Remakes. The term tends to send shudders down the spines of horror fans lately as Hollywood seems to be raping and pillaging the past, remaking every successful genre film of the last thirty years to cash in on a built in audience. Results have been mixed there have been good remakes and bad remakes across the board. Now that same trend seems to be hitting the porn industry. Last year we got Misty Beethoven The Musical and a remake of The Masseuse, this year, the big remake comes in the form of The New Devil In Miss Jones in which Paul Thomas has cast two giants of smut, Jenna Jameson and Savanna Samson in an updated version of Gerard Damiano's 1973 film starring Harry Reems and Georgina Spelvin. If you've seen the original, you know it's as much a horror film as it is a sex film, playing around with themes of demonic possession and wanton lust gone wrong and in a sense, this is definitely an odd instance of a Hollywood trend affecting the porn business.
So, how does this feature pan out, quality wise? Well, after fast forwarding through all those damned commercials that Vivid (NOTE TO VIVID THESE ARE REALLY ANNOYING) won't let you skip past at the beginning of the DVD, here's how it all goes down (this being an actual plot based film, I'm not going to give a scene by scene breakdown per se, but rather a look at the movie itself with the sex scenes highlighted and detailed)
Savanna plays a regular girl named Justine Jones. She's a rather sad woman, her sex life is dull and uninteresting and she doesn't have a whole lot going for her. She dresses down, in a very plain and unattractive manner and if you saw her walking down the street, odds are pretty good you probably wouldn't look twice at her (making this a very interesting turn for the usually very glamorous Savanna). When we first meet Justine, it's her birthday and she's celebrating it all by her lonesome she has no friends, nothing to do but sit around by herself, the same way that she seems to spend every other night. She heads off to work and on the way she happens across a group of construction workers all huddled together watching something. Once she gets close enough to investigate, she finds that they're all watching a nameless woman (played by Vicky Vette) fuck a man (Jeremy Steele) on top of a garbage dumpster. Soon three other men join in (Kris Slater, Damien Childs and Alec Metro) and Justine finds herself watching her get DP'd while she sucks and fucks her way through the four men. She watches until the four guys pull out and shoot all over Vette's face and breasts and, without being noticed, continues her trip back to work.
Once she gets to work, it's just another day at the office. Justine makes her living writing trashy harlequin romance novels, the kind you see women buying at the supermarket for two bucks a pop and that always feature garish paintings of men who look like Fabio on the front cover. As her day goes on, she starts to notice some of the people she works with Justine's perception is starting to shift in a different direction. The janitor that she sees day in and day out is starting to look a little better to her eyes and what about those two co-workers played by Tony Tedeschi and Brooke Alexander? Are they flirting with each other as strongly as she thinks they are? Well, when she catches them fucking in the office, her suspicions are confirmed. Brooke, after kissing Tony, blows him for a bit, then spreads her legs so he can eat her out. Soon she's bent over so that he can fuck her from behind, and then she's riding him on top, cowgirl style before it's back to doggy for the big pull out money shot.
As her day comes close to an end, Justine is called in to her boss' office. She notices that an office chair seems to move across the room under its own power, but she doesn't say anything, thinking her mind might be playing tricks on her. Her boss, the subtly named Miss Devlin (Jenna Jameson), gives her a bit of a scare and soon Justine bolts out of the office to head home for the night. On the way out, she literally runs into another co-worker, played by Nick Manning. He sweet talks her for a bit and soon convinces her to head outside to the pool. Once they're there, he lays his mojo on her pretty thick and kissing soon leads to oral sex. Once they've gone down on one another, he fucks her missionary style, then she rides him cowgirl style. After that he does her in the ass, pulling out to shoot on her face. As they finish up, Justine is surprised to see Miss Devlin come out of the corner. Was she watching them all along? Is she going to get fired? Devlin brings Justine inside, and sends her off to the shower.
Once Justine is inside getting cleaned up from her last outdoor encounter, Devlin heads into another room where she finds the gorgeous Betty Page looking Rachel Rotten fooling around in the locker room area. Devlin approaches her and their obvious attraction for one another is noticeable immediately. Of course, tongue kissing leads to mutual fondling and we all know where that takes them. Soon they're laying down and eating each other out, using their fingers on one another until the both come but before it's all over and done with, Jenna puts on a large strap on which she uses to fuck Rachel missionary style and then, for the big finish, very aggressively doggy style from behind. Rachel Rotten fans should get a kick out of this scene, as she looks great and Jenna is obviously very into working with her as their unbridled enthusiasm is very apparent right off the bat.
The janitor mentioned earlier (Dick Smothers Jr. of all people) is watching the two girls lesbian lust unfold in the locker room and, getting aroused, he starts to masturbate. Two more employees, Roxanne Hall and the lovely Angelica Sin, catch him slapping himself around downtown and they decide to take advantage of him. Angelica binds his hands over his head with some rope and the two girls tie him up so that he can't really move around much. Angelica starts to suck him off, and then, in the ultimate tease, she leaves him there hard as a rock to go work on Roxanne. All he can do is watch, he can't touch himself even, as Roxanne busts out a glass dildo which she uses on Angelica's pussy, and then her ass, and then with the aid of a second toy, both at the same time.
Now that Justine has cleaned herself up, Miss Devlin takes her outside for a talk. As she explains what is going on to her, the two slowly being to make out and another girl/girl scene happens with Savanna really coming into character and going down on Jenna really aggressively. Some truly acrobatic oral action happens, with fingers and tongues leaving nothing untouched, both working themselves to a climax in a really well directed and steamy scene.
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With Justine now in full realization of what is happening to her, she finds herself standing in a strangely lit room surround by a strange group of people, her co-workers (or so she thought), engaged in some bondage play. The camera pans around and the movie cuts back and fourth from lesbian scenes to three ways to guy on girl, some vaginal, some anal, and lots of oral. Justine makes her way around the room, now fully able to indulge her every last carnal desire, and she ends up in an all girl threesome with Jessica Jaymes and Cameron Caine that involves some bizarre piercing and rough sex that you really should just see for yourself. Once she's had her lesbian desires fulfilled, Justine moves to a different section of the room where she starts playing with Anthony Hardwood and Mario Rossi. Another three ways ensues, with Justine sucking each guy off and getting fucked by one and then the other, taking her time with them and enjoying herself before finally ending the scene by getting double penetrated by the two men, now fully enveloped by her lust. Telling you what happens after that would be giving away far too much of the movie, if I haven't done that already, so let's just end it there, shall we?
Though Thomas has changed plenty of details from the original film and only loosely based this new movie on that acknowledged classic, The New Devil In Miss Jones is a surprisingly well made and very well acted film. As good as Jenna is in this movie (and she's as good here as anything else I've ever seen her in), most of the credit has to go to Savanna. Those used to seeing her all made up and sporting sexy outfits or lingerie might be a bit taken aback to see her here, au natural without much make up (if any) at all and spending most of her time clothed in very plain, unflattering clothes that don't look good on her at all. This makes her character's sexual awakening all the more interesting, as it is a very drastic change and a very believable one at that.
Don't think for a second, however, that the film as plot heavy and performance based as it is skimps out on the hardcore sex. There are plenty of steamy scenes here, all shot with a great looking cast of performers and a clever eye for highlighting the kink. The bondage elements used in the last half hour of the film are really well used and they work great in the context of the story, and the scene between Jenna and Rachel Rotten is one of the hottest things Ms. Jameson has ever done. A fantastic blend of horror movie motifs, surrealist aesthetic, and believable performances enhance the heat of the sex scenes and make The New Devil In Miss Jones one of the finest adult feature films to come not just this year, but in the last decade.
Here's where I have to administer a bit of a beating to this release the video is pretty bad. Possibly due to the fact that they've crammed so many audio tracks onto the release, the subsequent video compression makes for a rather ugly image that is murky and riddled with artifacts. While the color reproduction isn't had bad, the black levels dance around like mad and there is a lot of obvious pixelation present throughout the picture. Edge enhancement isn't too horrid but there is some line shimmering and this shot on video presentation also suffers from a fairly soft image that lacks a lot of fine, high detail. Given the hype around this release and the high profile it has had in terms of industry buzz and advertising campaigns, it was pretty shocking to see the picture quality look as bad as it does here, especially when compared to the near pristine presentations or other 'big buzz' fall releases like Pirates, Catharine, and Powertool Massacre. Vivid really dropped the ball here
The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 track that serves as the primary audio mix on this release does do a pretty good job of bringing the movie to life. The dialogue is reasonably clear, aside from a few spots where there's a bit of echo, and the soundtrack really sounds quite classy. There aren't any problems with hiss or distortion in the mix and the levels are well balanced ensuring that the dialogue doesn't get lost in and amongst the sound effects and the score.
In addition to the English track, there's also dubbed tracks provided in Spanish, French, Italian and German. When you add the three commentaries to the mix, that's eight audio tracks on the feature disc alone. So good bye, bit rate!
On disc one, underneath the fancy animated menus there are a few standard XXX movie extras. The first thing you'll see off of the main menu, aside from scene selection, is the 'Position Room' which gives you the option of checking out some stand out scenes from the movie by choosing which position happens to be floating your boat at that particular time the options are pussy eating, blow job, missionary, doggie, and com shot. There's also a multi angle feature that you can enable during playback of the main feature if you turn this on, you'll see an indicator on screen prompting you to hit the angle button on your remote at which point you're able to explore the sex scenes from a few different points of view.
Also on the first disc, as mentioned, are the three commentary tracks. The first track is with Jenna Jameson, and for some reason the levels on this track are way lower than those on the feature itself. Jenna talks about working with Paul Thomas and how he strived to bring a sense of reality to the sex scenes in the film. She also discusses how the flashbacks play an important part in the development of her character and how she exists in Savanna's brain. She also discusses using a strap on and how it can be difficult to perform with one of them on as it tends to be a bit challenging to coordinate it all. Oddly enough, this commentary just more or less stops at about an hour and seven minutes into the film, during Jenna's girl/girl scene. It proves to be a pretty interesting listen. As well all know, she's a smart girl and she's been doing this long enough now that she knows what she's talking about. Until the track ends she's got a lot to say, it's just too bad that it only goes for about two thirds of the movie.
The second commentary track is with director Paul Thomas. He talks about shooting certain scenes in downtown Los Angeles, and about how a lot of the strange little occurrences in the script really helped to make this different from your average adult feature. He goes into a fair bit of detail about each of the main performers strong points on camera, and he explains his casting decisions in regards to why he chose the performers for the parts the ended up playing. He even details a few of the tricks he used in terms of cinematography for the film, how he likes to shoot outside just before the sunset happens as the natural light really lends itself to the look of t he film. Interestingly enough, he explains that he shot a lot more sex than just what ended up in the film but that as he was editing it all down he felt that it was too much and that it really took away from the story.
The third and final commentary track is with Savanna Samson who is joined by Georgina Spelvin who played Miss Jones in the original The Devil In Miss Jones and who has a bit part in this new remake and the two ladies are joined here by director Paul Thomas. Spelvin hadn't seen the remake before this commentary was recorded and as such, she keeps getting pulled into the film and has to be prompted for information. This leads to a fair bit of dead air. Thankfully once the movie gets rolling Thomas and Savanna are able to prompt some information out of her in regards to her role in the original film and they also explain some of the differences between that movie and the remake. At one point Paul Thomas tells Georgina that in her cameo here she looks like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Savanna talks about her characters downward spiral in the movie, how she tried to bring a sense of serious realism to the part, and some of the strange psychological twists that occur throughout the movie. She also talks about eating fire in one scene, and how she was rather unprepared for how that would feel. Georgina and Savanna also discuss what it was like to work with real live snakes in the film.
First up is a documentary entitled Behind The Scenes On The New Devil In Miss Jones. At roughly forty-five minutes in length, this is a pretty in depth look at the making of the movie that is made up of interviews with the main performers and plenty of behind the scenes footage. We get a chance to see Paul Thomas on set giving direction to the performers as well as some standard candid behind the scenes footage of the cast and crew kicking back. Jenna gives some fairly extensive interviews here, explaining why she liked the film and wanted to be involved. Savanna is on hand and more or less follows suit, explaining what she liked about the script and the character and how she enjoyed working with certain performers. Georgina Spelvin shows up and discusses why she was brought on board for a cameo appearance and Jenna explains her excitement about working with a legend in the adult industry. Spelvin also talks briefly about working with Gerard Damiano on the original film, which is pretty interesting material. Savanna also discusses the rush she got out of the piercing scene and the fire eating scene and how it was almost like having sex again for the first time.
In the Movie Extras Section we find two trailers for The New Devil In Miss Jones, and five and a half minutes of bloopers and goofy outtakes from the shoot. There's also some deleted sex scene footage in here, which includes lots of clips from Savanna's gang bang, Savanna at the poolside, footage from the three way in the boiler room, some killer footage of Jenna and Rachel Rotten together that includes more strap on and dildo play that didn't make it into the final cut of the film, Savanna and Jenna together outside going at it, and plenty of new footage from the orgy scene that includes some more light BDSM material. When it's all said and done, there's over an hour of deleted sex footage here. Though it's presented out of context, it's pretty solid material and if you were into any of the scenes mentioned above, you'll probably enjoy taking the time to sort through this material.
Up next are some deleted acting clips, and this is essentially five minutes of brief character development snippets that were probably cut for pacing reasons, however if you skim through here you will find some nice footage of Savanna masturbating that wasn't used in the film version of the movie. Rounding out the Movie Extras section is about two minutes of footage showing the girls from the film posing for their respective promotional photo shoots.
There's also a fairly interesting video biography on director Paul Thomas in which the director explains his life and career in the adult industry. He discusses how he's been directing for twenty years and how he also worked as a performer for a decade or so as well. This is a pretty interesting discussion with him as he explains how he tries to get his performers into their roles, to bring realism to the picture, and how to get the most out of shooting a sex scene. The biography section of this featurette runs thirty minutes or so and once it's over there are trailers for My Alien, My Love, Bobby Sox, Fade To Black, Bad Wives, and The Masseuse.
The Bonus Room section on the second disc features five extra scenes Savanna Samson and Grant Michael's from Be With Me, Jenna Jameson and Kobe Tai from Jenna Loves Kobe, Savanna Samson and Joel Lawrence from Key Party, Jenna Jameson with Felecia and Bobby Vitale from Photoplay, and finally, Savanna Samson with Devon Michaels and the lovely Audrey Hollander from Savanna Samson Superstar. While these are all scenes from older releases, at least they feature the two lead girls from The New Devil In Miss Jones so they fit in nicely here and when it's all said and done there's a fair bit of extra quality smut contained in these five chapters.
Vivid has also supplied photo galleries for Savanna Samson, Jenna Jameson, and a third extensive collection of hardcore still photographs taken during the production of the feature.
Rounding out the extra features on the second disc are the usual XXX 'goodies' including a Vivid Products commercial, a web link, phone sex commercials and trailers for other Vivid releases such as Groupie, Two Hot For TV, Stunner, Circus, Lanny's Summer Daze, When Strangers Meet, Tarot, and Where The Boys Aren't 17. In the Vivid Girls Extras section we also find brief text bios for Jenna Jameson and Savanna Samson.
On the third disc, Vivid has included the VCX version of Gerard Damiano's original 1973 The Devil In Miss Jones. Sadly, this is the same sloppy cropped transfer that VCX used on their original release so we're still not able to see the film in its original 1.85.1 aspect ratio as was originally intended and the compositions in the film are somewhat compromised because of this. That being said, the original, for those who haven't seen it, is a great film and a classic XXX picture that ranks right up there with Damiano's earlier Deep Throat as far as widespread influence goes. You've got the option of watching the film in its original Dolby Digital English language mono mix or dubbed into Spanish, also a mono track.
The story line is a little different here Georgina Spelvin plays Miss Jones, a lonely spinster who commits suicide when she can no longer deal with her sad, lonely existence. Suicide sends her to Hell, in the grand Catholic tradition, and soon she meets the devil himself where she explains to him the regret she has over not indulging herself more during her time on Earth. The devil sends her back for a short period of time on the condition that she go out and partake in every kink she's ever even considered in her mind, and after she's taught how to indulge herself that way, she's sent back to Earth to get it on. Along the way she gets it on with a guy (Harry Reems of Deep Throat fame), a girl (Claire Lumiere a.k.a. Judith Hamilton), solo, a guy (Harry Reems again), solo again, a guy and a girl (Sue Flaken a.k.a Erica Havens and Marc Stevens), then two guys (Levi Richards and Marc Stevens), a water hose, and a bowl of fruit. While the sex scenes aren't nearly as prolonged as they are in the new one, this is still some fairly hot material and even those not as well versed in vintage adult cinema as some of us tend to be would do well to check this out as it does make for a very interesting comparison to the feature on the first disc of this set. It's just a damn shame that neither VCX nor Vivid opted to give the film a proper presentation in terms of video the transfer is cropped and very flat looking. While some might not find Spelvin the most attractive female lead to ever fuck on film, make no mistake, once she gets going she knows what she's doing and it's to Damiano's credit that he cast her in the lead. She's not typical porn star material even in 1973 she was on the older side of the spectrum and she's rather flat chested but she gets very into her role and that enthusiasm and sensuality definitely comes across in her performance in this film.
Aside from the feature itself, also included on this disc is the original theatrical trailer for The Devil In Miss Jones, trailers for other VCX Classic releases such as Debbie Does Dallas, The Blonde, Candy Lips, Little Girls Blue, Inside Desiree Cousteau, and Sex World (best theme song ever!). There's also a brief photo gallery consisting of eight promotional pictures shot for the film, a web link, and a video on demand option that allows you to rent VOD versions of A Dirty Western, China De Sade, Sex World, Tangerine, or Ginger Lynn's Ultimate Reel People Volume 1 at $7.95 each for a three day period.
Well, the sad reality is if this release had simply looked better, it would have earned a really high recommendation. The New Devil In Miss Jones is an interesting and steamy take on Georgina Spelvin's career defining film and this three disc set contains the film that started it all as a bonus feature as well as a wealth of additional supplemental material. Jenna does a fine job in her role as do the rest of the players and overall this is a really decent production. But with the video turning out as poor as it does on the feature disc, I can't give this three disc special edition anything higher than a standard recommendation, no matter how good the material might be.