Cast: Kaylani Lei, Randy Spears, Jessica Drake, Eric Masterson, Chris Cannon, Keri Sable, Barrett Blade, Eva Angelina, Kelly Kline, Gia Jordan, Ice LaFox, Lezley Zen, Brad Armstrong, Kris Knight, Joey Ray, Tory Lane, Tiffany Taylor, Alyssa Knight; Chris Evans and Manuel Ferrara (in bonus scenes only though)
Non-sex roles: Tony the prop man, Charles Laumberger, Noah the camel, most uncredited
Length: 154.5 minutes
Date of Production: 1/11/2006 (box); 8/7/2005 (credits)
Extras: This two disc collector's set had a lot of great extras for fans. The first disc had the trailer and an audio commentary by director Brad Armstrong and the lovely Jessica Drake. Aside from their relationship in private life, the couple seemed to balance each other out in terms of their comments too. The technical matters were largely handled by Brad while Jessica straightened him out by focusing mainly on the people and sex. In all though, it was worth listening too for fans of feature porn and a shame that Kaylani wasn't able to join them (she has now moved on after her contract ended) but Jessica was especially fun to listen to (Brad claimed he deferred to her when the movie was showing sex acts) and to answer her question about what I like to hear from her in them is that I prefer her telling as much as she can about the movie and what she's feeling during the action.
The second disc was where the wealth of solid extras came into play. Starting out with bonus scenes from Sold, Perfect Life (both described below), and Erotik, the fun was much in evidence as the package of extras provided some extra fuck for the buck. The best extra for me on the second disc was the "Beyond the Tomb: The Making of Curse Eternal" feature by Mark Stone (he makes great behind the scenes features). Lasting 42.5 minutes, it showcased a great many aspects of making the movie, giving the cast a chance to talk, showing extra sex footage, and some of the problems of the porn production business. There was a Blooper Reel lasting over 4 minutes that also showed some funny goof ups, a 3.5 minute box cover shoot, 21 separate photogalleries (of the ladies and of the sex scenes as well as the general one for the movie as a whole), trailers to shows like Eternity, Camp Cuddly Pines, All About Keri, Sold, Perfect Life, and others, promo reels for the 2000, 2004, 2005 and 2006 AEE show in Las Vegas, various DVD ROM materials, a Wicked Pictures catalog, a 6 minute long interview with Brad Armstrong, and a cardboard protective sleeve for the double disc set. Wow!
Note: There is a cool T-Shirt for the movie floating around, compressed to the shape of an Egyptian sarcophagus, which is quickly becoming a major collectible item according to some fans.
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Audio/Video Quality: Curse Eternal: Collector's Set was presented in the usual 1.85:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color as shot by director Brad Armstrong for Wicked Pictures. While filmed in high definition, it was down converted to a regular DVD (in the future, the HD version should look even better), so there was some minor grain in some of the scenes. The good news is that even in the dark night scenes, the visual elements were well handled, providing a lot more quality than most studios are capable of handling. The video noise was minimal and the composition of the scenes was extremely well taken care of, enhancing the look of the ladies in nearly all cases. Some of the editing choices were a mixed bag but the overall quality of the look of Curse Eternal was much like a well done made for cable mainstream flick. The audio was presented with numerous choices, the primary one being a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround English track that balanced the vocals and music nicely. There were also variations of this track as a 5.1 music only version (that emphasized the music during the sex scenes) or a corresponding 5.1 dialogue only track (that emphasized the vocals over the music); both being appreciated additions given the fact that most people in the target audience have mixed feelings about either. I like the choice and wish other companies offered it too. There were also 2.0 Dolby Digital tracks with Spanish and German available for those who care but the fact is that the dubbing seemed quite off on both of them to me. Otherwise, the audio seemed to be a step forward for Wicked Pictures, even though the vocals were almost certainly recorded in monaural or dubbed in later. Still, the music was well done and the overall quality of the audio was better than average as well.
Body of Review: Brad Armstrong is one of the most talented directors of feature porn working today, despite a handful of people who have personal issues with him. For me, the best judge of talent is the end result and having seen a great many of his works in the past, all I can say is that his professional detractors have provided far less appealing efforts over the years and his amateur detractors almost always seem more upset that he nails all the best women in porn or is a feature director. Regardless, Brad's latest epic release is Curse Eternal: Collector's Set; a story about a mummy that comes to life as played by Kaylani Lei and the archeologist (Jessica Drake) that gets caught up in her attempt to revive a past lover and rest in peace. If you've seen any of Brad's larger budget efforts in recent years, you'll know how good this one was without reading what I have to say but here's a breakdown of the scenes by cast and action for those interested:
Scene One: Kaylani Lei, the lead gal of the movie as seen on the center of the front DVD cover, was up first with Randy Spears, as she played the long dead Queen Neferkala to his archeologist in her dark, lit by flames, chamber. The oral was fun and her energetic grinding and bouncing showed her elevated passion for the action. The mood of the movie was instilled nicely in this scene, from the sexual energy to the story itself, and few would argue that the sex was only made for "couples" sex. It ended with a facial and her inhaling his essence right out of him.
Scene Two: Jessica Drake, playing Randy's daughter all grown up twenty years later, was up next wearing glasses as a brilliant archeologist herself on the couch with Eric Masterson. They pawed at one another to get in the mood and she was looking as fine as ever, even if the front cover of the DVD case put her in the back right hand side. She looked fitter and lovelier than ever as the two bumped uglies (those hers looked appealing as could be) after some heated oral by both of them. She even did some PTM and fingered her own ass (three fingers) before the facial that she appeared to greedily appreciate. I wish it lasted longer than it did but I'll take any Jessica footage I can get.
Scene Three: Kaylani Lei, in her skimpy outfit under the hot desert sun, was up next with Eric Masterson, also dressed in period costume. The blowjob was far too short but still managed to be satisfying and the sunlight enhanced her looks as she rode him hard and wet. I've never been a huge fan of Kaylani though her look here was enhanced to the point I could have become one, with her active sexuality making it a good scene too. It was a straightforward scene with the usual facial pop shot but like the other scenes of the movie, there was a lot of chemistry and replay value to the action.
Scene Four: Kaylani Lei, now in the present but still weaving her spell while dressed in her foxy outfit, snuck up on museum security guard Chris Cannon in order to satisfy her growing lust for life and all the wonders it offered her. His oral on her was sloppy so she returned the favor with some streamers and suction noises too. Her hand to gland action was promising too and this led to some solid vaginal boning. She wasn't as enthusiastic this time but she still managed to act like she was having fun
Scene Five: Keri Sable, a skinny former contract gal for Wicked Pictures, was up next as she blew Barrett Blade in the coed bathroom of the nightclub. It was far too short of a scene but set the next one up nicely.
Scene Six: Keri Sable, let down by Barrett when he popped off in her eye like a two pump chump, got the chance to have a lesbian scene with Kaylani Lei away from the toilets and over by the mirror in the bathroom. They rubbed and caressed one another with Kaylani fingering and going down on her partner as though born to orally satisfy pussy. This was another scene used to set up the story more than anything else but I was less enthusiastic since Keri was so passive sexually here.
Scene Seven: Eva Angelina, Kelly Kline, Gia Jordan, Ice LaFox, Lezley Zen, Jessica Drake, Brad Armstrong, Kris Knight, and Joey Ray, were up next in a kind of weird scene that combined two scenes in one. The idea was that Neferkala put a spell on everyone in the night club to have a big orgy in the darkened room to the droning beat of the music. This alternated with Ice, Jessica, Brad and Joey screwing by a well lit fountain as though it were thousands of years in the past. The majority of the scene was oral and vaginal sex but there was also anal taking place too. The editing was such that the two scenes converged fairly well most of the time although I'm still a fan of splitting up scenes like these even when they are representing something special to the theme. My biggest complaint of the scene was how little screen time Gia, Kelly, and Lezley got; all seeming to be on the short end of the stick. In all, I watched this one a few times already and there seemed to be new things found each time. Fans of cumswapping will get off on both sides of the scene though with Jessica getting featured throughout the action.
Scene Eight: Tory Lane, Tiffany Taylor, and Alyssa Knight, were up next in a floating barge set supposedly aimlessly carried down the Nile river. They sucked, rubbed, and fingered one another before pulling out some large dildos; even using them in a technical DP. Tory's ass is always welcome in a porno, and the amount of taste testing was off the charts compared to the other scenes, though it wasn't always easy to keep track of what was going on at a given time.
Scene Nine: Jessica Drake, Kaylani Lei, and Eric Masterson, were all up last as they walked to the opening of the temple. Kaylani got to suck him off first, with Jessica strutting her stuff immediately afterwards. Jessica got to bone him first though so the balance was restored in terms of which contract star was favored. It went back and forth between the gals until he popped off to their appreciative faces. The gals orally cleaned him off with flickering tongues and some post coital sucking, showing more of the energy and chemistry they had proven a part of the show far earlier.
Bonus Scene 1: Sold: Keri Sable, playing the girlfriend of a wealthy bidder, Brad Armstrong, won a pony girl fantasy with Jessica Drake, for $16,000. If you're into fetish gear, this will be the scene for you to enjoy above all the others. From the bits in their mouths to the stripper shoes adorning their tiny feet, the gals had it going on and they knew it. The oral by all of them was fine, the vaginal was heated, and the anal on Keri was pretty good too with Jessica shining at the end when she took him anally as well. There was taste testing and the gals looked especially good here with lots of chemistry and passion. Yum!
Bonus Scene 3: Perfect Life: Kaylani Lei, the cute Asian contract performer with raven hair and sleek curves, was up first with Chris Evans in a bathroom stall scene. The quarters were a bit too cramped for the kind of free flowing action I'm used to in porn but they did manage to convey a sense of chemistry that many recent scenes by other directors seem to be missing. Her oral was very well done with some nice corkscrew action and eye contact to ready him for the vaginal boning she took. I would've preferred the vocals contain more than "ohh, yeah, uhh" type sounds but it was realistic that way. Another interesting note was how Jessica Drake was in the stall beside them, jilling herself silly as she listened in on them.
Summary: Curse Eternal: Collector's Set had a lot of fuck for the buck, solid extras, and perfect casting to combine for a rating of Highly Recommended for anyone who likes feature porn. If you'd rather enjoy a disposable gonzo flick, there are many to pick from in any given week but Jessica Drake and Kaylani Lei were both superb as they provided some fine entertainment (sexual and as part of the story). I'm pretty sure that this will be one of the titles on everyone's short list for various awards later on in the year for all it had to offer, never skimping on the sex or story, allowing fans to see both or skip ahead if they so choose. Oh, and for Jessica, I can tell you that there are indeed a number of people that listen to the entire audio commentary (like me) and if you compare your commentaries to those of other performers (primarily at other companies), you should know you do a great job (a great job being the operative phrase for the entire production this time). To sum it up, Curse Eternal was cursed with the high quality Wicked Pictures has long been known for, raising the bar yet again for others to try and surpass.
---- 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