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Dark Angels 2: Bloodline

Studio: Digital Sin » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 12/13/05

XCritic's Advice: Highly Recommended

Dark Angels 2: Bloodline: Collector's Edition

New Sensations

Genre: Feature

Director: Nic Andrews

Cast: August, Barrett Blade, Destiny Deville, Tyler Durden, Karina Kay, Tommy Gunn, Monica Mayhem, Evan Stone, Sunny Lane, Dillion Day
Non-sex roles by: Ron Jeremy, Kristen Price, David Crawford, Michael Lee, Chris Webber, Mark Diamond, Jim Crawford, Mark Peterson, Al Magliochetti, Bryan W., Sandor Martinez, Jenny Chu, Lisa Martin, Shelby Lane, Mike Lane, Bill Webber, Red Ezra, Johnny Parks, Stephanie Dixon, Peter Jacobs, Alu Hasad, Nikki Holder, Tim Deedier, Beau Holland, Nick Gomez, Stan White, Josi Kat, Kylie Ireland, Lisa Axelrod

Length: 113.5 minutes

Dates of Production: 5/1/2005, 5/3/2005, 5/4/2005, 5/7/2005, 5/8/2005, 5/11/2005

Extra's: The two disc set had a lot of potential in terms of extras. While it was unlikely to reach the summit of extras offered in Camp Cuddly Pines, I was hopeful that the second disc would be jam-packed with value added material after I noticed the first disc had only a positions room ("pick your pleasure" where you could go right to the blowjobs, vaginal sex, etc.). The initial extra was a 25.5 minute long Behind the Scenes feature. It showed the cast and crew as they prepared for their scenes with some nudity but mostly a timid look at the filming of the movie (the cameraman had apparently been ordered to stay out of the way by director Nic Andrews and he acted as though Nic would beat on him if he overstepped his boundaries). It was still a nice extra but I wanted to see a lot more, especially since the other extras weren't all that great. There was also about 4.5 minutes of bloopers but some would argue the blooper reel could've included substantial parts of the movie itself (aren't they mean?) given the limited acting ability of many of the cast. There were also three decent photogalleries and a tease trailer. I had hoped for an audio commentary (especially given that Dark Angels 1 had TWO of them), script features, interviews, and other gems but it could be argued that almost all of the resources of the film went into the film itself and I can't say that they'd be too far off the mark. Still, a few extra bucks on extras would've been appreciated; maybe they're saving them for the inevitable HD DVD version of the movie that'll come out some day.

Condoms: None

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Audio/Video Quality: Dark Angels 2 was presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation as originally filmed by director Nic Andrews for New Sensations, a subsidiary of Digital Sin. It was advertised as being "filmed and mastered in HD (high definition) format" though the DVD itself was the kind that will play on your regular player (unlike the second version of Pirates included in that boxed set). What the format allowed Nic to do was to capture darker scenes with more picture quality than would otherwise be possible and not suffer tremendous amounts of grain in the process. I know some critics would lead you to believe that grain isn't a big problem in dark scenes of porno movies but if you watch mainstream movies, particularly well made ones with large budgets, you've probably become as spoiled as I have been and think grain sucks-in a bad way. In any case, most of the sex scenes (all but one in fact) were shot under very low level lighting and did suffer some shadows as well as a bit of grain but not nearly as much as they would have had New Sensations went cheap and ditched the HD format shoot. Further, while the dark scenes did weaken the sex in many cases, they provided a nice counterbalance to the plot elements of the movie and worked with the movie rather than make it seem like they were strung together mindlessly to the already made feature aspects of the show. Nic could still work on this a bit but he succeeds more often than not by taking the kind of chances that most feature directors shy away from so I give him credit for trying to blend the two into a unified whole (Michael Raven used to try this on a far more limited budget but he wasn't successful nearly as much as he should have been given his talent when he was making movies at Sin City years ago). There were no compression artifacts and the story parts of the show, including the cool special effects, were very well handled in most cases.

The audio was presented in a 2.0 Dolby Digital English with limited separation between the channels. The dynamic range of the vocals was standard for a porno and the music was often mixed in way too loudly for my tastes, especially during the sex scenes. There was a second audio track in PCM (pulse code modulation) but it seemed muted and fairly pointless to me so I gave up listening after several minutes, preferring to spot check it instead. In all though, the audio track was the biggest limitation of the technical values and an area that future features would greatly benefit from (remember that most people watching DVD features have surround sound home theatre set ups; they may not all be high end but even a theatre in a box set up will pick up on weak soundtracks).

Body of Review: Vampires are one of the more interesting creatures of modern mythology. Based on critters that could conceivably live forever so long as they don't get a case of wooden heartburn or attempt to get a tan, the concept of them is about creatures of passion who live for the kind of carnal pleasures we all seem to enjoy (save a few uptight folks that want to interfere in your right to watch consenting adults having fun on camera). Porn has not avoided movies about these critters, offering up a range of features over the last thirty years from lame to pretty darned good, with Dark Angels 2: Bloodline: Collector's Edition on the high end of that scale. The movie was a sequel to Dark Angels 1, shot five years ago over much of the year and starring Jewel De' Nyle with Dillion Day as her protector. This time, Dillion is saving the day once more as he combines aspects of mainstream flicks like the Blade Trilogy, Dawn of the Dead, Vampires, and a few assorted others. The plot was simple, a band of vampires led by Barret Blade's Draken are in need of a special kind of blood to thrive. He uses a bunch of zombies as bloodhounds to scour the city for a person with this blood type and it ends up being a gal named Jesse (Sunny Lane), who is soon under the protective wing of Jack Cross (Dillion Day). In terms of story, it was as good as most vampire movies, even using some cool special effects to enhance the experience. The sex wasn't the best I've seen of late but it worked reasonably well with the story elements and came off as competent if not explosive. Here's a breakdown of the sex scenes by cast and action, noting that condoms weren't used but the sex was often too short for jaded porn hounds (as if they were designed to bring in a whole new crop of fans):

Scene One: August, an attractive brunette with a lean body, was up first in a dive of a motel bed with dark haired Barrett Blade. The mood of the scene was conveyed in many small ways; the messy surroundings, the poor lighting, the editing and music, but as a stand alone scene I wasn't as impressed since it was short and sexually limited. The oral was fine and the gal was sexually aggressive throughout the scene with her lithe little all natural body yet I've seen her tear up the screen repeatedly in the past and she was held back here. I didn't like how the music overpowered her vocals either. Still, it wasn't a bad way to open the movie so much as a limited way to do so.

Scene Two: Destiny Deville, another cute brunette with a sweet little ass, was up next as she blew Tyler Durden while he rested on the love seat of his suburbia surroundings. It was slow and sultry and I liked her ass stuck out where the camera could see it but that limited how well her face was in view. This wasn't her best oral but she made up for it when it came time to ride the white pony as he laid back and she bounced up and down as though on fire. The atmospheric lighting was again dark and the music, while interestingly good, was too loud since I could barely hear her. I know her ability to talk a load out of a guy is exceptional so it seemed like a wasted opportunity to me to lose that aspect of her act, especially when he went down on her (she seemed happy, I'll leave it at that). They went back to vaginal screwing and it ended with a pop shot to her lovely face. There was some chemistry between them but the technical matters prevented it from fully blooming.

Scene Three: Karina Kay, another short, all natural hotty, was up next as a waitress at a small diner in the outskirts of town. The plot elements of the diner were minimal but served as a work place for the lead victim of the movie so it made sense to use it as often as possible. This time, Karina and studly Tommy Gunn had an after hours romp on the counter. He totally overwhelmed her physically but instead of roughing her up, he gently went down on her with her reciprocating nicely. She even gave him a short titty fuck before they began bumping uglies in a heated manner. Sexually, it was more of the same oral and vaginal work and thematically the darkened room and loud music were both in full swing. It ended when he pulled out to pop a load onto her crotch.

Scene Four: Monica Mayhem, playing a redheaded dominatrix vampire, was up next in a leather fetish outfit that did her look a lot of good as it added some spice to the cute Aussie. I'm still not used to her having dark hair but it's a nice change of pace and that she was coupled with the mighty Evan Stone only appealed more to my sensibilities. Now I know fans of Dark Angels 1 will remember that he was killed at the end of that flick (in a rather gruesome manner at that) but this is porn so the general rules of Marvel Comics apply; if people want Evan alive, he lives. In any case, she did some teasing in her outfit before he attacked her outright and the two engaged with one another fully as though on fire with passion and desire. Her oral was better than his foreplay but both were in fine form as they screwed in the dark boiler room. At least with these two, I could understand the darkened room since vampires hate the light, but the music weakened the heat for me as I could just make up her moans for pleasure that typically add some fun to the action. It ended with a rubbed out load to her chest but it seemed kind of abrupt, almost as though something happened outside the movie to cause them to finish up quickly.

Scene Five: Sunny Lane, the so-called heroine of the movie and a very cute "girl next door" type as seen on the front DVD cover opposite Barret Blade's vampire character, had the next scene with Dillion Day in the blissfully sweet light of the outdoors in what appeared to be late afternoon. The scene took place after the montage where she learns to defend herself finished up and the rustic setting was a nice contrast to the darkened scene the movie used previously. Yeah, the droning music was back as loud as ever but you could see the action here from her very skillful blowjob to the last drop of splooge fell out of his dick. She seemed more believable in her role than the others (at least by the look of her) even if her acting won't propel her into a mainstream career at this time. After her good BJ, he reciprocated and then she rode him in her tight pussy on top of the Ford Mustang that served as his Batmobile. The two looked good together and shared some chemistry with the facial ending it in some post coital sucking. The rest of the movie was plot oriented and as good, if not better, than most vampire shows I've watched in the past year (we're talking mainstream folks!).

Summary: Dark Angels 2 was a fun movie to watch with some almost incidental porn scenes added in to enhance the fun. This is the polar opposite of the usual porn feature where the story is tossed in to enhance the porn scenes. As far as how well it worked will depend on what you're looking for. If you want a generic stroke flick to jerk off to a few times, it will suffice just as if you want to see an adult vampire flick that happens to have sex scenes, it will also work. As Nic expands the boundaries of the cross-over market (which is heavily debated in porn these days) yet again, I found myself thinking that this movie was better than about 99.9% of porn made in recent years in terms of sheer entertainment value even if it wasn't full of circus act sex and weird kink that some people seem to need these days. The acting was about as good as that in Pirates, another large budget feature from Nic's old contract company and Evan hammed it up as always (he provides great comic relief that helps movies from taking themselves too seriously). The budget appeared to be more akin to the aforementioned Camp Cuddly Pines though and while I wouldn't expect it to walk away with dozens of awards in January, it had some solid replay value and entertainment value above and beyond your typical porno. It may not have offered as much of a package as Dark Angels 1 did (for the time it was released in particular) but it was worth a rating of Highly Recommended if taken as a whole rather than the sum of its parts. Nic's best when he can take his time on a project (unlike many directors who acknowledge their limitations and focus on churning out movies at a breakneck pace) and some care showed on Dark Angels 2 but I hope future outings allow him to pull out all stops and show the other companies that Digital Sin/New Sensations is back! To sum up Dark Angels 2 though; it offered a visually interesting movie with some attractive people having sex between some ghoulish good fun. Check it out!

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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