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Candida Royalle's Urban Heat

Studio: Adam & Eve » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 12/9/04

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Candida Royalle's Urban Heat (AKA: Femme II: Summer in the City)

Adam & Eve/Femme Productions

Genre: Couples

Director: R. Lauren Niemi

Producer: Candida Royalle

Cast: Marita Ekberg, Klaus Multia, Sharon Kane, David Israel Sandler, Taija Rae, Scott Baker, Chelsea Blake, KY Lee, Cassandra Leigh, David Scott, Tish Ambrose, Dave Ambrose, Carol Cross, Bernard Daniels
Non-sex roles by: Candida Royalle, Per Sjostedt, lots of uncredited partiers

Length: 77.5 minutes

Date of Production: 7/16/1984

Extra's: The best extra for me was the 9 minute long Slide Show with Candida providing an audio commentary for the highlights of the movie. While I'd have preferred a full length running commentary during the movie, this was the next best thing for me. There was also a series of trailers, a message from Candida that talked about her company and the movie, a commercial for her Natural Contours line of vibrators, and a biography for Candida Royalle.

Condoms: None

Audio/Video Quality: The picture was presented in the usual 1.33:1 as most adult features are shot even now. The movie being over twenty years old, I didn't expect a whole lot in terms of quality but the $35,000 budget (a huge amount by today's standards) helped it a lot as did the fact it was a labor of love for those involved. Being the second release by Femme Productions, Candida and crew spent some time making it appeal to the standard of the day (with their own sly needs firmly in mind) and shot it in a music video style. The results mostly stand the test of time although the backroom scene at the club looked terribly busy on my screen with a lot of intentional video noise. The colors were otherwise solid and the visual qualities of the other scenes very well done. The audio was presented in stereo English with a bit of separation between the channels and a good amount of dynamic range to speak of. My biggest complaint about the movie lies in the audio track; the vocals were limited and the music, often decent music on its own terms, was given precedence. I prefer to hear the natural sounds of sex rather than a bunch of songs so my assessment of this aspect of the film is less favorable.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: Candida Royalle's Femme Productions celebrated its twentieth anniversary this year, a fact that seemed to surprise Ms. Royalle when I congratulated her on it in January. The company was set up to provide an alternative to the mass-marketed adult material that was, and remains, the primary style available in this country. As the so called mainstream porn market continues to promote rougher and more outlandish forms of sex (commonly referred to as "circus act sex"), Femme Productions slowly releases a back catalog of material that isn't quite the porn I'm used to but it's certainly more hardcore than anything you've seen on pay cable. In a distribution deal with Adam & Eve, Ms. Royalle has released such hits as Three Daughters, Stud Hunters, A Taste Of Ambrosia, Eyes of Desire, and One Size Fits All to a receptive, often female, audience. The latest of her re-releases is a little film she made in 1984, Candida Royalle's Urban Heat. The movie was a series of seven vignette's that centered on a heat wave in New York City when this one was filmed. The scenarios were all reasonably realistic and the chemistry between the cast highly noticeable as was the energy. While I tend to like my porn a bit more hardcore (okay, a lot more hardcore) than this, I know that I can always grab one of Candida's movies to initiate a gal pal into adult cinema without worrying too much about getting smacked upside the head. If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, check out the following scene descriptions by cast:

Scene One: Marita, playing an attractive blonde waitress, took studly Klaus into the back room where they made out and then boned in a few positions. The style Candida and friends used at the time was patterned after music videos, with all the radioactive effects used in the early days of MTV; perhaps to acclimate the intended audience or provide cross over appeal to couples that hadn't seen a lot of porn. It didn't last long (does "real" sex in a club ever last particularly long?) but it did provide a taste of things to come.

Scene Two: Sharon, way back in her youth, and David Sandler (no immediate relation to Adam Sandler), went from a sultry dance in front of everyone to an energetic little soirée where each was the center of the other's Universe. Candida sang some of the background vocals in a song very much a part of the 1980's (just as the outfits and hairstyles were very dated in that time period). I thought this scene was shot better in technical terms although it wasn't all that explicit. In terms of chemistry, this was great with high energy levels.

Scene Three: Taija, a curvy cutie that later became one of the biggest oral queens in the jizz bizz, sported dark hair as she had a scene with Scott in bed. It had some very touching intimate moments and was far more real than the usual porn shot at the time (which, conversely, was more like real sex than porn scenes today are). It was slow and sensual too, lending an air of authenticity to the coupling but also an intimacy lost in most scenes. In all, it was very warm and I wish the vocals had been kept intact (the scene, like the others, generally left the vocals on the original cutting room floor).

Scene Four: Chelsea, a gal in her forties with a lean frame and cushioned behind, took charge of KY in a freight elevator. While he was kind of dorky looking, the scene made the most of the two going at it in a heated fashion. The jazzy soundtrack was my least favorite of the film but I did agree with Candida's assessment of the heat and chemistry between the two. While Chelsea was never the kind of hotty to appeal to most men, she was a gal that other women could identify with and the point of the scene was to show that women could (and perhaps "should") be responsible to initiate sex.

Scene Five: Cassandra, a blonde with an all natural body, had a scene on the rooftop of a building with David Scott with him oiling her body up to get her warm. I thought the homage to Femme Productions (it was on a background towel) was cute and the way each of them oiled up the other was a good idea; showing each as jointly responsible for the fun. Like the other scenes, the action had the couple thoroughly enjoying the act rather than just a "wham bam thank you ma'am" approach more common at the time (and even now).

Scene Six: Tish, a lean blonde with an all natural body (Candida tends to pick such gals as being healthier mentally and more visually appealing than the alternative), and her real life husband Dave had the next scene on a couch watching an adult movie. I liked the foreplay used in this scene a lot and while the lighting went with the story, a bit more might've made it even better (shadows are great in mainstream movies but as a guy, I prefer to see it all). I also liked the use of ice as a sex toy since it's employed far too infrequently in porn but very often in real life (since it actually heats people up if used properly). In all, if you like Candida's body of work, you'll enjoy this scene too.

Scene Seven: Carol, a cute blonde with girl next door looks, and Bernard, had the next scene in an outdoor scene that started off with the two using food to warm up (feeding it to one another and enjoying the natural textures as real life lovers tend to do). They took the action inside before too long but fans of sex in the kitchen will see some similarities to the kind of sex you can realistically expect and the scene. In a sense, that tends to make it work all the more with regard to the fantasy element.

Summary: Candida Royalle's Urban Heat is the type of adult movie that will more readily appeal to folks that haven't watched a lot of porn. It doesn't have the circus act sex so many crave these days, a cast of teenagers barely old enough to vote, or the gyno-cams made popular by the gonzo market but I think it had enough to offer people that a rating of Recommended is fair. If you've never watched porn before (and this barely qualifies as such), it's a good way to test the waters with a loved one. The situations were heated, the chemistry abundant, and the production values generally high enough to make those of us jaded enough to have seen the rise of video wince at what has become of the industry (even back then, production companies were cutting budgets like crazy). Candida is a de facto spokesperson for the adult industry that you may not hear much about "inside" the industry (like so many of the self proclaimed spokesmen) but she has a large following outside, and to an audience with more buying power than all the raincoaters put together. If this interests you, check out a few of her other titles as well or even her new book, How To Tell A Naked Man What To Do, a book that had a lot more thought put into it than a similar release by a more famous porn star this year.

Note: You can see recent candid shots of Candida and more current 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

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