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Can You Be A Pornstar? Episodes 3&4

Studio: Hustler Video » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 12/20/04

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Can You Be A Porn Star? Volume 3 & 4

Hustler Video

Genre: Gonzo, Reality Television

Director: Faye Kneighm

Cast: Demi Marx, Jamie Brooks, Erica, Kat (Ava Vincent), Sophia, Shy Love, Maile Jacobs, Boo D. Licious, uncredited guys
Non-sex roles by: Tabitha Stevens, Mary Carey, Dr. Ava Cadell, Ginger Lynn, Veronica Hart, Mr. Marcus, Dick Smothers Jr., Heather Hunter

Length: 172 minutes

Dates of Production: 10/30/2003 (box), 10/28/2003 (credits) (episode 3); 1/7/2004 (box), 11/3/2003 (credits) (episode 4)

Extra's: The extras were kind of light this time but considering there were two full episodes with extra footage for porn buffs, I doubt many of you will care. First off, there were two very short bonus scenes where the gals from each episode got into a human pyramid with one another. Yeah, there was no sex but it was cute to watch the two sets of four women being forced by Tabitha to do silly things. There were six trailers and a slide show to go with the spam as well.

Condoms: None

Audio/Video Quality: Can You Be A Porn Star was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color as it was shot for pay per view cable television. Most Hustler videos these days look brightly lit with high end production values and few of the problems plaguing so many other production companies these days but this show wasn't as good as usual. I'm assuming part of the problem was the DVD mastering process to crunch three hours or so of material onto a single DVD but also due to a variety of little issues that are usually better handled. For example, the lighting on some of the show was lower than average which only works when compensated for (which it was not this time). That caused some issues with grain and video noise in some parts of both episodes to appear. There were also compression artifacts where pixelation occurred and distracted from the show (although this problem was far rarer) and some areas where the colors were off a bit. Overall, it wasn't bad but I expect only the best from Hustler these days and with this being shot as a pay per view show; I can only imagine what consumers thought of it when it aired. The audio was presented in the usual stereo English but while Tabitha or Mary blared on, the so called contestants were not as clear, forcing me to have to rewind a few times to catch what they were saying. The audio wasn't as varied as the picture but again, with such a show being viewed by so many people on cable, I'd have thought no expense would be spared in order to get more loyal fans checking out the show (and other movies made by Hustler).

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Body of Review: Reality television seems to rule the airwaves these days with everything from singing contests to survival contests to supposed "real life" in a house full of strangers being the norm in terms of the genre these days. From those who clamor to hear Donald Trump tell someone the magic words "You're Fired" to Simon telling some poor sap how talentless they are (like that hack would know); a large number of people appear to be hooked on this type of entertainment. Is it any wonder that the porn world would follow suit and provide a similar experience to the masses, regardless of the believability of the show (it's my opinion that people who watch reality television also think professional wrestling is real, the check's in the mail, and that their significant other will only "put it in a little bit" as well as stop when it hurts you). The first such show in this new breed of porn was Porn Star Idol by Platinum X Pictures where a host of porn star judges would rate candidates as they passed various tests to see if they had what it took to be a porn star. In a likeminded vein, Hustler has started a new series, Can You Be A Porn Star?, with various contestants all competing against one another in order to get a contract with a major porn company and $100,000 cash. My first exposure to the show was during the 2004 AEE Show where a host of cutely attired babes wore outfits with the series title on it, handing out free cool stuff (they were at a couple of shows in Las Vegas from what one of them told me). I didn't think much of it because at the time, I didn't have cable and really wasn't interested in reality television. I then happened upon a review of Volume 1 of the series and thought enough of it to check out Volume 3 and 4, both on the same DVD by Hustler.

Each episode would have four gals compete with the entire series having either 32 or 28 gals (depending on which source you believe; the box cover or the narration of the show) and the home viewer could go online and vote for which gal they liked the most. The DVD consisted of two episodes, each of which followed a strict formula where the gals would introduce themselves, where they're from and a little about themselves before they had a short slumber party designed more to titillate than provide any real heat. After that, each gal gave a strip tease dance called a Centerfold Moment where they could display all that they had before the cameras and celebrity judges. There would then be a sex challenge; in the third episode, the gals would oil wrestle and in the fourth, they'd use props like vibrators to convince the judges they'd be good in scenes. The gals would then have a group interview with Dr. Ava Cadell before they'd partake in a single scene that the judges, former porn stars themselves, would evaluate as a group from a dark room.

My impression of the show was mixed right from the beginning when the disclaimer pointed out that many of the contestants were actual porn stars using an alias. I spotted Ava Vincent in a lame wig immediately (maybe she should have used Jewel Valmont as her alias) but three out of four gals have been in a ton of movies over the last few years so the series may work better for those who haven't seen many adult movies. Not a single one of them gave a performance half as good as I've seen elsewhere (be it in a Hustler, VCA, or other company's movie) but the emphasis wasn't on giving a heated performance so much as providing a show for a largely unsuspecting audience. Fans of the cast will want to see this but those less familiar will probably enjoy it as an introductory or gateway show for better movies available.

If you've watched the cable version of the show, you're going to find the DVD has something for you as well. The sex scenes on the original broadcast were far less explicit (from what I'm told, I have no way of knowing what was shown previously and there wasn't any guide to it on the Hustler website) with the DVD containing actual oral and vaginal sex. The droning music could be forgiven but in the future, I hope fewer post production tricks are employed as they really don't add anything for most fans and kill a lot of the heat for the rest of us. Either way, the concept of the show was pretty interesting, if imperfectly done. The contestants in the shows were:

Demi-a 19 year old cutie from Texas
Jamie-a 21 year old blonde from England
Erica-a 19 year old brunette with a disturbing face
Kat-claiming to be 21 years old with a bad wig (Ava Vincent, not looking anything close to 21
Shy-a really cute 24 year old brunette that I love watching work in real adult movies
Sophia-a super cute 22 year old from Arizona
Maile-a 20 year old from Seattle that had a surprisingly fresh look to her
Boo-a 19 brunette from CA that actually signed for VCA at the show this year

Summary: I thought the comments by the judges were often completely wrong, reminding me of Cousin Stevie's Pussy Party in how far off the mark they were but I also understand that this was just a make believe show, designed to lure people into thinking it was real. As a simple form of entertainment and not as something you'd jerk off to, I'd rate the DVD as Recommended but as a typical porno, it would fare far worse. The gals looked like they were having fun and the inclusion of two full episodes with lots of extra sex footage made it worth checking out but with a little more polish, it could be so much more. I also think getting Mary Carey and Tabitha Stevens to do something more substantial in the episodes might be a good idea as it looked more like they were hauled in for promotional purposes than anything else (Carey ran for governor of California recently and Stevens is a regular on the Howard Stern show; each having little to do here except cash their check).

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

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