GENRE: Straight Scene Compilation
DIRECTOR: Chris Zeeman
STARS: Lexi Matthews, Sofia Sandobar, Elise, Mikkin Lain, Cris Taliana, Justina, Chris Zeeman
DATES OF PRODUCTION: 2004
LENGTH: 140 mins with bonus material
Has porn really become so big that almost anyone can make a successful go at it? Are there really that many individuals ready to trade in their sense of personal shame, and capable of dampening their human ethics for a chance at eating assholes on camera? Do guys really dream of dipping into any and all available skank snatch like it's so much carnal car polish? And are gals really anxious to take dildo's the size of New York loft apartments up their privates REPEATEDLY for pay? If one looks at the recent boon in independent adult production companies and upstart hardcore retailers, the answer is a resounding 'YES'. Everywhere you turn today a new entity is arriving on the shores of smut, hoping to pick up a little of the billion dollar industries outflow before someone cracks down and the well runs dry. Sure, their chances of success were once as slim as some of the Barely Legal series stars, but with the growing acceptability of the skin flick within the mainstream mindset, their likelihood of lasting seem greater than their failure to find an audience.
Limelight Productions is one such snotty unknown. More or less the brainchild of CEO, manager, president, guru, filmmaker, chief cook and bottle washer Chris Zeeman (who also appears as an actor in his titles) and calling themselves "the porn stage for aspiring stars, this latest lewd launching pad works from a website that offers video on demand, star bios and exclusive interviews. From a cursory glance at the online angle, they seem to have the savvy to market themselves right into a place in the poon pantheon. But then the real question becomes, does this brand new enterprise have the suck and fuck chops to play with the big boys? Can it hold its DVD own (and will it make you do likewise) with Vivid, Wicked, Adam and Eve and the others?
The answer, surprisingly, is sort of, if you base your response solely on Lust in Vegas Volume #1. This collection of clips from Limelight's VOD section occasionally sizzles with scintillating sex. It also highlights the company's pro-amateur and gonzo trappings perfectly. And therein lies the problem. Non-professionals can occasionally mean awkward and ineffective on camera, and a couple gals here need some lessons in filthiness before braving the boundaries of bonk again.
The premise for Lust in Vegas is fairly straightforward: Zeeman plays several roles (devoted husband, confused conventioneer, porn producer) and each one of the actresses arrives at his locale to give up the goodies. All have a story to tell Lexi is getting back at a boyfriend, Sofia confuses Chris's room with her own and wants to party, Elise and Nikki agree to share a fantasy with Nikki's lucky lover, Cris longs to get fucked while she's pregnant and Justina is just a wife who needs sex to relax after a stressful day at the office and every one of the sequences is self-contained. There is no cross over or interaction between the cast members, and the individual tales make no attempt at linking up. The result is the standard scene compilation, which gets graded on the overall satisfaction level of the rig friggin. Without a storyline to carry us along, or characters to cajole and divert us, each installment must be strong less the set seem like a risquι rip-off.
Achieving a 60% mark in manic monkey loving (meaning 3 of the 5 scenes here are pretty good), Limelight and its dedicated dick director are on the right path. Sure, there are elements here that continuously undermine the smut, and the stench of amateurishness is rich and ripe. There are no airbrushed bodies, no massive amount of makeup or postproduction effects. Indeed, this is a throwback to the days of the stag reel, where wanton wannabes got serviced and shuttled like parts in a porno machine. While there are companies who really turn on the gonzo when given a chance, Limelight also wants to cut loose and run wild. Amazingly, they sometimes succeed. Individually, we witness the following portions of plook, as slutty gals shark with the only paramour possible (what this means is that Mr. Zeeman will not be listed with each installment, since he is the only stud showcased in the set):
Scene 1: Lexi Mathews
Lexi introduces herself while standing outside a casino. She explains that she is in Vegas to get back at her mistreating man, and decides that the best way to do it is to fuck some middle aged XXX entrepreneur on camera (go figure). We then immediately jumpcut to Lexi and Chris kissing and fondling each other, providing some minor passion playing before the hardcore starts happening. Without a single ambient element to set the mood (this is 'no soundtrack', hotel room porn, folks), Lexi lunches on log and sucks shaft before Mr. Zeeman braves the beaver. He connies the cunt with care, making sure to toss salad and finger fetlocks with aggression. After all the mouth-to-member machinations are over and done with, Lexi climbs on top for a little pole riding, reverse cowgirl style. We see this single position until Chris provides the pop. Slathering her near-flat chest with love liquid, we assume the banging has ended.
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Au contraire mon cher, since The Big Z has another load just ready for the launching. He gives Ms. Mathews a nice dog dipping and spins her around for complimentary mish before the second of the money moments is witnessed. As V to M is implied, Lexi takes the ball brine directly across her face and into her mouth. The last frames linger on her cum covered craw. The good news here is that Lust in Vegas has a really nice atavist vibe, a sense of being an actual bit of real life fucking, and not some staged sex fest where the performers all appear choreographed and prepared. The authenticity really ratchets up the arousal factors. Too bad Lexi's rather average looking, not striking in any real sense. She gives good groin, but won't be filling your nocturnal emission memories anytime soon. Overall, the camerawork is pretty pedestrian, the atmosphere rather antiseptic and the dick to douche diameters leave a little to be desired. Still, there is some palpable heat generated, meaning that Zeeman and Limelight may actually have something here. Score: 5.5 out of 10.
Scene 2: Sofia Sandobar
Sofia is that kind of 'ready to fuck me' slut that just screams wet skank pussy. While her accent is a dramatic distraction (she claims to be from Brazil, but with the way she speaks, Mars sounds like a better bet), but no one will care once she's on all fours blowing boner. This bitch can POUND and she gives Chris the ride of his redolent life as the best scene of the set unfolds before our eyes. The entire "lost room" routine is very dull, and quickly dispensed with so we can get down to the dirty boogie. As her horrid hair extensions sway in the breeze, Sofia sucks cock, has her enormous clit nibbled at (she's no Chyna, but this wild woman is kinda well endowed) and shrieks up a storm as the duo dives into drill team time. The reverse cowgirl is really untamed, the scissors sizzle and Ms. Sandobar matches Chris stroke for stroke in the mighty mish mannerism. When the prick liquor is ready to be poured, Sofia bellies up to the ball bar and takes a few shots directly down her throat. She offers some oral cleanup to thank her partner for the jiggers of jizz.
It needs to be said again Sofia can shark up a storm. This horny honey gives Zeeman all he can handle and then some as the couple copulate with real, tangible passion. The lensing of this lunging is spot on, and the erotica definitely escalates as the scene unfolds. Too bad about the pigeon English: Sofia is a gonzo star in the making. Score: 7.5 out of 10.
Scene 3: Elise, Nikki Lain
The second best scene in the set has Elise and Nikki going Sappho to fulfill the fantasy of fake hubby Zeeman. In a rare combination of great straight and same sex situations, our lesbians give us an ardent preview for the plooking yet to come. Nikki and Elise give each other a good going over, engaging in some craven cunnilingus before a rather sizable pink vibrator makes an appearance. The ladies get frisky with the faux phallus (Elise taking it deep inside her snatch) before Chris shows up to add his own dick delights to the mix. We get dueling head and a little bit of mish before the Zeeman drops his first boner bomb on his paramours. He plies some pud paste directly into the waiting mouth of Ms. El. After a little reverse cowgirl and some more mish, it's time for a second cock calk covering as Mr. Z makes with the pole polish all over the 'unglazed' face of Nikki.
It's the ladies that make this three-way a tantalizing treat, more or less making up for Chris's rapid releasing when it comes to sexual staying power. The first few minutes of this scene are scorching as the dildo dimensions turn delightful. Elise has a real fertile high school girl quality that makes her actions in this scene sort of scandalous. Though she's obviously a pro, there will be plenty of guys getting turned on by her barely legal logistics. Score: 6.5 out of 10.
Scene 4: Cris Tatiana
Our last great hardcore moment of this disc is also the oddest, as a six-months pregnant Cris gets the other Chris to fuck the fertility out of her. With a big hanging belly and swollen if still small tits, Cris oozes horniness as she gives us a little fake cock cabaret. Dildo in hand, she goes Divinyls on her hot honey hole before demanding the Zeeman service her latest pre-natal craving. Penis is provided and Ms. T gobbles it up like sardines and ice cream. Then the second trimester tart climbs on top to give her equally fucked fetus a little range riding, reverse cowgirl style. Next on the naughty nookie agenda is spooning, followed by that old reliable standby, mish. Chris considers it his pleasure to contribute to the unborn child's future nutrition, and he unloads a DNA laced log loogie all over Mommie's mouth. She absorbs the bonus protein with glee.
The Dirge hates to say it, since it makes him sound either creepy or cruel, but he actually got a bit of a turned-on twinge watching this ready to pop porn perv get her enceinte eros on. She is just such an unbridled fuck machine, a gal just glad to get cock and lots of it that such a healthy hardcore attitude comes across vividly onscreen. From the moment she gets that big red toy between her legs, she lights up the screen with her slutty heat. Too bad the scene plays kind of awkward and arch after all, this actress is bloated with baby and isn't exactly as limber as she used to (or we'd like her to) be. Score: 6 out of 10.
Scene 5: Justina
This final scene is also the biggest letdown of the set. Justina is just about the ugliest actresses The Dirge has seen in XXX since he took up the adult discussion cause over a year ago. She is so flat-chested her breasts appeared concaved and she owns a face only an equestrian could love. She is loud, obnoxious and just plain annoying during the sex. While Chris seems completely into her, the audience will have a decidedly different response. Anyway, after the pantomime about a bad day at the office, it's time for some sex sentiments as the couple cuddles and kisses for a while. Next up is clit licking, with lots of tongue fucking to accentuate the experience. Justine sucks on Zee's zucchini until he's ready for ramming, and a trip to the pound is up first for this bow-wowing pair. They then proceed through reverse cowgirl and mish before it's cum shot time, delivered directly into Justina's waiting mouth.
Again, the reason this sequence just doesn't gel is the leading lady. Justine may be a great person, and save orphan kittens in her spare time, but she is no porn star gonzo or not. She has no presence and very limited sex appeal (except, perhaps, to other horny bean poles). If you like 'em unnaturally skinny guys, Justina is your gal. Otherwise, this final scene is a substantial disappointment. Sore: 3 out of 10.
Chris Zeeman has a few kinks to work out of his Limelight productions before he can conceivably play with the minor mavericks of gonzo, let alone the big boys of straight porn. Lust in Vegas sure smacks of amateurishness, from the less than interesting camerawork to the occasionally underwhelming talent he employs. There are lots of things he gets right sticking to the 'you are there' ideal of camcorder carnality, allowing situations to play out naturally without much staging or stifling histrionics. A couple of the girls get this idea instinctively, and you can really tell when they're up for plying the poon. But just like any homemade product, you are at the mercy of the makeup of your cast and crew. And sadly, Chris gets more than cold-cocked a couple of times.
Need some advice from a less than expert film reviewer? Get some more men on the job. It's nice that you want to fuck all the females in your film, but us dudes want to relate to someone more like us (or better still, watch these wenches get reamed by the true masters of monster meat). Also, be a little more particular with your awarding of 'porn star' status. Sofia has the right stuff, as does Elise and Cris. But Lexi and Justina couldn't get the fanbase aroused if you passed out free Viagra with each DVD. Double up on some of the more daring dames, and trim away the unexciting excess. You've got some decent dick dolls here focus on who works best, a kind of quality over quantity ideal in the realm of the promiscuous. And last but not least, drop the scripting. Gonzo doesn't need scene set-ups, or hackneyed storylines. Just get a guy and a girl in a room, point a camera at them, and let it rip. The rewards will be many...and monetary.
Without a lick of color correction, soft focus, or other postproduction finishing, Lust in Vegas Volume #1 looks fresh from the tape deck tolerable in this 1.33:1 full screen transfer. All the razor burn, pimples, stretch marks and implant scars are right there in full view for everyone to see, and when the natural lighting lets him down, Zeeman simply allows the image to retrograde instead of bumping up the background. Since modern technology is now so advanced that almost anyone can make a halfway decent professional product, it is no surprise that Lust in Vegas looks decent. What's more interesting is the lack of retouching in the tool time.
The Audio: Lust in Vegas Volume #1 offers nothing very special in the aural department. The Dolby Digital Stereo is flat and lifeless, and the internal microphone mannerisms of the recording render everything dull and derivative. There is very little music (NONE in the sex scenes) and the vast majority of the action has the echo of a device held much too far away in a low rent motel room.
Any new company starting out would find it best to emulate some of the other DVD manufacturers when it comes to added content. While all three supplemental features here are nice, the trailers/gallery/behind the scene triumvirate is rather uneventful. The 'Making-Of' material consists of a few interviews, a reel of bloopers, and some minor technical discussions - nothing important or all that exciting. And as anyone whose read the Dirge before understands, galleries and trailers are the adult industry version of a mainstream bare bones disc. Neither will satisfy a digital extra jones. What we need here is a bonus scene, or better yet, a director's commentary. Hearing what Zeeman has to say for himself would be a great first step in learning Limelight's hardcore modus operandi.
Sometimes, you got to give the new guys a leg up. Not in a soul killing sell-out shill capacity, but in the 'at least they are trying and attempting' aptitude. In that manner and that manner alone, Lust in Vegas Volume #1 earns a recommendation. The Disco Dirge Peter Meter awards it a valiant 5.5 out of 10. That would usually justify a mere rental, but because 60% of the sex is fairly erotic, that potent percentage seems like a better guide for groin girding. Couples will be confused by this title. While the sex is not all that aggressive, there are none of the pretty porn aspects here that make the serious and straight realms so marital aide friendly. Therefore, a Cohabitation Certification is withheld. Limelight has potential. A few of their girls are gladly gratuitous. A couple need a return bus ticket back home. Here's hoping they can separate the wheat from the chaff in future releases. Gonzo needs a good kick in the corruption. This newbies throwback mentality may be just the jerry-rigging it requires.