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Blockbuster Pack

Studio: Wicked Pictures » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 6/27/06

XCritic's Advice: Highly Recommended

Blockbuster Pack: Space Nuts, Conquest, Curse Eternal

Wicked Pictures

Genre: Features

Director: Curse Eternal: Brad Armstrong

Director: Space Nuts: Jonathan Morgan

Director: Conquest: Brad Armstrong & Greg Steele

Cast: Curse Eternal: 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; (non-sex roles: Tony the prop man, Charles Laumberger, Noah the camel, most uncredited)

Cast: Space Nuts: Stormy Daniels, Trevor Zen, Kim Chambers, Scott Styles, Kaylani Lei, Randy Spears, Jessica Drake, Evan Stone, Katie Morgan, Steve Hatcher, Julian, Amber Rain, Phyllisha Anne, Kyle Stone, Devinn Lane, Hollie Stevens; (non-sex roles by: Shanna McCullough, Jim Enright, Mike Horner, Ron Jeremy)

Cast: Conquest: Missy, Sahara Sands, Mark Davis, Tom Byron, Bobby Vitale, Jenna Jameson, Shayla LaVeaux, Alex Sanders, Alex Dane, Kia, Mickey G., Asia Carrera, Vince Vouyer, Juli Ashton, Brad Armstrong, Claudio, Sean Rider (non-sex roles by dozens of extras including George "Fozzie" Kaplan and scores of others in the industry at the time)

Length: Curse Eternal: 154.5 minutes

Length: Conquest: 111 minutes

Length: Space Nuts: 185 minutes

Date of Production: Curse Eternal: 8/7/2005

Date of Production: Space Nuts: 5/21/2003

Date of Production: Conquest: 4/30/1996

Extras: The original releases, which are still available separately, have a treasure trove of extras for fans to enjoy. The point of the box set is to give a whole new bunch of fans, ones that only want the movies themselves, a chance to pick them up cheaply (but legally). That said, there was a fourth disc in the set in the form of a sampler. It had 3 bonus scenes from other releases; Erotik's scene between Kaylani Lei and Tommy Gunn; Eternity's scene between Stormy Daniels and Jessica Drake; and Between the Sheets scene between Kirsten Price and Barrett Blade. Each was a welcome edition to the mix, though not extras directly tied to the package itself or the movies inside it. Then there were three trailers from each of the company contract directors Brad Armstrong, Jonathan Morgan, Michael Raven, David Stanley, and Stormy Daniels. There were then biographies for six of the Wicked contract ladies and the four male directors. This was followed by a short montage of footage from the 2005 AEE show lasting all of one and a half minutes (far too short), a Wicked DVD catalog, and some spam.

The good news is that whatever extras were included on the first disc of the movies was also included here (they didn't re-press the DVDs). That means the entertaining commentary track and original movie trailer for Curse Eternal was still on the DVD for example. Conquest fared the best since it was originally released on a single disc and therefore included all the extras. For that movie, there was a 57 minute long All Access: The Making of feature (a behind the scenes look at the making of the movie) with loads of interviews), a couple of extended sex scenes lasting a total of 30.5 minutes, 4 minutes of bloopers, various photogalleries, an interview by Jenna lasting about 2.5 minutes, a 2.5 minute Jenna Jameson photoshoot, four promotional reels from the AEE shows (1998, 1999, 2000, and the Essential Elements version from 2004 IIRC), a feature showing Jenna getting molded for her sex toys, a bunch of trailers, a Free Speech Coalition commercial, DVD Rom extras, star statistics, and the usual DVD ROM special extra. Space Nuts by comparison, only had the audio commentary by Jonathan Morgan, Stormy Daniels, and Randy Spears (an excellent commentary by the way) and Picture in Picture commentary.

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: Curse Eternal: 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.

Audio/Video Quality: Space Nuts: was presented in the usual 1.85:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color as shot by director Jonathan Morgan for Wicked Pictures. When this one came out in 2003, it was among the best looking porn DVDs available, providing a film look without the grain you get when your budget is akin to the catering bill for a three day Hollywood release. The level of detail amazes me even to this day given how porn tends to be shot using guerilla film making 101 techniques but I credit Jonathan and Wicked for setting out to make a fine little comedy and succeeding beyond the expectations of those who normally complain. There was some grain and minor video noise in the darker scenes but not as much as one would expect. The composition of the shots was such that the cast were made to look their best, or nearly their best, in all of the sex scenes. The computer generated graphics looked kind of weak but not so much so that they didn't work within the porn comedy niche that Jonathan has long held a tight grip on. The DVD mastering was solidly handled too with only the lightest of moiré or pattern noise, showing less edge enhancement than many mainstream releases. The audio was presented in Wicked's usual 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround English. The separation between the channels was not on par with a mainstream release but there were some variations in the music that was added in post production. Audio is rarely handled with much concern in porn and this was no different but as far as porn goes, the soundtrack here was overall better than most in the field, even by today's standards.

Audio/Video Quality: Conquest: was presented in the same 1.33:1 ratio full frame color it was shot in ten years ago by director Brad Armstrong and his then-partner Greg Steele. By today's standards, the shot on film look was soft and grainy, more than I have even cared for. The lighting was too low most of the time and it doesn't hold up very well to shows like Space Nuts or Curse Eternal. The compositional shots did not always favor the ladies and it's interesting to see how far Brad has come in his directing skills since this one was made. There were compression artifacts in droves but to be fair, as a fan of Jenna, this looked about the same as her vaunted Dreamquest that was made years later (and ended up being her swan song at Wicked). The remastered audio was presented in a 5.1 Dolby Digital English with 2.0 tracks in French, Italian, and Spanish as well. The vocals had no separation and the music was added in a post production capacity but it wasn't half bad considering the state of the art at the time.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: Curse Eternal: 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. As the cover said: "When Samantha (Jessica Drake) reopens the tomb of Neferkala (Kaylani Lei) first discovered 20 years earlier by the father (Randy Spears), she releases a sexual animal that has survived through millennia. Far from her Egyptian resting place, Neferkala hunts for her eternal love Nomron. Joined by Samantha, the two insatiable women set forth on an erotic search to satisfy their thirst for love and lust, culminating in a most decadent excavation of the immortal heart." 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.

Body of Review: Space Nuts: Back in 2003, a lot happened in the porn world but the release of Space Nuts was one of the defining moment of the year for feature porn. Much has been written about director Jonathan Morgan's excellent comedy spoof that took elements from every major science fiction movie and television show, similar to what he did last year in the horror genre with his release of Camp Cuddly Pines. The cover put it like this: "Led by the Evil Overlord and the Dark Witch, an ominous shadow has swept across the universe, destroying countless planets in its wake. The Clitoran System, one of the last remaining independent realms, may yet fall, for the Evil Overlord's shyster minions have discovered a legal loophole: whomever the Princess Hubba Hubba weds will become the de facto heir to the Clitoran System. With this information brought to light, the Princess has fled the star system, joining a ragtag underground of interplanetary Eco-Warriors who are attempting to align the planets. In the struggle between good and evil, the hopes of billions rest on the shoulders of a few." As a fan of science fiction and Jonathan Morgan's comedies, this was probably my favorite title of his ever, even though he's made some great ones. Here's a look at the scenes but remember that half the entertainment value is in the non-sex portions of the movie, most of the comedy holding up years later:

Scene One: Stormy Daniels, one of the hottest looking directors in porn and gal on the right hand side of the front DVD cover, was up first in a skimpy white dress that barely covered her goodies. She was giving Trevor Zen an informal commendation, basically satisfying her needs with his tongue and dick. The ride was strictly vaginal but her oral skills are well known as some of the best in the business and she was passionately enjoying the rod here too.

Scene Two: Kim Chambers, a foxy blonde with some of the most powerful thighs in porn when this one came out, was offered up to reward loser Scott Styles for his voluntary compliance for some important information. Her oral wasn't as good as Stormy's (duh!) but as short as it was (the oral as well as his cock), she seemed capable of giving him a decent ride with some degree of energy. Hip grinding is always a good thing in porn and she milked him fairly well in this scene that showed some chemistry too.

Scene Three: Kaylani Lei, looking incredible in her white fetish attire, wanted to get android Randy Spears to attend to her needs. She enjoyed him most when his French programming was accessed; rubbing on him and making sure all of his parts were intact. The sex was oral and straight but even a guy like me who was never her biggest fan could recognize her sultry performance as superior.

Scene Four: Jessica Drake, dressed up in full blue body paint and matching wig, "cuddled the shit out of" studly Evan Stone. At the time, they were a real life couple and the chemistry between them was evident in all that they did, from the oral to the passionate screwing of her fine little pussy. I've been a fan of hers for years and this was one of her best scenes (and the likeable goofus was great too).

Scene Five: Katie Morgan, a pretty little hotty that has been the subject of some scrutiny since getting her perfect little chest implanted recently, was in fine form as she attacked mope squad member Steve Hatcher in the garden setting. She was hitting on all cylinders and he did his best to keep up with her as she showed her need for seed with him. It was as enthusiastic a performance as I've seen from her, from the foreplay to the oral to the inevitable bumping of uglies (and with Steve, they really were ugly). Regardless, he hammered away on her like he was on fire and she responded well to his attempts to please her and while I've seen her turned on a number of times, this was in her top twenty scenes of her career.

Scene Six: Stormy Daniels, this time in a bind, ended up with muscular Julian in a more subdued scene aboard the ship. Her oral skills were taxed here due as much to his size as her desire to ride that pony so the best that can be said for the action was that short but sweet. The scene was notable in that it seemed like he hadn't shot a load in about a month, draining all his seed here to her delight.

Scene Seven: Amber Rain, Phyllisha Anne (under her alias Casey Pink), and Kyle Stone, were up next when he took advantage of a series of events to grow a couple of dates. I know that sounds bizarre but as the general of the evil army, he figured he earned a "little playtime" was in order and the ladies were grown to suit him. He looked creepy but he pointed out that the dick wasn't going to suck itself (a Jonathan trademark line) and the ladies seemed to get into each other more than him. In all, it wasn't a bad change of pace from the previous action but he was no Julian and they were no Jessica or Stormy.

Scene Eight: Devinn Lane, the former contract brunette at Wicked with the twisted sense of humor, was up next as dressed like a mean bitch character. Her partner was Evan Stone and given that he was the one to pop her onscreen cherry, I figured they'd do a fine job together. While the scene was oral and vaginal only, they have long had a thing for one another (his ego might have been stoked that she picked him over all other men and she knows a good thing when she sees it). Lots of chemistry and some passionate moves by the duo gave it a lot of replay value, almost comparable to a few other scenes in the movie.

Scene Nine: Hollie Stevens, dressed up like a purple trollop from space, sucked Randy Spears off as though it were late at night. There was not much enthusiasm on her part and it was explained in the commentary track that it was very late, everyone was tired, and wanting to go home. The blowjob gave way to a short round of poking in her pussy, resulting in a substandard pop on his part but overall, it wasn't a terrible scene compared to some of the smaller budget releases I've seen of late.

Scene Ten: Stormy Daniels and Evan Stone, in the final scene together, finished things out nicely as she impaled her throat with his cock and then the two passionately pounded into one another like they were on the bonus plan. He may have had more chemistry with Jessica but she ramped up the energy and enthusiasm to the point where the couple seemed to really go out with a bang. Stormy even seemed to truly enjoy his oral on her, something she doesn't care for as a regular event, marking a great finish to the great flick this one was, and remains.

Body of Review: Conquest: Ten years before Pirates was all the rage of high seas porn, Wicked Pictures and Adam & Eve joined forces to make a classic in terms of feature porn, effectively launching the career of Jenna Jameson to all new heights. The cover said it like this: "If the lust of the ages could settle into one epic saga of desire and revenge...this is it. Wicked Pictures and Armstrong/Steel have rewritten the rules of adult entertainment. A searingly sexual that is destined to set the standard in adult video. Lavish locations. A real --with characters that will remind you of what passion really is. And Jenna Jameson; who radiates the pure sexual energy that has catapulted her to the position of the unrivaled diva of adult. If you see only one adult feature this year, it must be...Conquest." This was the re-released version from 2004 with some minimal improvements and decent extras to make it even better. In short, few pornos hold up for even a few months these days but Conquest remains on the top of the pile with regard to Jenna feature porn to a great many fans and here's a quick look at the very short scenes:

Scene One: Missy, Sahara Sands, Mark Davis, Tom Byron, and Bobby Vitale were up first in an orgy scene. The oral and vaginal were accompanied by some anal but there wasn't much chemistry here; just the balls out energy these fine performers were capable of displaying. If asked did they get off, I'd have to answer in the affirmative for the ladies as well as the men but I recall them in better scenes even back then. Still, Wicked was pushing the envelope of couples porn and that helped make this one pleasing to the eye regardless of technical or personal considerations.

Scene Two: Jenna Jameson, Shayla LaVeaux, and Alex Sanders, were up next as the man walked in on them engaged in unnatural lesbian sex. Jenna has long had an aversion for anything up her fine ass so seeing her then best friend Shayla jamming fingers up there to Jenna's delight was a sight for sore eyes. There were some issues with the audio here but the otherwise standard sex acts were all covered well.

Scene Three: Alex Dane, Kia, Alex Sanders, Mickey G., and Mark Davis, were up in the next orgy scene. Like the other scenes from the movie, this one was too short (a sign of couples porn short at the time) but covered the basics of oral and vaginal sex as best could be expected at a time when Brad had yet to learn about pacing a sex scenes in a movie.

Scene Four: Asia Carrera, a true star in the field of adult entertainment, was up next as the daughter of an island chieftain that demanded pirate Vince Vouyer bone his daughter. Conceptually, I was ready to don my old Halloween outfit and go island hopping when I first saw this scene years ago but I'd be lying if I said that Asia was at her best in the movie. She was more enthusiastic than most of the ladies in the cast here but the scene lacked in terms of positions, length, and technical matters to the point where I still appreciate the scene but wish more was done with it.

Scene Five: Juli Ashton, Brad Armstrong, Claudio, and Sean Rider, were up in a scene that was very hot for me when I first watched it but lacked some level of spark upon watching it this past week. I've been a fan of Juli for many years and this scene just didn't come across like it once did to me as she took on the group in gangbang style. She did anal and that wasn't as common back then but otherwise it seemed like the scene was rushed to me.

Scene Six: Jenna Jameson, playing the concubine and partner of a pirate, had this scene on a beach with manly Vince Vouyer. I'll admit that the picture looked grainy and much like a VCD but this was her breakthrough role and the afternoon sun made her looked really appealing as the two sucked and fucked. The 8:19 long edited version of the scene was nice but the 17:57 long version, with all the edited out bloopers and comments, was really much better for fans. Thankfully, the extended version was included in the extras section of the DVD.

Summary: Blockbuster Pack: Space Nuts, Conquest, Curse Eternal was one of those compilation sets where you almost wonder where the heck were Hercules and Camp Cuddly Pines but at the same time, realize that these three titles were all solid hits. I would have liked to see all of the extras left intact on the two newer movies but if ever there was a compilation to define the biggest feature porn producing company in existence, Wicked Pictures, this is the one. Each movie by itself is a winner by the standards of objective evaluation and the addition of the sampler disc was just icing on the cake but in terms of fuck for the buck, quality of ladies, and addressing the market niche Wicked has long held firmly as it's own, there could be no choice but to rate this one as a DVD Talk Collector Series package but on further thought; the lack of even full versions of the original releases and the high MSRP were enough to hold off. If you only like gonzo, gay porn, or some offbeat fetish, by all means skip this one but the evolution of Wicked Pictures can be traced through these three movies like no other and held as evidence as to why they are still the best feature porn company in the world. If you don't have the titles already and are primarily interested in the movies, this will save you a lot of money and cover the best aspects of the titles in question. I look forward to seeing what else Wicked will package together in the future (and yes, I have a few ideas about it too). Good job!

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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