For less than $50, Tropical Deluxe Box Set 1 illustrates all of the positives and negatives of the films that come out of Private. The company's titles are filled with beautiful women, often in interesting locations (this one, for instance, deals a lot with beach sex). It also shows the down sides – mainly laughably bad dubbing, including dubbed moans during the sex act (you can moan in other languages?).
This box set puts together six of the company's films in its "Tropical" line (all directed by Alessandro Del Mar), meaning more than 10 hours of sex on the beach, overlooking the ocean or with pool boys. While that kind of consistency can get monotonous over the course of six films, it's doubtful that Private intended the series to be watched consecutively.
(NOTE: Private does not do scene-by-scene breakdowns in the opening or closing credits of these films, meaning that the identification of starlets becomes difficult. I have tried to match names to faces as much as possible, but I cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy.)
Length: 2 hours
Location: Santo Domingo, Cannes, France
Credit where credit is due: Sex Survivors was released in 2002, before parodies of reality television were completely played out. The idea is that a group of men and women are stranded on an island and voted off based on their sexual ability. The men must find their way to a base camp where the women are waiting and acting much as the Sirens of Homer's…wait. I'm probably overthinking this. Really, they're just waiting for some dick.
Jodie Moore and Elza kick off the disc, as the first man that reaches the camp gets to pick two women. Fair enough. Moore is a Private contract girl, which evidentially means she's allowed to do the first scene on the disc, then take the rest of the time off. Her and Elza look strikingly similar – blonde hair that is barely beyond shoulder length, baby-faced features, and the same glazed eye expression while working over this guy. I never knew sex could be so boring. This scene also includes the first of many cutaways to a couple watching the reality show on television and getting turned on – it's a great way to break the momentum of any sex scene.
Petra Short and her man head off to another field. Short is very cute, in a co-ed sort of way – short cut hair, perky breasts and energy to spare. Her scene is one of the shortest in the film, but also one of the hottest, even with the cuts back to the couch couple.
Sandy Style and some guy are on a couch, watching this show on television. Sandy decides to play the home game, and what follows is a sprint of a sex scene – oral for both, reverse cowgirl, missionary and anal in less than five minutes. Did someone have a "two hours or less" mandate from the studio?
The couple goes back to watching on television as Elza and two guys head down to the beach for some two-on-one action. If Private had a factory where it turned out its starlets, Elza would be the prototype: Blonde, stringy long hair and a tight, plausibly natural body. There is sand everywhere in this scene which either makes it hotter or, if you suffer from flashbacks, uncomfortable. It would be a very hot scene, with anal and DP to top it off, if it wasn't for the constant cutting between here and the couch couple from the third scene doing badly-dubbed play-by-play. Every cut is a momentum killer.
Onward and outward, as Lenka and her man find a secluded field to get up close and personal. Lenka is an energetic brunette who gives a good performance here.
Mandy Bright and some other guy, meanwhile, are off on what the announcer describes as a "very hot swim," though not surprisingly neither makes it into the ocean. What follows is a standard simultaneous sex scene, with the editor making sure to cut to the other couple as soon as anything gets hot. You'd think the person working Final Cut was getting paid by the jump. It's a shame, too, as Mandy may be the hottest woman on the disc – a leggy and well-proportioned blonde who looks great when being laid up against a tree.
Lenka works double-duty with the final man to reach camp d'amour. Even with the edits, her previous scene was much hotter – this one is shorter, and interrupted again with cuts to the couch couple.
The film ends with 15 minutes of nonsense, as more Survivor-esque footage and a final tribal council determine the winners. No, no I won't spoil it for you.
We get an interview with Jodie Moore, which is interesting with the exception that it seems to be completely sans microphone - it takes cranking up the receiver to a very high level to make out what the very pretty Australian American has to say.
There is also a long "blooper reel," which has precious little to do with bloopers and more to do with people eating fish in the wilderness and women in bikinis wading around in a murky lake.
Production notes, a photo gallery and a 14-minute "making of" documentary round up an extras section that, while extensive, seemed full of sound and fury etc. etc.
Length: 90 minutes
Location: Santo Domingo, Cannes, France
Shot roughly at the same time as Sex Survivors and with much of the same cast, Sunrise at least does the viewer the favor of dropping the unnecessary "reality" theme. Instead, the standard b-level porn plot takes its place, as two development companies fight over beach property. Silly, but less intrusive.
Mandy Bright, one of my favorites from the first disc, kicks off Sunrise with a a great romp in the surf that director Del Mar ruins with odd shutter video (30 frames per minute digital, maybe?) and cutaways to a badly-dubbed dinner party that serves to help set up the "plot." Best part of the entire scene is the very, very white boy (who is daydreaming the sex scene), dubbed by a very, very white boy, saying "Yo, Jeremy" to his friend at the dinner. The sex scene, meanwhile, never actually finishes.
The worst "fight" scene in the history of fight scenes kicks off the second scene, with some guy hip-tossing another guy in a manner reminiscent of any bad independent professional wrestling organization running shows in a local armory or bingo parlour. The good guy gets the heroine's purse back and … nothing happens.
Cut to some topless banter between Eliza and Natalie, then to Eliza and some guy in a bar. They make it back to "his place" for some fun in a bathtub. And when I say "some fun," I mean, "something that appears to put Elza to sleep." A dull and short scene.
The plot scenes become completely unwatchable about this point, with long awkward pauses even in the dubbed dialogue.
The upshot of the five minutes is that three guys and three women all are at the pool at the same time and, in the porn world, that can only mean one thing: 3-on-3 water polo! Or a lot of sex. I can't remember.
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Anyway, everyone pairs off and heads to different locations, which again means there will be a lot of edits and jumping between pairings. Sandra Key is the standout between the three (Jane Darling, Daniella) from where I sit, but it's hard to tell with so much editing involved. It never really gets going accordingly.
Natalie finally "pays back" her hero from the second scene with a romp on the beach. It starts off promisingly enough, beautifully slow compared to the rest of the disc, which only means that the pop shot comes six minutes in. Criminally short.
Elza Brown closes a business deal on the beach with her new partner in the traditional Wall Street way: With someone getting fucked. It's easily the hottest scene on this disc – it's given the most time, with the least amount of cutaway shots. The lone distraction is the lack of windscreen on the microphone, which gives that strange wind distortion throughout. But the sex itself is hot, both in and out of the water, with Elza working over the guy with her mouth
Elza and Jodie Moore meet up with the investor on a boat, and seal the "deal" (whatever it is at this point) with a kiss. Then some more kissing. Then, well, you know. The trio works well together and the dubbing sounds especially excited for this one.
Back to the boat, where Natalie gets to end the disc with a short scene in which absolutely nothing remarkable happens. It's amazing how, at the end of 90 minutes of sex, something like this can happen, but there is nothing at all that distinguishes this little tryst from anything that came before it, with the possible exception of its six-minute running time.
More bloopers for this disc, though none of these are funny, either. A shorter "making of" documentary also appears here, along with a trailer and photo gallery.
Length: 90 minutes
Location: Guadeloupe, Antilles
Shot a few months after Sunrise, Del Mar gives us the first cast shake-up of the series. Only Natalie returns to work, though she would be high on anyone's draft board from the first two films. This time, "glamour photography" is the subject of intrigue, passion and the worst acting seen this side of a community theater production of "Death of a Salesman."
Kyra and Sheena Pearl are models (stretch!) on assignment, and if there's one thing we know about models, photo shoots and porn, it is that, when there are two female models shooting together, they will have lesbian sex. The first – and only – lesbian pairing in this box set looks a lot like most lesbian pairings except…on a boat! The scene ends with the women bringing themselves to orgasm.
Nine minutes (!!!) after the end of the first scene, the photographer is back at it, this time getting the piece of the action – and Melody Magic in the bargain. The scene gains points for it's innovative use of the jet ski. It loses points for length (under seven minutes).
Tired of each other, evidentially, Sheena Pearl and Kyra find a couple of guys on a boat and go at it. At separate ends, the editor has to again carry the scene. Kyra fairs slightly better than Sheena.
It wouldn't be a Private Tropical film without Sandra Russo, and she comes around in the 40th minute, hooking up with a guy wearing a very, very ugly Hawaiian shirt in the back of a small plane. As the plane lands, we get…
The start of the fifth scene, this with Jessica May wrapping up a photo shoot. But as she's settling on a rock with her partner…
Scene 4 (Redux)
Sandra is now leaning on the plane, and we get the rest of her scene. She brightens up every one of these films that she appears in, and this one is no different, as her standing lay is the hottest of the film. Meanwhile…
Scene 5 (Redux)
Jessica May was polite enough to wait for Sandra to finish first. She might be the "dirtiest" on the collection, though what she appears to be saying has been dubbed out. She seems to really be into the scene.
Natalie and a guy head downstairs into a basement of some sort and find a red couch – and nothing says sex like a red couch. A completely by-the-numbers scene that never really took off – especially in only five minutes.
How much does Private love us? We get more Sandra Russo to end the disc. Even if it's only seven minutes, every minute with Sandra is a good one, though it's nothing we didn't see in the earlier scene.
The not-bloopers take a walk on Tropical Heat, leaving a 15-minute making-of docu, a photo gallery, and trailers.
Length: 90 minutes
Location: Guadelupe, Mexico
Ever just had one of those days when you find a briefcase with lots of diamonds and plane tickets to the Caribbean? No? Me neither. But the lead character/bastard in this film did.
We start off with a three-on-one in ankle-deep water off a beach. But before you can even identify the ladies involved, this one's over – this one is just six minutes of the women, mostly clothed, jerking and sucking the guy until he shoots on his stomach. Hooray, or something.
Melody Magic and spiky hair guy hang out (all out – get it? Wow I kill me!) by the pool, Melody is a rarity in this collection – a brunette for one, with some meat on her bones for another. She certainly knows her way around a dick, though, and this energetic scene kicks the film off in earnest.
Heading toward the middle of the film, Jessica May (possibly – she's a slender blonde, so that doesn't narrow it down), gets down on a boat – for five minutes. Is Del Mar in a hurry?
Sandra Key takes place in another short scene, this one seven minutes. She's not the best looking girl in the collection, but she makes up for it with some serious energy. But again, just as it starts to get going, it ends.
Sandra Russo steals the film in this next scene, jumping the same guy involved in scene 4 by a different pool. She's given more time, to start with (the scene being about 10 minutes long), and her energy is infectious, as the guy seems happier to be there as well.
…but she's not done left. Russo takes on two guys in a bar in this scene. By this point in the box set, I'm starting to see an odd facial (not that kind, pervert) similarity between Russo and Tracy Ullman.
But don't let that turn you off. She is sizzling in this scene, even if the guys look bored for most of the run time. She takes the DP like she was made for it, and the dual facial (yes that kind) caps it off.
Kyra takes the film's final scene in – surprise – a hotel room? Yes, the sex moves inside, which by this point seems like an exotic location. Unfortunately, the sex can't match, as "pedestrian" makes the best adjective.
The same group of extras here as on Tropical Heat: A short making-of video, some trailers, and a photo gallery.
(NOTE: Jack O'Toole, which may or may not be a pen name, has a review of this individual title here: Caribbean Vacation)
Length: 104 minutes
Location: La Reunion, France
Mysticism meets porn in Paradise Island as a mysterious stone gives a man control over the will of others. This might be the most honest porn film ever; do you really think most guys wouldn't use such a stone, as unethical as it is, to have sex with hot women?
We start with Tina Time, a blonde pixie of a porn starlet, out on a boat, drinking and having sex with two guys. Like Cancun, only…no, pretty much like Cancun. She takes the DP like a champ, and otherwise looks energetic and, shock of shocks, like she wants to be there. A somewhat short, but hot opening to the disc.
A beachside romp is in the cards for Frederica, a brunette who looks smashing at the top of the scene in a full-length dress, then even better after 45 seconds when she slips out of it. The sound of the surf makes a much better sonic backdrop than the sound of badly dubbed moaning, but you take what you can get. It's a surprisingly long (in around 13 minutes – not bad for a one-on-one scene) and hot coupling.
Sandra Russo finds herself alone atop a beachside rock when out of the water pops a guy. And she wants to see him pop in other ways. It only takes her six minutes to make that happen in this completely uninspired pairing, despite the gorgeous location.
This scene features Maria, a quasi-curly haired blonde, and her boy. They start out on a both, trading oral. One spoon later and…he finishes? The scene, in total, is less than four minutes. Ummm….what?
Delphine Delange, who, according to the bios, is 27. Yeah. Okay. She is not showing her age well in the face – it looks like she applied her makeup with a gun. Not all that hot, not all that exciting, and seven minutes long. How this gets seven and the last gets four is beyond me.
Everyone's out on a ship, and it's open swim, as we open with three women and one guy. At the orgy's peak, we hit five women (Alexa, Angela, Sandra, Maya and Tina) and three guys. It's hard to describe this kind of orgy scene in detail with the constant cutting around, but the good news is that it is pretty much filled with hot women. Hard to go wrong here. It also gets a full 19 minutes, which is an eternity on what has, to this point, been ADD porn.
Angela Crystal, who looks completely trashy in that hot kinda way, is paired up next to a pool. That's not going to be a cabana that I want to rent, thanks. A good amount of anal here, ending with a messy pop shot to the face at the seven-minute mark. Either this scene was not dubbed or it was dubbed and echo added to match the room, which is a nice adjustment.
Maya Gold is one of the youngest of the women on this disc, and it shows. She has this strange energy to her that just seems endless. Her man does, too, as he is ready for action from the very top of the scene. Sex comes on top of a boulder next to a waterfall, and this is the epitome of the promise of this series of films: Cute women, beautiful scenery and hot action. It's the capper on the best film of the box set.
The documentary is gone at this point – the extras section has been trimmed to a photo album and trailers.
Tequila Bum Bum
Length: 105 minutes
A guy sneaks off on his girlfriend and meets a lot of people near the beach. Some of them want to have sex. By this point, Del Mar is kind of scraping the bottom of the plot barrel.
Some beautiful scenery to start the disc here – and that's not just referring to Alexa, wearing a long skirt and not much else, standing on the rocks of a beach. It's a hot scene and a promising start to the disc (despite its sub-six minute running length), with Alexa and the guy running through several positions before he finishes.
We go to the club, and Private may be able to afford beautiful locations, but evidentially can't find extras. The place looks more than a little dead. A horribly awkward non-conversation follows on the couch (will someone just TAKE OFF THEIR CLOTHES!) … and then nothing happens. Huh?
This is all rectified the next day (albeit nine minutes after the end of the last sex scene) when Tina Time and Maya Gold pair up with a couple of the guys. The scene is given more time to develop than the first, but never really does – "paint by numbers" comes to mind. The final nail in the coffin is an interruption with two guys robbing the room of the guys who are currently "distracted"
It's back to one-on-one action, this time with Frederica, the token brunette (those Private folks love their blondes), who makes the back of a Chevy look inviting. She uses the tailgate to show off some stunning flexibility. A good, long scene with an attractive woman topped off with reverse cowbody anal? It's a winner in my book.
It's more dueling couples, this time with Tina and Sandra Russo. Unlike the film's second scene, this one happens in two different locations, putting the viewer again at the mercy of the editor. I'd love to see as a special feature on one of these discs an "edit at home" option, where you can watch the individual sex scenes by themselves and put them together as you see fit.
As for the scene, Tina and a guy go at it in a helicopter while Martina and her man do it in the wilderness. Both scenes would likely be much hotter on their own, but the editing is not as bad here as it was in earlier films.
Marie is certainly a let down after the last scene – your average blonde who only marginally looks interested in what she's doing. Combine that with a shorter scene, and this is prime skipping material.
It's boat time for Sandra Russo, as her and a guy go at it. A second guy starts in and it's a threesome for a couple of minutes before Sandra says (in broken English), "I'm sorry. You're both too much for me," and waives off suitor #2. Ooooookay. The scene picks up considerably from there and ends up being quite hot in its own right.
None, apparently. Selecting "extras" from the main menu just loops you back to the main menu. Odd.
(NOTE: Resident porn expert (pornpert?) Don Houston breaks down Tequila Bum Bum individually here: Tequila Bum Bum. Most starlet identifications were taken from his review.)
If you like blondes and outdoor sex, and don't mind bad plot, acting and dubbing, Private's Tropical Deluxe Box Set 1 ends up as a good deal. With so many women involved, there's bound to be someone for nearly everyone's taste here. That being said, the good scenes are spread out all throughout the six films, and it's hard to recommend outright based on the low batting average. Do your homework first – if you like a couple of these films, the box set will be a good bargain, with most still retailing in the $20 range.
Sex Survivors - Skip It Sunrise - Rent It Tropical Heat - Rent It Caribbean Vacation - Rent It Paradise Island - Highly Recommended Tequila Bum Bum - Recommended