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Hotel Hyde

Studio: Evil Angel » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 3/28/05

XCritic's Advice: Skip It

Hotel Hyde

Evil Angel/Harmony Video

Genre: Fetish, Gonzo

Director: Tanya Hyde

Cast: April, Danielle Louise Kelson, Lucy Law, Sandra DeMarco, Luisa DeMarco, Taylor J. Morgan, Sasha, Ian Tate, James, Kevin Long, Pete Le Meat, Steve Hooper, Tony DeSergio

Length: 124.5 minutes

Dates of Production: 7/29/2003 to 8/22/2003

Extra's: The best extra here was a nearly 34 minute long Behind the Scenes feature that had plenty of footage of the cast and crew at work. It was different from many domestically made BTS features in that it showed a lot of the preparation that goes into the filming of the sex scenes. I liked that Steve Hooper was sort of an informal tour guide to the extra but it would've been really nice if he could've introduced everyone in for cast ID purposes. The other extras included a 10 picture photogallery by Trevor Watson, some trailers, and a scenes menu (I know that doesn't sound like much but I'm trying to be nice).
Note: The Evil Angel website sells this DVD with the following comment: "All Evil Angel discs are in DVD-9 format. Standard features include multiple chapters per scene, photo galleries, motion chapter menus, a complete cast list, filmographies and, of course, the Evil Angel fetish menu - which indexes your favorite fetishes, such as blowjobs, cumshots, anal sex, tease clips, and many more!" Sadly, this one doesn't have a cast list (and how exactly do you tell people apart when they wear rubber masks?), filmographies, or a fetish menu. The Harmony Video website listed on the DVD seems to have been taken down too so no information could be found about the DVD at either website.

-- sponsored by --

Condoms: None

Audio/Video Quality: Hotel Hyde was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color format that it was originally shot in by director Tanya Hyde. Those familiar with the director's work at Private before they fired him/her (depending on whom you believe) will understand exactly how this one looked. It used slow motion, visually interesting tricks and weird lighting to convey a different kind of porn; one you'll either love or hate depending on your personal tastes. I hate over use of slow motion so you can understand that I'm not going to be the easiest mark to review this one but it wasn't the worst I've seen of late either. I didn't see any compression artifacts or video noise but the levels of grain in the darker sequences was more than most people enjoy watching. The audio track actually provided a choice this time; one track was music only (and it wasn't bad music either surprisingly enough) and another had the music play on the right channel while a narrator moaned and groaned on the left channel. Personally, I would've preferred to hear the performers while they boned but that's yet another problem with stylish slow motion, you can't synch the vocals.

Body of Review: I've been exposed to a lot of foreign porn in recent years but much of it is so hardcore as to offend even me (I don't get into fisting, pissing in the mouth, and beating someone until they bleed for real) or so lightweight as to remind me of failed attempts by domestic directors seeking a couples market. This leaves a whole lot of room for a company or two to jump in and produce something a bit different than the norm and I was told that one such company might appeal to me; Harmony Video (known as the European distributor of Evil Angel's movies). In a distribution deal with Evil Angel, the company has started releasing some highly stylized porn with their first release here being Hotel Hyde. The movie is directed by Tanya Hyde, the former Private director that used rubber fetish apparel and motion dehancement to showcase some kinky sex between consenting adults. If you enjoy oral, anal and domination themes with weird bondage outfits, you'll be in heaven over this one.

In all, there were five scenes with no credits on the cast, with the first being The Bitches Room, a dungeon setup where people in cages are let out for some fun & frolicking; the second being The Rubber Room, a minimalist ode to the joys of rubber outfits and clean walls; the third being something frightening to all men, The Wedding Suite, where the wedding party becomes the wedding orgy, including the priest getting some action; the fourth being Gang Bang Boudoir, where one brunette took on half the male cast; and the fifth and final scene Chamber of the Undead, where the vampire fantasy gets somewhat out of hand (and the picture looked like crud) for those not into the Goth lifestyle.

Summary: Hotel Hyde was a movie you'll either love or hate with little middle ground to speak of. I have grown extremely fond of Evil Angel's movies on DVD but this one left me cold all too often. I'm going to rate it as a Skip It for anyone except those who enjoy the slow motion, artistic effects laden tributes to adult entertainment that pass for porn to those who don't know any better. I can appreciate that some of you will think of this as a great movie (at least that's my guess because I recall a time when there was a lot of people liking similar stuff) but unless the problem lied in the way the movie was transferred to our television format (and it was left uncorrected), the picture ended up giving me a headache. On top of that, the cast was not exactly easy on the eyes (and I've seen several of them at work in the past), and the sex was fairly mundane compared to what is being made by Evil Angel and others these days.

For greater choices in porn, check out: 2004's Top Porn List and 2003's Top Porn List.

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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