Picking up where the last film left off, Taboo V: The Secret introduces us to Mary (Colleen Brennan), a woman with a dual personality. During the day she keeps up appearances and seems to be quite the saint, but at night when no one is around she does her dandiest to awaken the forbidden desires that she knows lurk deep within the heart of her son!
While Mary is trying to get it on, we catch up with Dr. Lodge (Jamie Gills reprising his role from the last film, Taboo IV: The Younger Generation who has ended his affair with his daughter, Robin. That doesn't mean he's not still tapping familiar tail, however, as the hole that Robin left in his heart and in his libido is soon filled by Amber Lynn. If that weren't complicated enough, Lodge's daughter, Naomi (Karen Summer), is getting it on with a popular filmmaker who, if he wants to keep her, will need to stop running around and fucking every woman in sight.
The script, by series co-creator Helen Terrie, provides ample opportunity for some serious bumping and thumping with a couple of three-ways thrown in to spice things up and provide for a Sapphic liaison or two throughout the picture, something which isn't all that common in the series to this point. As is typical with Stevens' output, the sex is very well shot with a careful eye for detail, emphasizing movement as much as simple penetration. The cast, made up of some notable performers, does fine with the dramatic material but obviously do better with the actual sex scenes. Speaking of which...
So who fucks who? Here's who fucks who!
Scene 1 - Joey Silvera And Karen Summer
Scene 2 - Colleen Brennan, Kevin James And Lorrie Lovett
Scene 3 - Colleen Brennan And Joey Silvera
Scene 4 - Amber Lynn And Jonathon Younger
Scene 5 - Amber Lynn And Jamie Gillis
Scene 6 - Buck Adams And Karen Summer
Scene 7 - Amber Lynn, Billy Dee And Jonathon Younger
Scene 8 - Jamie Gillis And Karen Summer
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Scene 9 - Colleen Brennan And Shone Taylor
The story is interesting but the pacing here isn't quite as strong as it was in entries prior. That said, there is enough soap opera style drama and unintentionally funny dialogue and melodrama to keep things interesting enough. Amber Lynn completely smokes in the movie and the three scenes in which she performers are absolutely the highlights of the picture. She's lithe and sexy as hell and she definitely shows why she was one of the decades most in demand female performers. Stevens notices this and his camera does a fine job of capturing her finer moments and features.
Taboo V: The Secret, sadly, marked the last entry in the series to actually be shot on film. The later entries, even part VII, which Stevens directed, were all shot on video and had less focus on story and atmosphere than on flat out fucking. From here on out the story would be less and less important until the series, which has had over twenty sequels, more or less declined into little more than standard modern gonzo material.
The 1.33.1 fullframe transfer presents the film in its original aspect ratio. The picture isn't bad, but it could have been better (flagging it for progressive scan playback would have helped). Some dirt and debris is present throughout and the colors have faded a little bit but other than that the image is reasonably strong. Black levels are a little murky but certainly no worse than most porno movies made around the same time. There's a decent level of detail here, and while it would have been nice to see a truly re-mastered picture for this release, it certainly could have looked a lot worse. The titles appear to be video generated and not on the film itself which is rather odd.
The Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack is fine with only a few faint instances where you'll pick up on any hiss or distortion. The soundtrack is mixed in with the performers and the dialogue quite nicely and nothing winds up buried. It isn't a fancy track, but it certainly gets the job done without any major issues.
Extras on this release include a still gallery of images from the film, trailers for Taboo (2:16, featuring some great trashy narration), Taboo II (a length 4:39, featuring more trashy narration which plays up the 'hotness' and 'depravity' of incest) and Taboo: Playing With Fire (4:37, with more goofy narration from the same guy who narrated the other two trailers), menus and chapter selection. The disc is housed inside a keepcase which in turn fits inside a cardboard slipcase featuring the same cover art on the front in black and white instead of in color (though the images on the back are slightly more risqué on the sleeve than on the slipcase). Not noted on the case is a 7:25 minute interview with Kay Parker - it's the same one that appeared on the other Taboo DVDs.
The main supplement on the disc is an audio commentary with Amber Lynn and an unidentified male moderator. Amber is a pretty decent commentator, delivering a nice mix of facts and anecdotes but not holding back on the gossip either, which is made clear early on when she talks about how at the time of this production she and Jamie Gillis were involved but had an open relationship and how she had an affair with one of the other male performers in the film.
The fifth film in the series continues to deal with the strange incestuous themes that made the series famous in the first place. The production values remain strong and the script is interesting and reasonably intelligent. The cast is strong and the sex is hot even if Kay Parker is missed. Standard Digital's DVD isn't the best-looking disc on the market but it's acceptable and the addition of the Amber Lynn commentary definitely adds some value. Fans of mid-eighties porn can consider Taboo V: The Secret recommended.