and the overall atmosphere is of big budget, not camcorder, moviemaking. While it may seem a little weird watching porn in a 16x9 aspect ratio, Devil's Playground looks too good to grouse over.

The Audio:
Cypher likes to pump up the volume with ersatz-electronica, and while not much more inventive than the wa-wa pedal wonders from 30 years ago, the music sounds surprisingly good on this DVD. The Dolby Digital Stereo captures all the cacophony and fun of the funk, while maintaining a nice balance between the actors and their actions. You won't be reaching for the remote as some gal goes goofy on the soundtrack, nor will you need to read lips to understand the dialogue. Devil's Playground is excellent within its amiable aural attributes.

The Extras:
Showing he's more than just an expert porn purveyor, D Cypher treats us to an absolutely hilarious commentary that covers all the bawdy bases of his film. Never talking over the sex, Cypher is only audible for about 30 minutes of the movie's running time, but when he's chatting, this is a terrific track. He makes fun of Stephen Hatcher's limp dick syndrome. He praises Spears and Stone, calling them 'go to' guys. He describes his fixation with the Alistair Crowley deck of Tarot cards in the film (calling them, "the most beautiful" of the differing versions. Who knew?). By the time he is explaining the Biblical background in the narrative (all the 'war for Heaven' stuff is apparently the 'Gospel' truth) and lamenting Alex Sanders's lack of acting skill, he has completely won you over. While most adult film commentaries are usually glib and pompous, Cypher is down to earth and very, very funny. This is a wonderful added feature for the disc.

Also on tap in content town are a minor Behind the Scenes featurette (it is only about 7 minutes long) that really is nothing more than random shots from the set. No real story or production notes. Just candid camera images of the carnality industry at work. Better are the individual interviews with each actress. Clocking in at about 2 minutes apiece, we learn some fascinating things in a very short time. Hailey did not do her first anal scene until nearly five month in the business. Hannah expresses her dismay at having to memorize reams of dialogue, and hopes the pressure won't harm her performance. Tory wants to find a guy who just accepts her for who she is (which means, a dude who wants a cum sucking whore, right?) and Shy shares her off-camera female conquests with her husband. Between Brooke's statement that all good looking guys are arrogant assholes, to the off the cuff nature of the Q&A, this is a wonderful added feature. Toss in the normal trailers, talent profiles, pop shot menus, phone sex ads and web site info and you've got a well fleshed out, standard adult digital DVD.

Final Thoughts:
Cypher says it several times in the commentary, and for those of you unmarried men (or prone to cheating freaks) in the media zone, it is probably true: you would sell your soul to Satan for a chance to play a little grab ass with Hannah Harper. She stands at the sexy center of Devil's Playground, a movie that is short on supernatural shenanigans and long on dick stiffening sharking. On the Disco Dirge Peter Meter, this horny Hellspawn gets a 7.5 out of 10 and is highly recommended. The friskiness is fresh and fluid, without anything to offend delicate sensibilities. Couples will definitely enjoy this jolly joy junction. Therefore, the Cohabitation Certification is gladly awarded. On the carnal cost benefit analysis scale, getting some pussy for a few hours just can't compare to losing one's immortal soul for all eternity (ETERNITY, mind you, not just a weekend, or a few days out of the month). Frankly, it's hard to imagine a situation that would warrant losing your inner essence for the never-ending infinity of an agonizing afterlife. Desperation can cause one to do dumb things, but giving Anton LaVey's favorite poster boy control over your ephemeral corpus is just crazy – especially for a little nookie. Pick up a copy of Devil's Playground instead, along with a box of tissues and some baby oil. You'll have just as much fun and won't risk mucking up your mortal soul. Self-abuse and the sin of Onan don't count.

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