Cast: Rita Faltoyano, Ethan Cage, Tory Lane, Marco Banderas/Duato, Jay Lassiter, Shyla Styles, Dragon Lily, Britney Manson, Van Damage, Penny Flame, Sativa Rose, Jack Venice
Length: 122 minutes
Date of Production: 8/4/2006 (box); 6/3/2006, 6/23/2006, 8/4/2006 (credits)
Extra's: The best extra was the Behind the Scenes feature lasting 7.5 minutes that essentially ended up being a couple of interviews with the ladies (Shyla and Lily). It was informative and I liked them but I really would have added in something with Penny, Sativa, and Rita if not the other ladies too since that would be considered reasonable by their fans. It also looked terrible in terms of compression artifacts and clarity for those who care. There was also a photogallery in the form of a slide show, 8 trailers and some forced spam for those who care.
Audio/Video Quality: Taboo: Love Hurts was presented in the original 1.85:1 ratio widescreen letterboxed color it was shot in by director Lee Forbes for Hustler Video. The later scenes were substantially clearer and showed more attention to detail (they could have been shot out of sequence but it didn't seem like they were), with some grain and video noise in the second scene in particular. The fleshtones were accurate and the composition of the camera angles enhanced the ladies in most cases, making them look good in their fetishware even if some of the scenes showed more care than others. I don't recall ever seeing any of his work before so I hope future works show him leaning towards the better shot work and perhaps using an anamorphic process to enhance the DVD's look on a widescreen TV. The audio was presented in a 2.0 Dolby Digital English with little separation between the channels other then sounding like the music was mixed in with a stereo signal. The vocals were usually easy to hear and while slightly hollow, a bit more work would make them sound a lot better.
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Body of Review: Lee Forbes is one of the newest directors for Hustler Video. His first release is a BDSM title called Taboo: Love Hurts, a movie that provided five scenes of power and control surrender with women on both sides of the matter (some topped, some bottomed). I had my share of apprehensions when I saw the first few scenes but the quality of the movie was one of the rare pornos where it got better as it proceeded, something I'm not used to seeing these days. There was an emphasis on fetish attire and the ladies looked good, real good, as they handled their scenes with a lot of heat in the latter scenes. If you're still interested in the movie, here's a quick look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used but full penetration was part of the action in each of them (unlike many bondage only movies):
Scene One: Transformation of Rita: Rita Faltoyano, dressed as a kittenish secretary (librarian look to her, complete with glasses), was up first wearing an arm spreader as she took dictation for geeky Ethan Cage. He portrayed her master and aside from his wooden dialogue (which was really bad by the way), he did look like the type many scoff at for getting into the BDSM lifestyle (the kind of guy that people look at and laugh, needing an outlet). She spilled his coffee and he spanked her weakly, releasing her from her accessories so she could service him better. As a fan of Rita's, I liked how she was looking very fit here and she seemed to easily handle his modest package orally before he started nailing her. Fans of the lifestyle may appreciate that the scene continued to use various control toys rather then merely discard them as most other shows seem too willing to do. On the other hand, due to the equipment she was bound with, she wasn't able to give an active ride, even in the anal that she typically handles so well. This changed at the very end of the scene when she impaled her pussy and she took his minor league load into her mouth but they had no chemistry at all together so the only thing the scene had going for it was her looks.
Scene Two: Slave To Riches: Tory Lane, the curvy brunette on the front DVD cover, was up next as she played a bank robber in fetish gear along with partners Marco Banderas/Duato and Jay Lassiter. I liked that the scene used an actual bank vault setting (even if the vault from the scene used a silent tumbler that she would be unable to hear as she pressed her head against it like in the movies of old). Jay found a pretty trinket in one of the safety deposit boxes and she wanted it, leading the trio to work out a deal for the trinket. I could understand the darker lighting of the scene, the bad acting by Jay (far better then Ethan's before though), and some of the thematic limitations but sexually it seemed to be hit or miss too. The slapping, choking, and tying her up were okay but her own over acting as she yelled out seemed almost like code for her telling fans to stay away. The scene was shorter this time, including oral, vaginal, anal, and DP work with lots of taste testing (PTM and ATM) but it was a single use scene even for this fan of hers.
Scene Three: Sweet Surrender: Shyla Styles, the curvy blonde on the front cover in her fetish attire, was up next with even curvier brunette Dragon Lily. I liked the fetish attire and Lily seemed quite at home brandishing a riding crop & flogger. The nipple suction devices were pretty cool too but what struck me as most appealing was how much chemistry and energy the ladies had with each other (a marked contrast to the previous scenes). The licking and fingering action was the icing on the cake with plenty of penetration by toys (vaginal and anal). This seemed to be the turning point for the movie and if they didn't get off, so be it as I know I could do so repeatedly with the scene.
Scene Four: She Could Not Be Broken: Britney Manson, all curvy and helpless in her metal cage, was the toy of Van Damage as he showed her who was boss. He insisted she ride a dildo he held and she actively did so, tasting it once it was covered with her juices. He also used a riding crop on her (though lightly) and roughly grabbed her out of the cage to bind with metal chains as his slave while he pawed her. She responded well to his advances, from the nipple pinching and slapping, to the spanking and fingering, making it clear that while he was in charge, she was getting aroused by the action. The sex swing and other positions did not allow her to ride his cock as actively as I prefer but she did show some level of heat when doing so the best she could. Like most of the scenes, it ended with a facial, one she kept her eyes open for though did not seem to like.
Scene Five: Penny's Playthings: Penny Flame, smoking a cigarette as she abused her slave Sativa Rose, sat on her throne as she worked over the lovely ass of the gal with Jack Venice standing beside her. Sativa was made to lick her boots, working her way up to Penny's perfect pucker, soon rewarded with the taste of the flogger and clothes pins on her nipples with her hands bound above her head. Sativa was then placed in a cage on her hands and knees while Penny sucked and fucked Jack, getting Sativa all wet at the prospect that she might get some too. They switched out a few times, ending with Sativa on clean up duty as the pop went to Penny's crotch, but the chemistry of the trio was once again really solid and helped elevate the rating of the movie as a whole more than a little bit.
Summary: Taboo: Love Hurts by director Lee Forbes for Hustler Video worked best when the performers seemed into what they were doing. I thought Rita begging Ethan was about as far fetched as Jenna Jameson begging me for sex and the wooden acting didn't help any; a similar thought occurring in Tory's scene as well. Still, the later three scenes seemed to be mining gold and while I'm not going to suggest my rating of Recommended is on the high end of the scale here, there was enough replay, stroke, and other value to keep Taboo: Love Hurts of interest to me for longer then a rental in most cases. I'd like to see the director polish up his scenes a bit better but he seems to have enough talent to work with so check this one out and let me know what you think.
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