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American Blonde

Studio: Vivid » Review by Disco Dirge » Review Date: 1/18/06

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Since this title is rather unusual compared to most modern adult entertainment offerings - no bonus features, just a straight feature from the 1990s - the review format will be modified to reflect that.

Director: Paul Thomas
Cast: Janine, Kaitlyn Ashley, Misty Rain, Veronica Lake, Rasha, Colt Steele, Tony Tedeschi, Alex Sanders
Length: 78 mins
Production Date: 1995

The Product:
Wow, how the adult industry has changed in 11 short years. Today, when you pick up a Vivid title, you are inundated with phone sex ads, bonus trailers, extra scenes, individual actress statistics - even old sales product pitches that the company used at convention showcases. Thanks to DVD, porn has gone practically legit, more marketable and merchandisable than ever. But a decade ago, hardcore was still an 'underground' ideal, something celebrated far outside the mainstream arena. Sure, there were rumblings about the Internet fueling interest, and rock stars were 'pimping' porn queens in their music for some kind of carnal cool cross promotion. But during the 90s, the adult industry was looking to women to fuel their continued success, and American Blond is a perfect example of this paradigm. A simple 78 minute feature with the queen of gal-on-gal action, Ms. Janine herself, this is pretty, passion-filled porn, made even more atmospheric and moody by Paul Thomas's interesting direction. Gonzo geeks beware - there is nothing aggressive here. This is softcore as smut, penetration being the difference in the dicking.

The Plot:
Janine and Colt are swingers who head out to the local clubs cruising for fast company. Sometimes, they grab a gal for him. At other times, Janine gets the feminine goodies. One thing is clear, though. They are a partnership in pleasure, only. Janine actually argues with Colt over his "falling" for their paramours, and he understands that, no matter the situation, he will never convince his gal pal to give up the ladies. When the wayward Kaitlyn falls into their bedroom, it looks like the perfect threesome has been achieved. Trying to avoid a suffocating situation with old friend Tony, Kait enjoys the sexual release of being with Colt and Janine. It's something she's always fantasized about. But like before, our lovely lesbian begins to grow jealous of her man's new interest in their sweet sexual playmate. It all goes horribly pear shaped when Kaitlyn overhears them arguing, and before you know it, long term arrangements are being scuttled for the sake of love, sex, and some American Blond.

The DVD:

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Made in 1995, American Blond is a slick reminder that, at one time, pornography was happy to play it simple and straight. This does not mean that the current crop of hardcore happenings try and circumvent this strategy, but with amateur and gonzo making greater and greater strides into the multi-billion dollar marketplace, even our more mature actors and actresses are finding a need to amp up the basic bump and grind. Where one DP was a fetish freak-off, now it's a constant in even the most mundane of titles. This is why American Blond feels so odd. Here is something that plays like Red Shoes Diaries with full-blown fucking, a movie that wants to keep its fairly formulaic plot front and center. At less than 80 minutes, there is not a lot of time for the four scenes, yet director Paul Thomas makes the most of his limits. Granted, this movie is mostly sex, but you do have to work in some Eros ending exposition as well. Most of the acting here is first rate, with Janine really playing up the spoiled bitch pitch perfectly, Kaitlyn convincing you she is disgusted with her life (among other things) and Tedeschi shining as a superb sleazeball. The rest of the cast is cock and cunt fodder, the kind of performers placed to provide penis and pussy for the name players.

From a sex standpoint, here is what we get. Tony Tedeschi and Kaitlyn Ashley begin the bonking in a very sensual, if kind of creepy, scene. Tony is attempting to seduce his ladylove with a story of his first interscholastic ménage a trios. As he sighs his breathy tale of college copulation, it's like the Penthouse Forum version of foreplay. Even as they're fucking, moving from blowjob and cunnilingus (with salad tossing) to doggy and cowgirl, Tedeschi is still yakking away, only stopping to cum in Ashley's mouth. The weirdness derives from Ashley's obvious apprehension. She really doesn't want to be doing this dork (especially not on the stairs) and her discomfort is readily written across her face, making us very uneasy. Thankfully, Janine and a couple of lovely ladies (Rasha and Misty Rain) are up next, getting down and dirty with some strap-on assisted girl/girl goodness. Most of the lesbianism is of the standard kissing, cuddling, and cunnilingus variety, with the occasional toy making a grand, grinding appearance. Janine loves to work her wonder wands deep inside these babes' butts, and the whole sequence sizzles with an unusual amount of same sex steam.

Kaitlyn then makes her debut as Colt and Janine's latest conquest, and she does both pros with a great deal of porn potency. On the man side, there is the basic blowjob, some typical mish, and a great deal of doggy before Mr. Steele lets loose his ball broth (it's a mouth shot). Janine gets the better of the balling, as she and Kaitlyn get frisky and french, finger and fuck each other (yep - our friendly neighborhood strap-on makes another cameo). This entire scene, taking up a good 20 plus minutes, is probably the movie's hardcore highlight. The final facet of fuck and suck is another threesome, with Janine bedding Alex Saunders and Veronica Lake as a kind of comeuppance for what Colt does to her. Again, there is lots of girl-on-girl action, Saunders getting in some nice anal work in between the blowjobs, face sitting and salad tossing. The money moment arrives on Veronica's inviting ass. Overall, there is great chemistry between the performers, the sex is expertly staged and feels very real and authentic. There is also a great deal of passion between our pretend paramours. On the down side, the positions are pretty paltry (no more than two per session, at the most) and there is no attempt to play up or build to the pop. Our male actors simply deliver their dick drink and they're done.

If you are a fan of Janine and her lipstick lesbos leanings, if you want to revisit a time when porn was prettier and less pensive, or if you just crave the sight of adult film stars actually ACTING for once, you'll more than likely enjoy American Blond. Janine is one devastatingly beautiful woman (and this is pre-tats time, for all you haters of babe body art) and she does the best gal gladhanding ersatz orgasm in the business. While Kaitlyn and the rest of the gals have a hard time matching her deception of desire, your loins will love you for the slow, sensual seduction of it all. This is an especially potent title for paramours, as lovers and couples will lose themselves in kissing and caressing along with the cast. But if you're idea of steamy hot hardcore is five dicks in one doll with endless drilling and bukkake like pop shots, then stay far, far away from this example of fuck and suck as attempted moviemaking. Paul Thomas would go on to make many classic films (including Hard Candy, The Masseuse and Janine's Got Male) and here we get a chance to see him working on his highly cinematic style. Classy and completely erotic, there may not be much bang for your buck here, but what you get is nothing but prime porn.

Older title means ancient technology. American Blond is an obvious camcorder production fancied up with a digital to film transfer. It gives the 1.33:1 full screen image a nice, professional look, but you can't hide the occasional lighting and/or framing issues. The colors, including the all important skintones, are completely correct and the picture isn't so fuzzy that important details are indistinguishable. As for the sound, well, that's another story. The recording is rotten, with voices consistently dropping out or being drowned out by the musical underscoring. When Janine works up a good head of steam, her tirades are easily understood. But much of Tony Tedeschi's initial seduction is impossible to hear in this Dolby Digital Stereo setup.

Sadly, there are none listed. We do get a collection of trailers that you have to fast-forward through before the film starts, but that's it. Once again, Vivid sure has come a long way in the DVD department. Their newest titles are brimming with added goodness.

Disco Dirge Peter Meter Rating: 3 out of 5 (Recommended)
Cohabitation Certification: Granted
Though she's now moved into heterosexual humping, Janine was at one time the Queen of same sex cinema. She was a legend of lesbianism and the proof is right here in American Blond. With more features and more fleshed out fucking, this would be a Highly Recommended title, a timeless treat of classic porn. As it stands, this film is a Recommended reminder of the days when XXX had to go glamorous to avoid being brandished as garbage. There is nothing junky about this tasteful production. Just don't except a lot of heat for your meat, or pound for your mounds and you'll be just fine.

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