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Seven Deadly Sins

Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 6/16/05

XCritic's Advice: Watch It Online

Seven Deadly Sins

Vivid Entertainment

Genre: Vignette

Director: Robyn Dyer

Cast: Janine, Julia Ann, Candy Hill, Ian Daniels, Kyle Stone, Steve Taylor, Azlea, Frank Towers, James Bonn, Alexandra Silk, Heaven Leigh, Shelbee Myne, Ava Vincent, Veronica, John Peters, Regan Starr, Devin Wolf, Dee, Lola, Michael J. Cox

Length: 113.5 minutes

Date of Production: 12/4/98

Extra's: The extras for Seven Deadly Sins were the usual mix from Vivid back in "the day", including trailers, grainy and unrelated sex scenes, lame biographies, spam, mini poster, multiple angles (they cut the movie up to provide extra viewpoints at any given time during the sex scenes), and very helpful CREDITS!

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: Seven Deadly Sins was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. It was notable not only for how many awards it won but for the multitude of issues the DVD had in so many players (it was one of the first porn DVDs on the market and compatibility problems were rampant back then, especially for porn). Here's what I said, taking it with a grain of salt since I was so pissed off and disappointed at not being able to watch the whole thing (I paid good money for this one as it wasn't free): "For such a high budget release from such a self promoting "big name" company, I'd have expected more. The audio was often dubbed and the vocals left much to be desired. The music was only lame part of the time so that was a plus in my book. The video was often grainy (in one scene the grain must've been intentional since it was so bad), slightly out of focus, and riddled with artifacts. In fact, the extra's and last two scenes were unplayable on my top of the line Toshiba. I played it on a friend's machine and the scenes still had some problems although they played."

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Body of Review: Vivid has long been a leader in porn and on the bleeding edge of technology so it comes as no surprise that they encountered a few bumps along the way to their current status of a mega-producer in the adult industry. One of their first glitches in DVD production was a title called Seven Deadly Sins, an award winning release destined for fame and glory. Here's what I said about it years ago: "This movie has been touted as one of Vivid's best. It won awards and people have been super kind to it since its release. This review will try and provide another opinion instead a "me too" view. The movie is a series of scenes that focus on the seven deadly sins. As such, the movie has seven scenes of varying intensity but you'll never forget it's a Vivid release. Fans of their work can take that as a compliment and the rest of us will know exactly what this means-generally tame sex with attractive women who feel safe in a contract. I'm not familiar with all the cast but luckily, there were credits at the end of the show."

Scene One: Envy: Janine plays a double role as an obsessive fan and a porn star. Julia Ann fills in as a body double for her. Essentially, after being dissed at an autograph signing, she goes back to her home and fantasizes about taking on her idol. The two have pretty warm sex in a green shaded room (for special effects), noting that this duo were long touted as a stage act called Blondage.

Scene Two: Lust: Candy Hill fantasizes about every guy she meets and we see short snippets of her with each of them before a gang bang that includes Ian Daniels, Kyle Stone, and Steve Taylor. I really didn't enjoy the scene much and thought it was tame.

Scene Three: Anger: James Bonn comes home to find his wife, Azlea, screwing around on him with Frank Towers. He runs off and then has a fantasy sequence with her in a red colored room. This was another tame scene although the dirty talking by her was a bit interesting.

Scene Four: Gluttony: A well off and decadent couple, Sharon Kane and John Lee in non-sex roles, invite three women over to have a game of sexual charades. The ladies, Alexandra Silk, Heaven Leigh, and Shelbee Myne, have a fun bout of sex which included a food fight of sorts. This was probably my highlight of the movie as it at least was fun and energetic.

Scene Five: Pride: This scene revolves around a photoshoot of Veronica and a couple that she ends up fantasizing about, Ava Vincent and John Peters. She tells the crowd, "I'm a Vivid girl, you guys aren't used to the best." I suppose that if all we watch are Vivid girls, we really aren't used to the best. There's a cure for that though-buying DVD's from better companies. In any case, the three have sex in a mirrored room which was a pretty good scene.

Note: I have only watched scenes 6 and 7 once since Vivid poorly masters their DVD's which won't play on all players very well.

Scene Six: Sloth: Regan Starr, a slob, has sex with Devin Wolf. She plays part of the scene as a slob and another part as tidy. The scene was fair at best.

Scene Seven: Greed: Michael J. Cox plays an evangelical type preacher who has sex with Lola, Veronica, and Dee. I liked the scene a bit and wished that all such people in the real world had more sexual conduct (although not with young alter boys) so they might mind their own business and leave the rest of us alone.

Summary: Seven Deadly Sins was actually pretty good in spots for the type of movie it set out to be, a couples flick of vignettes designed to introduce someone to porn, but it lacked anything special, even back then, in my eyes (admittedly, if it had played on my DVD player better, I might've been less critical but when you drop full price on a DVD, you expect it to work). Here's what I said when I first reviewed it though: "If you had a perfectly compatible, well mastered DVD and none of the other technical problems this one had, it would be a pretty good movie. Unfortunately, it does have those problems. I checked out another copy of the DVD and it worked exactly as badly as this one. That's a shame because of all the porn producing companies, Vivid has the resources to do things right if they wanted to. The movie itself had some sly instances of humor and a few good acting segments although, to be fair, most of the acting was what one would expect from porn. The sex ranged from pretty good to mostly tame with an emphasis on the latter. The extras were the same old stuff with nothing noteworthy that pertained to this movie. For a movie promoted as "best film of 2000"; I expected more. (Note: For other views of this DVD, you can find a plethora of them online and off but the majority of them come off as shills for the title even now.). Note to Vivid: Fix the technical problems, the multiple angles, and extras and you may start making movies that consumers can rely on. Thanks!" (Update: For all the fussing about Vivid DVDs, they have made great strides in improving quality since this was released. They still compress their discs too much to fit on the extras but at least the discs play on pretty much every player in the world. Due to the technical problems I had with the disc, I still maintain it's worth a rating of Rent It in order to ensure compatibility with your DVD player but the disc did have a lot of fuck for the buck and if it plays in your machine, you can safely upgrade the rating a notch.

This Don Houston "retro-review" was written long ago before the so-called Professor of Porn had much experience writing reviews. Since that time, he has found Vivid Entertainment to have a lot of good releases and seen more porn than almost anyone reviewing on the internet. Keep in mind that his comments accurately reflected his fresh viewpoint of the time he first saw the movie.

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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