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Studio: Wicked Pictures » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 8/6/07

XCritic's Advice: Recommended


Wicked Pictures

Genre: Feature

Director: Michael Raven

Cast: Hillary Scott, Herschel Savage, Jessica Drake, Kaylani Lei, Randy Spears, Sammie Rhodes (bonus scene only)
Non-sex roles by Veronica Hart, others uncredited

Length: 107:06 minutes

Date of Production: 11/11/2006

Extra's: The best extra for me was the 8:20 minute bonus scene shot specifically for this movie starring lovely Jessica Drake and lean Sammie Rhodes engaging in carnal lesbian activity. Jessica has long established her credibility as more than just a lipstick lesbian and the scene added some fun for me, albeit not as much as if it lasted a whole lot longer. They were in the shower and the letterboxed effort employed far too many close ups but still showed the gals off nicely. I also enjoyed the 18:34 minute long Behind the Scene feature by Jax and Jef (the editor). There was more sex, nudity, and short interviews as Jax meandered around the sets of the flick, talking with cast and crew, spending a lot of time trying to get the inside scoop from director Michael. This led to a series of featurettes like the 3:11 minute long interview with the director trying to explain some of the production techniques, a 5:26 minute long boxcover shoot, some deleted sex footage lasting 3:55 minutes, and a set of bloopers coming in around 6:32 minutes. Michael's interview was interesting in how it explored the movie using clips and a commentary style audio bit from the director; though his opinion of the post production process seemed to mislead as what he found an improvement was marginal at best for me but the split screen effect was appreciated nonetheless. The boxcover shoot was as much an interview with lovely hotty Jessica Drake as anything else, giving her insights to the viewer before the wind machines and lighting experts took over. These are the kind of extras that I really appreciate as they are directed at this title alone and not generic in nature. There were also the usual photogalleries (4) and 3 Star Stats, a whole 4 minutes of bloopers from the multi-day shoot, the 2007 Promotional Reel, spam, DVD Catalog of Wicked Pictures titles, the usual DVD ROM material, and trailers to movies like Supernatural, The Visitors, Perfect Match, Made In The USA, Camp Cuddly Pines, Becoming Carmen Hart, Curse Eternal, Mobsters Ball, and Manhunters (as well as some preview trailers for movies just coming out at the beginning of the DVD). There was also a cardboard protective sleeve on the DVD case and a double sided cover for those who care.

Condoms: Yes

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Audio/Video Quality: Delilah was presented in the same 1.78:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color it was shot in by director Michael Raven for Wicked Pictures as shot & mastered in High Definition. The DVD was not another HD DVD release (a shame too) but it did look a lot alike some of his work on film in the past (with the heavy grain to prove it). Michael used various lighting effects to achieve his artistic vision but it sometimes left me cold due to my preference of the well lit porn scenes most companies offer up these days. By well lit, I mean the kind of harsh and strong lighting that washes out texture in favor of seeing all the action clearly, but in a couples feature like this, I suppose it would be fair to suggest that Raven had it right and I was the one wrongheaded about the subject. The colors were over saturated or washed out (depending on the scene), the grain was more plentiful than usual, but the composition of the shots tended to be quite favorable to the cast (which kept me from trashing the video rating of the movie). There were no compression artifacts (it was typically showing a bitrate of mid 4 Mbps) but video noise that I saw made me openly wonder if the choices made to showcase the couples were the best possible given the use of video. The audio was presented with a choice of either a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround English (with a bitrate of 384 Kbps) or a 2.0 DD track in Spanish (using a bitrate of 192 Kbps). I listened to the English track and while I didn't hear any appreciable separation on the audio, it was nicely put together otherwise. Still, as limited the audio was in this feature, it was handled pretty well overall with some nice music augmenting the quality of the visuals presented.

Body of Review: Michael Raven is currently one of the most skilled directors at Wicked Pictures. His body of work speaks for itself and why I tend to like my porn a bit harder than he shoots, even a guy like me can recognize quality when he sees it. His latest movie is a little feature called Delilah, a contemporary remaking of the Biblical story where the legendary champion is nearly defeated at the hands of a seductress. Starring Jessica Drake and Herschel Savage in the lead roles, I knew this would be something off the beaten track and I was correct in my assumption. The back of the box cover said it like this: "Samson Nazirite (Herschel Savage) always focused on creating "the good life." By the age of 37, Samson attained the three things he'd most desired: status, money and, more importantly, power. But when neglected girlfriend, Christy leaves him, he's forced to question what "the good life" is without having someone to share it with. But, when Samson meets Delilah (Jessica Drake), a stunning hairdresser, the attraction is immediate. Like him, Delilah is headstrong, ambitious and, most importantly, drop dead gorgeous. Amidst repeated warnings from his mother and friends, Samson quickly falls for Delilah and, just as quickly . . . loses it all. Award winning writer/director Michael Raven presents a visually satisfying story of greed, lust, manipulation and mind blowing twists in Delilah..." The movie showed why a company like Wicked can succeed where others fail by trying something new by way of a feature emphasizing story over sex yet still managing to get both right for the intended audience. Here's a look at the scenes for those who care, noting that condoms were used in the scenes but they did not detract from the heat or originality of the production:

Scene One: Hillary Scott, the performer of the year according to a number of people/organizations, was up first with Herschel Savage in the bedroom at night. The moody music was pleasing and they felt each other up before she orally serviced him; the pair moving into a heated 69 before they boned vaginally using a condom. If you prefer Wal-Mart lighting, you're going to be pulling out your hair but the emphasis here was on a natural kind of scene where it compared to a real couple rather than porn performers. This was a far cry from their work in Corruption last year but I found her sexy little body to be nicely handled by the guy twice (or more) her age. The scene ended with a stomach pop and a kiss before going back to his deep depression.

Scene Two: Jessica Drake, the female lead of the show as a hairdresser with that special touch, was up next with Hershel Savage after they met at her work and continued the relationship well into the night after dinner. She practically tore his clothing off in the cavernous room, savoring the taste of his body and cock before he reciprocated by snacking on her crack to her delight. They boned with his dick in her cookie and her fingers stretching her ass, moving into a frantic little fuck that resulted in her heated little moans coaxing out a wad of population pudding from him to grace her face. It was short but sweet with the couple ending the tryst with a kiss.

Scene Three: Jessica Drake, in another seductive pairing with Hershel Savage, wore some lingerie as she jerked him off to completion. While impossibly short in length, the scene showed the growing bond between the couple, followed by some dialogue and a bathroom masturbation sequence by Jessica. If you want to see a scene lacking in a formulaic approach, this would be it.

Scene Four: Kaylani Lei, an attractive Asian gal with a substantial fanbase, was up next in bed with studly Randy Spears as the two of them stroked each other and otherwise employed a lot of frisky caring to get one another off. This was another darker scene but again showing all the detail needed for the type of sexual contact taking place as he went down on her, she reciprocated, and then the two screwed like happy like bunnies. She was not as active a bed buddy as Jessica but it was still a decent little romp for a couples dynamic, reminding me that the audience for this kind of feature if a far cry from the plethora of gonzo crud populating the shelves of the marketplace. He busted his nut on her firm little ass after she ground her hips into his cock to milk him dry; showing me one of her best scenes to date.

Scene Five: Jessica Drake, furthering her character's role in the movie, was up next as she seduced Randy Spears in a bed, the strange lighting looking much like it came from Raven's movie The Visitors. One section of the bed would be like a spotlight while the rest of the room was largely covered in shadows, the pair servicing each other with the same kind of chemistry I've seen from them in the past. The oral dominated the action at first and this led to the expected vaginal plowing, the tiny whispers and body language elevating the scene more than a little for me (making me watch it a few times to make sure I wasn't projecting again). Her blowjob was sweet but the way she pushed back to meet him thrust for thrust was even better, draining his perverted balls dry as he busted a nut of population pudding on her sweet ass. Yowza!

Summary: Delilah by director Michael Raven for Wicked Pictures reminded me of his hit The Visitors in the sense that the movie was a movie first and a porno second; making a nice change of pace that only a star studded cast like this could truly pull off in a credible manner. Veronica Hart proved she still had the acting chops established long ago and while Hershel wasn't skilled enough to make me believe he was even close to 37 years old as the cover suggested, he and Randy seemed to gel quite nicely as the partners. My highest praise was reserved for Jessica of course; largely given her sexual performances augmented by her own skill at acting. So if you're looking for a feature combining non-standard sex scenes and a story worth following, you will probably consider Delilah worthy of getting a rating of Recommended or better. Some of the special visual effects left me cold but taken as part of a larger whole, Raven showed why he is still in a business dominated by handheld cameras and a gonzo attitude; providing a much needed respite from the drudgery porn seems to have become outside of the limited enclave of Wicked Pictures and a few other high end companies.

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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