In Ninn Worx's biggest production of the year, Audrey Hollander stars as Catherine, who may or may not have a severe psychological problem. She's plagued by flashbacks from her memory, demonstrating some of her past sexual exploits, and in order to redeem herself, she's going to have to get over them. The back copy on the box art for this two disc release describes it as 'The story of a haunting women. The story of a woman haunted.' That more or less sums it up, right there.
One of the must surreal adult films I've ever seen (and that means something, considering many of my favorite smut films are from the seventies, where surrealism and XXX filmmaking often went hand in hand), Catherine is a fantastic visual trip through Ninn's erotic obsessions and it more or less picks up where the Neo Pornographia movies left off. While the sex doesn't go to quite the derogatory extreme that those releases did, this is still very much hardcore material in the truest sense of the word and don't let the avant garde style in which it was made fool you – it's just as explicit as you want it to be.
Because I know you all crave scene by scene breakdowns out there in dirty movie fandom, here's the list of who does what to who and how it all works…
Scene One: Audrey Hollander And Otto Bauer: After Hollanders bizarre opening narration in which we see her holding a dying man (Otto Bauer), the movie cuts to the steps of a European building that looks like it could be a court house of a political office of some sort. An extremely obese man with a completely bald head and dressed in some very judicial looking robes watches Hollander's arrival. She's dressed in a fancy black evening gown looking very much like royalty. Soon she's stripped down to nothing and laying on the snow covered steps of the building. The man who escorted Hollander to the set, Otto Bauer, calls her a whore and claims that she can't hide her fantasies from him. After a few minutes of verbal abuse, none of which she denies, he stands in the corner facing away from her. She masturbates on the steps. Once she's warmed up he joins in, each of them putting two fingers into her pussy. Plenty more verbal abuse follows, and he manages to fit three fingers into her ass.
She strips him down, then proceeds to give him a very aggressive saliva filled hands free blowjob. After she's orally taken him, she rides him anally reverse cowgirl style on the front steps of the building. He bends her over and does her ass doggy style as she's splayed against one of the building's columns. He takes it out and puts it in her mouth for a bit, then slams it back into her ass again. He tells her to beg for her dinner, and she does, at which point he lets her finish her off with her mouth.
With her face painted white and her lips ruby red, Hollander looks fantastic in this scene. She's got her shock red hair tied up behind her head and shows an amazing amount of enthusiasm for all aspects of the rather base sex that she finds herself on the receiving end of in this scene, which runs almost a half an hour in length. Bauer is as good as he needs to be in it, but really this isn't about him – it's Audrey's scene all the way and she is quite literally captivating.
Scene Two: Audrey Hollander, Otto Bauer, Valentina Velasques And Bruno SX: Audrey and Otto are shown in bed together, possibly in a flashback scene of some sort, and we then see her get out of bed and move into the bathroom where she looks in the mirror. The camera flashes back and forth between her as she is in the more tender scenes and the sexually deviant side of her that we saw fucking Otto on the steps of the building in the first scene. A man plays a piano and we see Audrey walking alone through the dark corridors of an old gothic building. She arrives in a room with Valentina and Bruno and watches him eat her out while Otto stands in the background.
Bruno continues to go down on Valentina, getting more aggressive and spitting on her and slapping her pussy. Audrey and Otto bark out commands at them, telling him to feast on her and their sex becoming more aggressive as a result. She changes positions and starts to blow him, thunder crashes around them and Hollander barks more orders at the couple. Bruno gets her on all fours and does her doggy style, and then she rides him anally from on top in the reverse cowgirl position. He puts it back in her mouth, then back in her pussy, and then once again back in her ass, then pulls out to finish in her mouth and on her face. Hollander has more of a supporting role in this one and doesn't really do much sexually except rub Valentina's pussy for a few seconds. Without her in the lead role, the scene isn't as intense although Valentina does do a fine job here and does show a great deal of skill in taking Bruno anally!
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Scene Three: Audrey Hollander, Nikki Blond And Adriana Rouso: Flashback once again to Audrey and Otto in bed, then trip into the next scene where she's being degraded, called a fucking pig, and a bitch. Once again, she transforms into the black gowned nymphomaniac we know now and love and her mind takes her back to the steps of the building where she finds Nikki and Adrianna, each masturbating. She watches them both for a few minutes and then before you know it they're all together and a bench has appeared. Nikki straps on a big black phallus and strokes it for the other two girls, and Audrey goes down on it. Adrianna spreads her legs and Nikki fucks Audrey from behind in the ass as she eats Adrianna out. Soon Nikki busts out a dildo and fucks Audrey in the ass with it while she pounds her pussy with the strap on. Adriana makes Audrey put on a BDSM mask, so during this scene she is partially gagged. The girls work Audrey into a frenzy and soon she's come hard. This fantastic, albeit pretty rough, girl on girl scene soon leads way into the next event…
Scene Four: Victoria Swinger And Mike Foster: Mike goes down on Victoria as she sits wearing a white dress with her legs spread in a fancy Victorian era chair. He licks her and fingers her and then they switch positions and she gives him head. After the blowjob she rides him reverse cowgirl style, and there are a few pussy to mouth moves thrown in here. She flips around and rides him cowgirl style, then he pulls out so that she can finish him off with her mouth.
Victoria is very easy on the eyes and does a great job with the oral portion of this scene, which happens to be the shortest on in the film. Once she's taken his cum, we once again flashback into Audrey's head, which brings us to the final chapter in the feature…
Scene Five: Audrey Hollander, Mike Foster, Bruno SX And Otto Bauer: Audrey finds herself on the steps of that same building, playing the piano for a strange looking old woman. Victoria is there, also looking on. After some back and forth dialogue via flashback with Otto, she once again takes on the black gown persona and, after crying in the fetal position wearing nothing but a white dress shirt, her perversions take control once more.
Otto, Mike and Bruno all show up and take out their cocks. She's slapped in the face with a cock a few times, sucking on one and then on the other and going back and fourth between partners. Otto watches Bruno and Mike do all the work from the background. After a lot of cock sucking, she rides Bruno reverse cowgirl anally so that Mike can fuck her pussy and they go at the double penetration thing for a few minutes, with Otto still watching from the background. After the DP is done, she sucks on Bruno and then on Mike, while Otto closes in and smacks her on the ass. Soon Otto and Mike DP her while she blows Bruno, leading up to an anal double penetration that looks pretty painful but which she seems to be into. Standard DP resumes, thanks to Mike and Otto while Bruno stands to the side and strokes. After Audrey announces that she's come, all three pull out and jerk off onto her face. She morphs back and forth between her two characters, gives some expository dialogue, and then brings everything to a close with a final non-sex scene that ties up the storyline quite nicely (and which I flat out refuse to spoil for you).
As much an arthouse film as a flat out porno, Catherine is an excellent showcase for the gorgeous Audrey Hollander shot with Ninn's eye for strange angels, wonderful color schemes, and nightmarishly erotic set pieces. Hollander does a very good job not only with the sex scenes, devouring man and woman alike, but also with the dialogue and the surrealist moments where we see her trying to sort everything out in her head. The rest of the performers are fine and all do admirable jobs in their parts, but this is one hundred percent Hollander's showcase and Ninn plays to her strengths with plenty of adventurous sex.
Pure Play/Ninn Worx present Catherine in an excellent 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen presentation that does a great job handling the many different hues of colors that Ninn has worked into his compositions and that keeps the black levels solid and strong. For a shot on DV presentation there's a nice level of background detail present although some scenes are given an intentional softness in which some of the picture appears faded. With that being an obviously intentional artistic decision, however, you really can't fault it. This movie looks as good, if not better, than any other adult feature I've yet to see. Aside from a little bit of line shimmering, there's nothing to complain about here.
The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Sound mix also earns high marks, though it is disappointing to not find a 5.1 track on here anywhere. Dialogue is always clean and clear and the numerous sound effects used throughout the movie come through with plenty of punch. The soundtrack heightens the mood nicely when it's needed and is wisely toned down a bit when it's not, resulting in a well mixed track with properly balanced levels and a very unique audible experience.
Spread out over a two disc set, here's the breakdown of what else you'll find lurking within the confines of this limited edition two disc collector's set…
Disc One: :
There are no supplements on the first disc, only the feature, however there are some very slick animated menus here as well as the requisite chapter selection option.
Disc Two: :
First up is On Set Los Angeles which is a montage of scenes showcasing the shots that were done in LA (the scenes with Audrey and Otto in bed together and hanging out at home – the non sex scenes). There's no interview clips or narration to give this much of a context, which is a shame, but the footage is interesting and seeing the performers in a more candid light is always fun. We do get to see Audrey and Otto interact a bit and try to get into character, and we see plenty of flubbed lines and outtakes in here. What is most striking about this scene is just how gorgeous Hollander looks without all the lighting effects and over the top make up – she has a very striking and very natural beauty about her here that doesn't come through so much in the feature where she's very much a sex crazed nympho. This segment runs just under fifteen minutes.
Up next is a second documentary entitled On Set Budapest, which is structured very much like the first behind the scenes segment, again with no narration or interviews. Hollander does talk to the camera a few times though, giving this one less of a fly on the wall feel than the first one. We get to see her deal with some of the duties that come with her profession – whipping come off of her face after the end of the first scene. The other female performers from the film are in here too, walking around under some music that we've heard in numerous other Ninn Worx productions (I love their output but they really need to stop using the same tracks over and over again). This one plays out for just over sixteen minutes.
Following that feature is an all new video Interview With Audrey Hollander And Otto Bauer. They're interviewed on camera together, and they discuss how they came to appreciate Ninn's work, and why they like it. They discuss his editing technique and that they know it's in capable hands, and how they enjoyed working on something that they can both feel proud of. Hollander also divulges her love of Hungarian booze, while Bauer talks about the food. They express their admiration for one another and how they enjoy working with one another, and Hollander talks about how woman crave discipline and aggression in bed (which should piss off a few female viewers). They also discuss the possibilities of a sequel (and I for one would really like to see one – apparently it's happening).
Three still galleries are also included on this disc: Glamour, Behind The Scenes, and Hardcore. These are, as they sound, simply a collection of various different performers take on the set of the movie.
After the galleries we're treated to Solo Performances from Adriana Rouso, Nikki Blond, Audrey Hollander And Justine Joli solo and then a bonus scene with Audrey and Justine. The solo scenes are simply longer takes of the masturbation sequences we see the two ladies perform on disc one, but the scene with all three girls together is completely new and it features the three ladies in a rather unusual set. There's a table in the middle of a room where they three of them are playing with a small water trough running through that they use on one another. It's a more tender scene than anything we see in the feature and it's definitely worth checking out.
From here we move into the promotional materials section where we find a PG rated teaser for Catherine, a PG rated trailer for Catherine and a full on hardcore trailer for Catherine. There are also previews for the upcoming releases of Faith Book Two – In The Garden Of Shadows starring Anais Alexander, and Porn Star starring Brittney Skye.
If you've got the appropriate hardware, be sure to check out the DVD-Rom content. If you load up the disc using the Interactual Controller on your PC, you'll find a batch of different photo galleries - Audrey – Solo, Justine – Solo, Audrey And Justine Together, Audrey – Vertical Head Shots, Audrey – Horizontal Head Shots, Catherine – Glamour Shots, Catherine – Behind The Scenes, and Catherine – Sex Scenes. In addition to the bonus galleries, you'll also find a Press section that includes press releases from Ninn Worx, on set write ups from the production, and reviews for Catherine. The Music section allows you to access the nine original compositions written for the feature without the associated noise of the scenes themselves. There's also a Weblink and an Email Ninn Worx option in here as well and a few brief written pieces on the history of the production.
Also worth noting is that Ninn Worx has done an exceptionally good job on the packaging for this release. Both discs are housed inside of a gatefold that rests inside a slipcase featuring a striking image of Hollander's ghostly made up face. Inside the gatefold, aside from the two discs, is a booklet containing credits, some still photographs, and a breakdown of the performers for each scene and a chapter stop listing for each scene.
Catherine is a beautifully made film. This is art porn taken to the extreme – the sex is hot, adventurous and interesting but the cinematography is completely interesting and very unique. Ninn is one to something with this one, it's got a genuinely involving story and casting Hollander in the lead with her atypical porn star looks was a great choice. Her performance is excellent, as is the presentation of the film on this two disc set. Highly Recommended.