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Mind Fuck

Studio: Red Light District Video » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 7/3/05

XCritic's Advice: XCritic Pick

Mind Fuck

Red Light District

Genre: Gonzo

Director: Manuel Ferrara

Cast: Sandra Romain, Michael Stefano, Rita Faltoyano, John Strong, Erik Everhard, Amber Peach, Mia Bangg, Kylie Ireland, Manuel Ferrara, Bobbi Dean, Mr. Pete
Bonus Scenes included: Trinity, Manuel Ferrara, Sissi, Lara Stevens, Christophe Clark, Lauren Phoenix, Sophia, Venus, Erik Everhard
Non-sex role by Jake Malone

Length: 150.5 minutes

Date of Production: 4/10/2005

Extra's: Fans of extras on porno releases have long been viewed as the bastard step children of the DVD world but as the competition heats up to win over your hearts, minds, and crotches, a few companies have been stepping up to the plate with a flair for providing what we want. When the DVD format began, it was rare that we got anything more than a crappy photogallery, some trailers, and not a lot else. Solid extras started out in feature porn and with the majority of fans getting into gonzo, this area has seen the occasional bonus blowjob scene, some minor Behind the Scenes work that amounted to fluff, and little else. Nowadays, companies wanting to aggressively compete with others know that they need to do something more or risk alienating consumers, providing a full package of extras on at least the flagship titles. Well, Mind Fuck seems to be the breakthrough title for Red Light District with as extensive a grouping of extras on the two disc set as you're going to find this year. In no particular order: there was an Audio Commentary with director Manuel Ferrara and Jake Malone. Unlike most porn commentaries that are really lame, this provided some solid glimpses into the making of the movie and on the cast with Manuel entertaining me more than anyone outside of Jonathan Morgan has done on a comedy release by Wicked Pictures or Jim Holliday used to on a VCA flick. It amazed me that he had originally cast Tory Lane in Rita Faltoyano's scene (given Rita's amazing scene here), how he came to make this one, and some of the background I hadn't heard about the cast but that's why I always listen to the commentary tracks.

Next up were interviews with most of the cast including; Bobbi Dean 6 min; Rita Faltoyano 4.5 min; Erik Everhard 9 min; John Strong 7.5 min; Manuel Ferrara 19.5 min; Amber Peach 3.5 min; Mia Bangg 3.5 min; Kylie Ireland 5 min; and Michael Stefano at 2 min. Some were better than others (of course) but none of them were throwaway interviews. The extras that'll add the most value for consumers were bonus scenes that totaled over two hours (the length of your standard gonzo flick) of material for you. They were:
I'm Your Slut #1 and #2:
Bonus Scene 1a: Trinity, Manuel Ferrara; 30.5 min Bonus Scene 1b: Sissi, Lara Stevens, Christophe Clark; 33 min
Bonus Scene 2a: Lauren Phoenix, Manuel Ferrara; 33 min
Bonus Scene 2b: Sophia, Venus, Erik Everhard, Michael Stefano; 31.5 min

The other extras were a cumshot recap from the scenes of the movie (not the bonus scenes), a 58.5 minute long Behind the Scenes feature by Juan Cuba and Jake Malone (that added a new dimension to the scenes and their production with extra sex footage, humor, and background exposition), a Photoshoot lasting 16 minutes, Striptease footage with Bobbi, Rita, and Sandra having about 4 minutes each while Amber and Mia only got a couple minutes (sadly, the best stripper of the bunch, Kylie Ireland, had no such footage; one of the few poor choices of the movie's production), a 14 minute long photogallery, and a double sided DVD cover (second side having box covers of Red Light District releases, most of which I haven't seen). In all, this was a great selection of extras putting 99.9%+ of other pornos to shame, raising the bar for future releases.

Condoms: None

-- sponsored by --

Audio/Video Quality: Mind Fuck was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color by director Manuel Ferrara for Red Light District as originally shot. Okay, with hours of material on this double disc set, it was almost inevitable that I find something wrong with the visual elements of the movie, and I did. There were some moments of weaker lighting (causing shadows and some minor grain; primarily in the fourth scene), some issues with focus (note to other critics: you'll only see these rare moments when playing the movie at regular speed, paying close attention), and some compositional errors that focused on a blemish or two (again, not a significant factor here). Otherwise, the vast majority of the movie looked excellent as the camera angles enhanced the look of the cast, the fleshtones were perfect, and the sheer desire of the cast caught as nicely on DVD as I have seen. There were some moments when the DVD had some minor video grain and compression artifacts but you'll have to look for them (missing the forest because the trees are in the way). The movie also showed just the right amount of visual effects to work with the scenes rather than look like a kid playing with a new toy (including some slow motion and colorful montage work). The 2.0 stereo English audio track was pretty basic but exactly what was called for as the cast could be heard moaning, groaning, and panting during their work well enough that a blind man could jerk off to this one repeatedly. I would've liked more separation between the channels or a higher end dynamic range but I can't really say if that would've enhanced the experience for me as it would in a mainstream blockbuster flick.

Body of Review: Red Light District is one of those companies that provides some of the most heated gonzo porn you'll find on the market at prices designed to appeal to our wallets. In terms of fuck for the buck, you'd be hard pressed to find any companies consistently offering as much sex footage of a gonzo nature as Red Light, especially since they sell for under $20 in almost all cases (not just on sale either). It has been pointed out to me that I've never given the top rating to one of their releases out of the ~3300 reviews I've written over the years (all over the internet), even though they routinely score very highly. Well, that changed today when I finished writing up their latest, greatest DVD set of Mind Fuck; with it garnering a DVD Talk Collector Series from me (I've given under ten such ratings in my life so I like to think it means something special). The movie is a collection of five lengthy scenes that all were above average but four that were exceptionally great, combined with the best extras package I've seen in a porno to date. I could bather on about the highlights of most Red Light District DVDs being above average, the production values being well above their closest competition, or the manner in which their directors seem to love what they do (as opposed to churning out "product" all too often) but the bottom line is that they are often better than the professional critics seem to think and I've been in enough video stores to see how well their product lines are represented anywhere I go (outside of Utah perhaps), not to mention the lines their booths generate at conventions. That said, here's a brief look at the excellent movie I took nearly two weeks to review:

Scene One: Serial Rapist: Sandra Romain, a foreign brunette with a lean body and a fairly attractive face, was up first in a scene centering on an insane asylum. She plays a crazy gal wearing a standard white coat (with long arms) and one of those Hannibal Lecter masks with Michael Stefano playing her guard. For some reason, she ended up in charge with him in the outfit as she attacked him in a very sexually charged scene. I'm not going to bore you (as others do elsewhere) with a virtual screenplay of the sex acts other than to say the oral, vaginal, and anal sex were all top of the line throughout the scene. She was animalistic with a sense of energy and chemistry that is rare in porn these days due to the nature of how it's shot as much as anything. If you want enthusiasm, this is it baby! Whew!

Scene Two: Blackout: Rita Faltoyano, the hot young cutie on the front DVD cover (though she had her moles airbrushed out of the picture), began passed out on the floor with semen all over her face as she awoke from the floor. She gets hypnotized to find out what happened and the previous events sped past the background until she ended up sucking off John Strong and Erik Everhard in the former room. Her oral was just as good as I've ever seen from her (as a fan, I've seen a lot of her too), with a few humorous bits too. As Manuel said on the commentary track, she has become even better than she ever was in her foreign releases but unlike many of her contemporaries, she gets better with time. They banged her in both holes with plenty of variations, including her slapping his dick (usually, Erik does this on his own to deaden the sensitivity, allowing him to keep pumping), cleaning them off between positions, and aggressively pumping back as they screwed her. Just like Erik gets in his own little world referred to as his "zone" where nothing else exists beside him and his partner, so too did Rita. If she ever even glanced at the camera while they tore into one another, I didn't notice it. I really enjoyed Sandra's scene tremendously but without even touching myself, I nearly blew my load watching this one. Two words to describe this scene: Hokey Smokes!

Scene Three: Average Housewife?: Amber Peach, a 21 year old blonde, Mia Bangg, an 18 year old blonde in fetish attire, John Strong, and Michael Stefano, were up next in a bondage fantasy gone awry with a splendid cameo by Kylie Ireland (a vastly under rated hotty in porn these days). To be up front, the primary gals here weren't on the same sexual level as Rita and Sandra so I didn't expect it to be all that great but it was a decent scene. I would've really enjoyed seeing Kylie take a more active role in the sex (Kylie can dominate me any time she wants folks) and Amber & Mia, for all their talents, seemed somewhat ill at ease here at times so while they came off as strippers turned porn performers, the scene didn't click as well as it could have. The fetish clothing was hot and the gals did all the usual acts (oral, vaginal, anal, DP, taste testing, etc.) so with the energy they shared, it was well worth watching with some decent replay but a far cry from the first part of the movie. Had the scene been on another DVD, it probably would've impressed me a lot more but the first scenes elevated the bar so high that it suffered by comparison.

Scene Four: Average Housewife? Part Two: Kylie Ireland, showing her submissive side as an everyday housewife rather than a dominatrix, cooked for Manuel Ferrara and offered herself up for his sexual pleasure in their bed in the next scene. Okay, I've been a fan of hers since she first entered porn with Jenna Jameson in a scene with Randy West, all through her feature years, and now during her gonzo days with Platinum X Pictures and Red Light District. If anyone can dispel the myth of "younger is better", it would be Kylie, a curvy redhead that can literally do it all with a smile and energy to spare. If she didn't get off at least a few times in this scene, she needs to work in mainstream movies due to her acting ability. She took anal with glee, gave head like a champion, and bounced up and down on his dick as though she was on the bonus plan. Fans of extreme sex will take note that she did ATM (ass to mouth) but her performance was more about the chemistry they shared or the energy they had than the circus act nature of the sex acts. This was as solid a performance as she's given in a gonzo (or anywhere else) to date and my faith in the quality of the production was restored (as this brought it back up to the level of the first couple of scenes). Yum!

Scene Five: Show Me Your Love: Bobbi Dean, an attractive 25 year old blonde in her first month making movies, started off the last scene as a prim and proper gal on a couch, dressed like a professional business woman. Jake Malone played her husband, a pervert who wanted to see her screw other guys while he watched. Mr. Pete played the man of the hour and this former fitness queen started off more seductive than the others, slowly building heat as the scene progressed. Her black lingerie accentuated her lovely figure and her beautiful face served her well here as she worked Pete to the bone. The energy wasn't the only thing that grew while this scene took place (read between the lines) with her oral very well done (playfully, with a gleam in her eye as she kept eye contact with him) and her vaginal action seemed very heated, making me want to see a lot more of her in the future. I could've done without the pissing/squirting aspect of the scene but she was another one that threw herself into the action completely and made for great replay value. The overall scene offered a different flavor than the other scenes but it was nicely suited for this selection of scenes, even without the anal. Thumbs up!

Summary: Mind Fuck was not a perfect DVD release but it won me over with the amount of value; the heated, passionate, scenes of some of the best gals in porn having a great time with some of the best porn studs; the sheer amount of QUALITY extras so often found lacking elsewhere; and the production values that did not, as has been reported elsewhere, have a watermark in the lower right hand corner as some other releases have had in recent years. I know this is "just" a porn review but the reasons above and the replay value all gave plenty of reason to give it a rating of DVD Talk Collector Series for fans of gonzo porn everywhere. If this is a sign of things to come from the already well respected Red Light District, I predict a price war in the future since even the industry darlings of gonzo don't offer this kind of heat consistently enough (and charge a lot more for what you get with lower end production values). With a little bit more polish on some of the scenes, and perhaps a different set of gals in scene three (Mia and Amber were good but not as great as the others), this might've been as close to the mythical "perfect" as could be achieved for a gonzo without falling into the trap of trying to out circus act sex everyone else (a little of that goes a long way). In short, Mind Fuck will be helping you drain your balls dry for a long time to come.

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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