Extras: For many of you, the best extra will be the fair scene between Stormy Daniels and Jenaveve Jolie taken from The Predator. I provided a scene description below for those that care to know what took place in the scene. Personally, I like new extras that are geared towards the release in hand so I enjoyed the 22:28 minute long Behind the Scene feature by Red Ezra (and edited yet again by Jef) more but I prefer unique extras in my movies more than most so your mileage may vary accordingly (especially if you already have the movie in question). There was more sex, nudity, and short interviews as the guy 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 Stormy. There were also the usual photogalleries (14!) and 4 Star Stats, the 2008 Promotional Reel, spam, DVD Catalog of Wicked Pictures titles, the usual DVD ROM material, and trailers to movies like the movie itself, Carmen Goes South, The Oracle, Gossip, The Predator, Sleeping Around, For Love, Money Or A Greencard, Operation Desert Stormy, & Three Wishes. There was also a cardboard protective sleeve on the DVD case and a double sided cover for those who care.
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Audio/Video Quality: Predator II: The Return was presented in the usual 1.78:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color as shot by director Stormy Daniels for Wicked Pictures using the MPEG-2 codec of standard definition. The composition of the shots was largely handled properly to make the ladies look their best under adverse circumstances, the bit rate tended to hover around the low 4 Mbps mark so I saw some compression artifacts, some aliasing and the grain during the night scenes looked weaker than average but it was still a decent effort on the technical side of things even if it did not live up to some of the more recent releases made for far less by the company (at least forgoing the artistic route this time). There were a lot of night scenes too, something needed to make the darker nature of the theme work I suppose, which makes it even more important to upgrade equipment and employ technicians that are better versed with that kind of shooting. The audio was presented with two choices, the primary one being a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround English track (in 384 Kbps) that balanced the vocals and music nicely. There was also a 2.0 Dolby Digital track in Spanish available for those who care but the fact is that the dubbing seemed as bad as ever to me. Otherwise, the audio on the primary track seemed to be another step in the right direction for Wicked Pictures, even though the vocals were a bit hollow and seemed to be slightly out of synchronization at times. Still, the music was well done and the overall quality of the audio was pretty decent for invoking the appropriate moods needed.
Body of Review: Stormy Daniels is probably best known as the director of Operation Desert Stormy from Wicked Pictures these days, the big budget opus overshadowing her bit roles in mainstream projects or her contract gal status at the company. Most of Stormy's movies employ a specific feel to them, light, airy, and the lady herself in charge of anything that happens to her so it was with great curiosity that I saw the darker side of her once more with her latest fuck flick, Predator II: The Return. The movie is the awaited sequel to The Predator where Stormy established herself as a bitchy stalker of other women, trapping them against their will to enjoy all the pleasures they had to offer her. The themes of domination and control were abundant in the original so what about the sequel? Well, essentially it is more of the same as Stormy sets out on a Halloween night to capture her latest prey, the director starring in three of the six scenes while her talented crew captured the action. The box cover said it like this: "The sequel to The Predator picks up on Halloween night when a group of hot sorority girls are dared to enter a creepy circus sideshow museum, right into the Predator's lair for a night full of debauchery, filled with hardcore sex, anal assaults, and double penetrations." Here's a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used for those still interested:
Scene One: Stormy Daniels, the sole gal featured on the front cover, was back in action as the evil predator, using hotty Roxy DeVille, and Nikita Denise, as her lesbian playthings. She was focused on sorority meat this time around but well trained Roxy was up for some heated antics as a human cat. Roxy ate Stormy as she brushed her hair, stuffing Roxy's chain inside her snatch for the servant to lick clean. Roxy is always a welcome addition to any movie in my opinion, eating ass as well as pussy with a lot of energy. They used a moderate sized vibrator too but the introduction of Nikita to the play added some more fun to be had; Roxy jamming most of her hands (eight fingers) inside the Czech chick. While the rough play was far short of what one would expect in a Belladonna movie or one helmed by Mason, this was pretty bold for a Wicked Pictures effort and all three of them appeared to have some chemistry together (though more between Roxy and Stormy). There was some anal antics too but the use of many close ups weakened the scene even more than the darkness so the end result, while good, could have been better.
Scene Two: Memphis Monroe, a busty beauty out of contract from Hustler these days, was up next with Stormy Daniels, and Gianna Lynn, as the two newcomers stumbled into Stormy's carnival lair to join a sorority. Not knowing what to expect, the ladies fell hard as Memphis ended up on a cross and Gianna in a see through cage. Memphis was first to receive some sexual attention, Stormy taking her time with the lady as she pawed her and orally aroused Memphis' darker side; even using a large vibrator to stimulate her latest charge. Things got a bit awkward when Gianna joined them though, the lighting and closeness of the claustrophobic camera making it tougher to observe anything other than pure mechanical energy without the enthusiasm needed to make it special. The ladies looked their parts (and looked good) but it was less filling to say the least. Stormy's use of toys aside, I couldn't fault her direction even if her two Director's of Photography should have done better.
Scene Three: Lexi Lamour, an older and curvier blond, as well as Victorian Era dressed Sammie Rhodes, were up next to follow the thematic approach established here. The droning music was overdone but the ladies gave some nice and heated moves as they went at it; tearing aside clothes to eat each other out and moan like they were on fire. There was a fair amount of lipstick lesbian attitude displayed too but my impression was that the balance was decently enough applied to make up for it, the oral being the focal point this time more than the fingering or toy use.
Scene Four: Adrianna Nicole, a curvy babe built for comfort over speed, was up next with all natural and kinky Holly "Fuckin" Wells, as the two investigated the disappearance of their friends. Brooke didn't care about the missing ladies since she chalked their absence up to a failed attempt to get into the sorority and the cops were no help due to the circumstances. There was a decent use of mood here and while the acting was especially wooden, the ladies offered Stormy a deal: if they would put on a show for her, she would let them and their friends go free. This provided the impetus for the action that followed, both gals showing that they were tops in the flick for heated lesbian exploits. The kissing and caressing was more passionate and they appeared to get into one another far more readily than the previous partners had done, showing a lot of enthusiasm throughout the scene as they ate and otherwise played together. Adrianna's great ass looked especially inviting and Holly relied heavily on her dirty talk skills (though they were not mixed as well into the surround track). There was a technical DP and while no population pudding was evident (no guys, right?) on screen, I assure you there will be plenty at my place the next time I watch this one. Whew!
Scene Five: Penny Flame, one of the favored bloggers here at Xcritic, was up next as a policewoman serving the public trust in trying to find the missing ladies, also falling into the trap of Stormy Daniels due to a drugged cup of java. Stormy went down on Penny first and Penny reciprocated, Penny adding most of the playfulness of the scene while Stormy seemed firmly in charge. Stormy kept her sexy fishnet stockings on and Penny couldn't get enough of her coochie, using her police baton in ways that probably will cause some people to cringe (as a dildo). To me, it was all too short though and I definitely wanted a lot more from them even if it did lead to another warm scene.
Scene Six: Alektra Blue, Aline, and Holly West, were up last in a lesbian scene where they aggressively did each other on what appeared to be a stage in fetish attire. The PVC skirts fell to the wayside and the kissing they engaged in certainly did not hurt one bit, a lot of dildo play came into effect as well as anal action. The screams were over the top but drowned out by the music track (that was good but too heavily used) and the relative lack of chemistry (or appearance of it) was such that the mechanics were sound but the replay value was weakened. Still, this is the case for most lipstick lesbian scenes and the stylish manner employed here is company standard so I really wasn't expecting a whole lot, receiving it in return.
Bonus Scene: The Predator: Jenaveve Jolie, a beautiful Latina in a bar, was up last playing a gal in distress at the hand life had dealt her. She confided in predator Stormy Daniels, the two flirting after some drinks eased the pain of the moment, Jenaveve excusing herself to go to the bathroom. Stormy came in a few moments later, taking her new pal by surprise and forcibly pushing her into the wall as though about to rape her. I wasn't keen on that part but the scene quickly eased up and made it consensual sex with Stormy eating Jenaveve out and applying a vibrator to her in the stall. The grain was heavy but the lighting a touch better here, the pleasure of the moment not caught very well but obvious nonetheless. They looked better when they moved to a mattress but it was too short to really explore their possibilities.
Summary: Predator II: The Return by director Stormy Daniels for Wicked Pictures was another fuck flick that tried to be more than just a bunch of random lesbian scenes and for that it should be applauded but the sexual tension and energy was forced too often to rate it as anything higher than Rent It. I wanted to like it more than I did since Wicked is probably the biggest and best feature production outlet in porn but the watered down sex and mediocre performances in several cases just didn't do it for me. In short, Predator II: The Return, like The Predator before it were a far cry from Stormy's last outing (Operation Desert Stormy) and seemed to be hastily made with little planning or dedication to a script. The sparks of talent were still there, even through all the gloss and filters added on by her technical staff, but covered up in such a way that you'll want to rent this one before dropping any cash on it.
---- 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