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L.A. Vice

Studio: Sex Z Pictures » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 2/14/07

XCritic's Advice: Watch On Demand

L.A. Vice

Sex Z Pictures

Genre: Feature

Director: Kurt Lockwood

Cast: Marie Luv, Nyomi Marcella, Tyler Knight, Tee Reel, Kurt Lockwood, Samantha Ryan, Nina Hartley, Jenna Haze, Harmony, Sandra Romain, Nikki Hunter, Trina Michaels, Tommy Gunn, Christian, Talon
Non-sex roles: Gia Jordan, Annie Cruz, Ron Jeremy

Length: 116 minutes

Date of Production: 2/16/2006

Extra's: For me, the best extra was the 38 minute long Behind the Scenes feature since it explained a lot of what went wrong in the movie and still managed to entertain much of the time. It looked less professionally shot than just about any BTS feature I've seen in years (but better than the one for Decline of...) but I like several of the performers so it added a lot of value for me; especially for the extra sex (including the anal and ATM by Annie and Ron; though some of you might prefer the explicit urination bit at the end of it). There was also a fetish menu, a popshot compilation from the scenes (horribly edited one though), a photogallery, some spam, trailers, a music video called Here Comes the Destruction that looked like a throw together effort using footage from Decline..., 6 audio tracks from the music track, and a feature to download the movie to an I-Pod that I had no way to test. It was a decent selection of extras, albeit limited by the quality of the content somewhat.

Condoms: None

Audio/Video Quality: L.A. Vice was presented in the same 1.33:1 ratio full frame color it was shot in by director Kurt Lockwood for release by Sex Z Pictures. Given his first attempt at directing previously, I really didn't expect a whole lot from this sophomore effect but as far as ultra low budget features are concerned, it wasn't a complete waste of time. The lighting was usually poor, adding in grain, video noise, and altering the flesh tones substantially. The composition of the shots was such that the ladies weren't made to look their best; zooming in on stretch marks, blemishes, and other flaws far too often, but the biggest flaw that most people paying attention will notice would be the really lame editing. I'd chalk it up to the movie being rushed for a specific deadline or it looking like multiple people tried to save it from the initial camera work (a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth) but a friend suggested it looked more like a case of someone on drugs than any of that (and she should know). The positive thing was that I didn't see any compression artifacts and there was enough material that looked okay to make me wonder if there might have been two crews shooting it. The audio was presented in 2.0 Dolby Digital but there really wasn't any separation between the channels and the dynamic range was decidedly low end. One of the things I immediately noticed about the show was the terribly bad dubbing used (some of the dialogue even sounding out of synch, not just hollow). The Jekyll & Hyde nature of the production was no stranger to the audio and it had some parts done far better than others so if you check out the movie, keep tabs to see what I mean.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: Kurt Lockwood has been in porn for years now as a meat puppet. Once complimented by the famed Jim Holliday as a guy with some acting potential, he apparently saw the writing on the wall and began the transition to director at Sex Z Pictures. Today's review (a request review by the way) is on his sophomore effort for the company called L.A. Vice; more of a feature than his first work in Decline of Western Civilization, Part 69. The movie was a porn version of the 80's television show Miami Vice, trying to borrow the kind of fusion between music and fast editing that made the series a hit until people realized it was all style and no substance. Tee Reel and Kurt play a couple of corrupt police detectives involved in a drug lord's attempt to clean up some loose ends. With a nod to their roles as "Crotchet and Chubs" (the cast used their porn names in the movie but Nina calling them by this name during a dressing down), the story really didn't have much of a plot; written on the back of a cocktail napkin given the absolutely dreadful dialogue and delivery by the cast in almost all cases. Here's a quick look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used:

Scene One: Marie Luv, Nyomi Marcella, Tyler Knight, Tee Reel, and Kurt Lockwood, were up in the first scene together in bed. I hated how it started midway through, not allowing any chemistry or heat to be built up as Marie took the brothers on by getting DP'ed while Nyomi gave a lackluster performance with the director. The repetitive porn moaning by the ladies and the mechanical screwing aside, they switched partners a little to mix things up but never recovered from the lack of energy. The gals took mouth pops to close it out way too soon, leaving me to wonder if perhaps the better footage was lost in post production (if ever shot at all).

Scene Two: Samantha Ryan, a cute blond with a lean body, was up next in bed with Kurt Lockwood; both of them naked and her slobbing his knob fairly well as he barely moved a muscle, soon straddling him while the shadow of the cameraman moved on their bodies. At this point, he started doing most of the work as she barely moved (turnabout is fair play) during the vaginal sex (slightly enhanced as he fingered her ass). She has long been a cutie and while her following anal was tame (she sat back and took it while rubbing her clitoris), that might be enough for her more rabid fans to accept as par for the course. He only stuck the head in at first but it looked like it hurt her by the grimace on her face, almost making it a contest of wills between them. The music was as out of place here as it was in most scenes but at least it wasn't so bad as to take my attention off of her fine form; however poorly used. It ended with a facial but for all the history these two shared in real life, they had no spark or chemistry with one another.

Scene Three: Nina Hartley, a porn legend on the verge of retiring, played at being a GILF in an office setting with studly Tee Reel; his superior on the department in need of some stress relief. The terrible dialogue and wooden delivery aside, her ass looked good for her age and he tended to her orally nicely. The score was okay here and it was set up with a more standardized porn dynamic, building a little heat between them as they went down on each other and screwed. The technical qualities of the scene were again poorly handled (unless you like bad lighting, weak editing, and a lack of time in each aspect of the sexual positions) but Nina has been an inspiration to many over the last 20+ years so I can't be too harsh on her. The scene ended with a small mouth pop after limited penetration,

Scene Four: Jenna Haze, a sexy little gal in a skimpy bikini, was up next with a similarly attired Samantha Ryan as the two left the pool area of the house to take a shower together. Granted, why they left their clothing on before going into the shower must be a new trend in porn called "lame director ideas" but Jenna was especially cute and the sex wasn't too bad between them, even if their vocals were drowned out by the generic score. The lipstick lesbian action displayed was about as good as Jenna used to provide while a contract performer at JKP but they came across as being told what to do and how to do it (even if it were completely spontaneous, that's how it looked and sounded). They licked, fingered, and used a toy but the setting wasn't used very well and I would have preferred they stay by the pool given the lighting.

Scene Five: Harmony, a curvy cutie, anal queen Sandra Romain, and Kurt Lockwood were up next after some really, really over the top (bad) acting that placed him in the sex club/bordello. The ladies tossed him onto the bed in the poorly lit room, the ladies working him over orally before eventually riding him fairly aggressively. Sandra showed once again that she can work well with anyone and Harmony was no slouch either as they seemed to be holding a contest as to who was a better ride. The dirty talk was superior this time and as expected earlier, he took something up his ass (which has become his main claim to fame in his performances). In all though, it was probably the best scene in the movie thanks to the gals doing a great job, the anal action, and the humor of how easily the strap on dildo went inside of the wide open space of his ass. It ended with a minor league facial that the gals cumswapped, the sweaty guy looking like he was going to have a heart attack.

Scene Six: Nikki Hunter, a sexually aggressive gal, beautiful and curvy Trina Michaels, studly Tommy Gunn, Christian, and Talon, were up last sexually in a living room to celebrate a major plot point. Nicki was as over the top as ever and she bounced around the cast doing anyone and everyone as she impaled herself on any available cock in sight. There was a moderate amount of PTM and PTOGM as the gals cleaned cock between partner trades; the jumpy way it was all presented seeming to be in need of better editing. Nikki did decent anal and a DP, the scene interrupted by Ron as he took polaroids of the action in progress (I like the guy but he drastically lowered the heat). The multiple facials ended the sex and the plot material took over from there.

Summary: L.A. Vice by director Kurt Lockwood for release by Sex Z Pictures was better than Decline of Western Civilization, Part 69 in some ways and showed that Lockwood had made some progress in regards to his directing abilities but those in porn know how much experience is needed to make it when you're not properly trained, most directors getting years of experience as production assistants or helpers before jumping in. The writing and acting were perfect examples of what people mean when they use the phrase "it's only porn" so while I may sound harsh, a few of the scenes were decent early efforts. The movie has received some publicity based on the fact that it was so bad that 100,000 copies were going to be given away free; perhaps the best example of a tax write off in the industry that I could come up with on short notice. There has been a fair amount press regarding the open drug use and violence in the movie but it was all done as part of the (weak) story so I don't expect many will care. I think the following message on Kurt's My Space account spoke volumes about how desperate he was to sell this one: "BUY MY MOVIE L.A. VICE NOW!! Hey MySpace Friends Now don't get me wrong. I love talking to all of my fans online here. I really do. BUT. The biggest reason I got on here was to sell the movies that I write, star, direct and compose the soundtrack for. Just such a movie is L.A. VICE from SEX Z PICTURES. IF you have already bought the movie chances are you mentioned it to me or we have discussed it. IF NOT, I ain't on here for my health, peeps! Do me a flavor of love, BUY L.A. VICE TODAY!!" moving on to say "I may start have to eliminate some "friends" of those who aren't gonna buy my movies. I mean, hey, this is a two way street right?"

I like some of the cast involved in the movie and enjoyed a few scenes so I rated it as a Rent It but the massive technical flaws, the often lame music, and the glaring novice directorial errors all made it difficult to believe that the movie came from the same company releasing the excellent Corruption; showing the difference between a quality project and a star driven ego effort lacking in virtually all areas (creative and technical). My own opinion of the persona Lockwood projects as part of his effort to publicize his work is irrelevant but the real shame of movies like this is that they get far more attention than deserved compared to better flicks solely due to the hype involved and if the director got some help with his shows, he might be able to better focus his creative abilities (yes, he actually has some that remain largely untapped) to provide the kind of movie he thinks he is making. Otherwise, he'll continue to make sloppy and derivative titles like L.A.Vice that under utilize his skills and those of his cast far too often.

For other, far greater choices in porn, check out: 2006's Top Porn List, 2005's Top Porn List, 2004's Top Porn List, and 2003's Top Porn List as well as the latest Blue Room Column.

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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